Mainstreeters: Taking Advantage, 1972-1982 is a website, exhibition and publication that addresses the history of a group of artists and cultural practitioners who worked together in Vancouver from 1972 until roughly 1982. Comprised of eight core members – Kenneth Fletcher, Deborah Fong, Carol Hackett, Marlene MacGregor, Annastacia McDonald, Charles Rea, Jeanette Reinhardt and Paul Wong – the Mainstreeters lived and worked communally in and along Main Street, where they developed ambitious projects and a notorious reputation. The "gang" made multi-faceted work that deals with their environment, explores video and media, "live" performance and photographic documentation. Their activities engaged a wide group of collaborators and audiences in Vancouver and throughout Canada through an artist-run centre network that included Western Front, PUMPS and Video Inn.
This website features video interviews, photographic materials and video excerpts that exemplify the vast output generated by this group throughout the first ten years of their practice. In addition to these materials, we offer a narrative social history focused on the collaborative spirit of their work. Our approach, something akin to a group biography, attests to the inseparable nature of the artistic projects of this group and their daily domestic habits.
The exhibition Mainstreeters: Taking Advantage, 1972-1982 is realized as a co-presentation between grunt gallery and Presentation House Gallery, and takes place January 8 – March 14, 2014 at Satellite Gallery. The project is curated by Allison Collins and Michael Turner, and produced by grunt gallery.
Allison Collins is a Vancouver-based curator, writer and researcher. Her independently realized curatorial projects include Moveable Facture, (VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver, 2012), Suspicious Futures: Selected works of Susan Britton, (Vtape, Toronto, 2011; DIM Cinema, Vancouver, 2011; PLATFORM, Winnipeg, 2012) and Hold Still Wild Youth: The Gina Show Archive, (Or Gallery and VIVO, Vancouver, 2010). From 2011-2012 she published ARCLines, a series of historical profiles documenting the origins of Vancouver's artist-run centres, and was also Event Manager for Institutions by Artists, a three day, international event regarding contemporary artist-run centres and initiatives (Arcpost.ca). Her writing has been published across Canada, including Stride Gallery, Calgary; PLATFORM, Winnipeg; Or Gallery, VIVO Media Arts Centre, Republic Gallery, C Magazine, Fuse, ARTSlant, and with Publication Studio, Vancouver. Collins has a BFA in Visual Art from the University of Ottawa and an MA in Curatorial Studies from University of British Columbia.
Michael Turner has contributed essays to Intertidal: Vancouver Art & Artists (Belkin/MuHKA, Vancouver/Antwerp, 2005), Vancouver Art & Economies (Artspeak, Vancouver, 2007), and Ruins in Process: Vancouver Art in the Sixties (Belkin/grunt, Vancouver, 2009), which he co-curated. In addition to monographic essays on visual artists such as Geoffrey Farmer, Julia Feyrer, Brian Jungen and Ken Lum, he curated "to show, to give, to make it be there": Expanded Literary Practices in Vancouver, 1954 –1969 (SFU Gallery, Burnaby, 2010) and Vancouver/Vancouver (ON MAIN, Vancouver, 2011). More recently he co-curated Letters: Michael Morris and Concrete Poetry (Belkin, UBC, 2012). His reviews, interviews and conversations have appeared in magazines such as Art Papers, Art on Paper, Canadian Art and Modern Painters. He blogs at this address: mtwebsit.blogspot.ca