Parallel Park [ Lab Space ]
October 29, 2010 – January 21, 2011
Helen Christou Gallery | LINC | Level 9


Parallel Park [ Lab Space ]

Helen Christou Gallery
Curator/artist: Emily Luce

The Parallel Park is an exploration of scale. It zooms in and out on our preconceived spatial notions. It tests the idea of gridded public space for our belongings, as they exist, and as they could be.

Presented in the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery’s Helen Christou Gallery, along a main thoroughfare, the exhibition explores the notion of imposing new ideas onto the strictest, most devastating, and ingrained of systems. The parking lot is our expectation, our transition period, our sense of order. It is also a tremendous amount of space. Parallel Park lab space seeks to eliminate waste from the parking experience, on one hand by re-imagining the parking lot, and on the other, by re-formatting what is parked there.

Art, Transport, and the Tiny House Concept

The prototypes on the projection wall explore miniaturized art buildings on wheels. The structures, modeled after historical Canadian art houses, are built on trailers and are transportable, anytime, anywhere. They are designed to fit in a standard parking space, and to celebrate the curious and divergent dwellings of Canadian artists.

The concept of the tiny house, a fully inhabitable dwelling of miniscule square footage, has captured the imaginations of architects, artists, and builders in recent years. The notion that the carbon footprint of a space can be drastically reduced by good design has become a significant and urgent challenge. In this work, the notion of Canadian art, mobility, and transformational scale are also engaged. Art Houses in the Parallel Park scale down, zoom out, and meet their audience.

Impossible Parking Lots

The notion that we dedicate a tremendous amount of civic space to parking is a heart-breaker; it’s even worse to squeeze around a sharp corner, have a face-off with another driver, or hold your breath while slipping into a tight spot in a poorly designed parking lot. The drawings here represent local parking lots that both frustrate and implode on the community that they service.

On one hand, the series of five Lethbridge parking lots are drawn as they are; on the other, they are re-imagined to work better. Both renderings, in their own way, are impossible.