9 October 2012, Vancouver
Artist Germaine Koh launches “League” for invented sports and games in Elm Park
- Who: Germaine Koh, artist in Vancouver Park Board Field House Studio Residency Project
- What: “League”, a new group for playing invented sports and games
- Where: Elm Park, 5800 Elm Street at West 41st Avenue, Vancouver, BC
- When: Tuesday afternoons and last Sunday each month (28 October, 25 November…)
As one of seven new residencies in the Vancouver Park Board Field House Studio Residency Project, artist Germaine Koh is launching the new community-based project “League” at Elm Park in Vancouver-Kerrisdale. League will be an open weekly gathering for the purpose of playing sports and games invented by members of the community. Each game, its playing field and its strategies will evolve through trial and improvisation, and new and unusual equipment may be invented.
For two years beginning October 2012, Germaine Koh will be using the field house in Elm Park, located at 41 Avenue and Elm Street in Kerrisdale, as home base for the League project and a studio for her art practice. Everyone is welcome to drop in to participate or propose a game for the group to try. League will be meeting in the park weekly (Tuesday afternoons 3pm to dusk until further notice) to workshop new sports and games, and organizing larger weekend events once a month, some with special guests from the worlds of sport, art and games. The first large event will take place on Sunday 28 October beginning at noon. The project blog at http://league-league.org hosts a schedule, discussion, research on play and games, and League documentation.
League is conceived as a project that will inspire city residents of diverse backgrounds and generations to come together to play, to think imaginatively, and to act collaboratively in response to the challenges posed by different game situations. All are welcome, whether they identify as athletes, creative people, both — or neither. The project is based in a belief that play is an essential human tendency that is related on one hand to problem-solving and negotiation skills and on another to a pure pursuit of joy. League participants will be encouraged to tweak typical game structures, to bring into play unexpected objects, to think widely about possible spaces for play, to pursue unconventional approaches to sport, and to tackle situations with both mind and body.
Germaine Koh, recipient of the 2010 VIVA Award for mid-career artists, is an internationally active Vancouver-based artist who works in many media, including interactive electronic installations, long-term process-based projects, and ephemeral situations in public space. She is known for artwork that examines under-valued aspects of daily life — for example the life-long project Knitwork, an ever-growing blanket knit from unraveled used garments, and the installation Fallow, in which she transplanted a vacant lot into an art gallery. Koh also has a long background in sport, currently playing roller derby for the All-Stars team that represents Vancouver’s Terminal City Rollergirls in inter-league play. League is the latest of many projects by Koh that focus on play or social interaction and shift habitual patterns of behaviour.
The Vancouver Park Board Field House Studio Residency Project was expanded this fall to encompass nine previously-vacant field houses in city parks. According to the City of Vancouver news release, artists for each field house were selected from more than 50 applications in response to a public call for proposals. The Park Board is providing use of the studio spaces in exchange for community arts based engagement. “The studio residencies will enhance the Park Board’s arts policy objective of arts in everyday life and contribute to addressing the City of Vancouver cultural plan priority of neighbourhood arts and the objective of supporting more creative spaces for artists.” For more information on the Field House Residency Project, contact the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.
- League blog: http://league-league.org
- League on Facebook: http://facebook.com/LeagueVan
- League Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/LeagueVan
- Reference website for Germaine Koh’s artwork: http://germainekoh.com
- City of Vancouver news release about Park board field house studios: http://vancouver.ca/news-calendar/artist-studio-residencies-in-park-board-field-houses.aspx
- League project: Germaine Koh, league [at] germainekoh [dot] com
- Vancouver Park Board Field House Studio Residency Project: Daria Wojnarski, Communications Coordinator, tel. (604) 257-8440, daria.wojnarski [at] vancouver [dot] ca.