Secondhand is an archive of the past, present and future. A digital accumulation of items, the artwork features an assortment of memorabilia and organic ephemera collected from the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Historical and recent photographs, ticket stubs, receipts, rocks, leaves and wilting petals scan the screen, offering a secondhand experience for passersby.
The artist’s hands act as a stand-in for the viewer’s hands, collaging a present narrative through secondhand participation, rather than a reawakening of the past. The intention is for the audience to have an internalized experience – an interiorization of the exterior. As the hands caress and arrange the objects on screen, the aim is to produce a corporeal reaction in the public, for people to feel as though they are touching the artifacts, sensing the tactile elements of each item.
Emilie Crewe (b. 1987, Quebec City, Canada) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Her artwork often takes the form of video installation, single-channel video, multi-channel video and sketch-work (drawings, collections & archives). She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. Her work is exhibited internationally in galleries, museums, artist-run centres, experimental film/video festivals, and as public art.
Select exhibition history includes the AC Institute in New York, NY (solo), the Zhou B. Art Center in Chicago, IL, the Khyber Institute of Contemporary Art in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the Governor’s Island Art Fair in New York, NY (solo). Screenings include ‘The Labor Party’ at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA, the Chicago Underground Film Festival ‘Salonathon’, OK.Video FLESH at the National Gallery of Indonesia, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in Hawick, UK, and ‘Accompanied by Image’ at High Concept Laboratories in Chicago, Illinois.
In 2013/14, Emilie was one of ten Canadian artists to receive a City of Vancouver Public Art Commission as part the Reconciliation Platforms series, which was awarded the Americans for the Arts Public Network Award. Her 2016 public art video, (A Sense of Place), was commissioned by the City of Vancouver and exhibited at Terry Fox Plaza (BC Place), CBC Plaza, TELUS Gardens Video Screen, Robson & Granville DualLive! Screens, The Pacific Cinemathque and Vancity Theatre.