January 20 - April 1
Why are we so obsessed with West Edmonton Mall? Love it or hate it, we all have a story and a relationship to THE MALL. This exhibition is not intended to comprehensively document the cultural production that the mall has inspired, but instead it explores what continues to inspire artists to make work about the former largest mall in the world. The featured works, made between 1986 and 2022, are full of stories, real and apocryphal, about THE MALL. They bring our attention to its kitsch and patchwork fantasy — the kinds of material culture that we often make fun of or overlook. These are, however, crucial components of what makes this specific shopping centre the subject of decades of art making, and has shaped the very creative practices of so many artists. The artworks in this exhibition explore the pleasures of experiencing this shopping paradise as much they consider the exploitation indicative of capitalist overconsumption. How do we come to understand the full cultural resonance of this iconic, fraught, and cheesy place? As the artworks in this exhibition demonstrate, the answers to this question are as contradictory and overwhelming as THE MALL itself.