Instant Coffee Disco Fallout Shelter
Toronto Sculpture Garden
May 6 - Sept 15, 2009
May 6, 4:30- 6:30
115 King Street East, Toronto
www.canadianart.ca see it
The Instant Coffee "Disco Fallout Shelter" (DFS), for the Toronto Sculpture Garden, overtly extends the theme of exclusivity. While Instant Coffee might "wish you where here", fallout shelters by their nature are places limited to as mall group of people. In the case of the DFS, it is only open to all the members of Instant Coffee. The fallout shelter is an icon of the cold war and the threat of nuclear war. It is, ultimately, designed to reduce exposure to radiation and radioactive debris. Governments, from first world USA to poverty stricken Albanian, built fallout shelters for elite groups of high-ranking officials. In 1961, the CBC built a shelter on their Toronto grounds and as a media stunt had a family live there for a week. On emerging, one of the family members stated: 'We not only survived, we thrived". This was in connection to the Emergency Measures Organization, which at that time broadcast nationwide simulation of a nuclear attack - over 2 million people fictitiously died. Fallout shelters were very often expensive and time consuming to build so most people would have been left out in the nuclear dust.
Instant Coffee's DFS is a glitzed-up and powder coated re-articulation of these prolific and often makeshift mid-twentieth century places built from fear. A brightly coloured pathway leads to the shelter's sparkling entrance where a low bass beat can be heard from the dance music being played inside. At the front of the path is a small viewing kiosk containing a video feed of inside the DFS. Captured on video are Instant Coffee members playing records, eating spaghetti, dancing, reading, sleeping and just hanging out in the tight confines and under the protective barrier of shelter. At play here is the tenuous relationship between this exclusive lifesaving hideaway, the nature of the collective as being selective, and the viewing kiosk where those outside can only observe and imagine what is really happening inside.
Instant Coffee: Get Social and Get Saved