IDLE WORSHIP was a mobile exhibition of art & performance in back seats, box trucks, hatchbacks, and minivans, designed for the everyday context of parking lots across the greater Calgary/Mohkinstsis area.
8 artist-driven cars became moving micro-galleries, propelling contemporary art into the oft neglected corners of our city – with stops in all four quadrants! Travelling in a law-abiding motorcade, IDLE WORSHIP responded to the car-centric culture of Alberta in a slow rally from familiar place to place – traversing the Calgary landscape as so many commuters do daily, but with an utterly different intention. Pithy and playful, IDLE WORSHIP is equal parts community project, commentary, and intervention in plain sight. Visitors were invited to experience: an immersive projection inside a rented Uhaul, a personalized tailgate poetry performance, a compact car-turned-hatchback-beast, a satirical ‘neutral’ convoy truck, a sculpture dispersing seeds in the wind in a futile attempt to erase its own carbon footprint, a minivan filled with real plants and an equally real boy (awaiting a good watering), and a gold-encrusted shrine to Oil & Gas – all beneath the dealership-style flags & balloons of an artist-run welcoming station.
IDLE WORSHIP is an artist-driven project, organized by Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett as a spinoff of annual wintertime art series The Hibernation Project. IDLE WORSHIP is supported by Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Thanks to the artists for participating, Clare & Nikki for plant knowledge, Rachel for lending her truck, and all the support systems keeping our collective tires on the road.
The roads, parking lots, and highways of Calgary are located on the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Tsuut’ina First Nation, the Stoney Nakoda, and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III. We recognize the profound, often negative impacts these infrastructures have had on many Indigenous Communities in this region, past and present. As we drive Deerfoot, Crowchild, Tsuut’ina Trail, and other highways, we acknowledge how these roads came to be named for the histories they were often attempting to pave over. How else could this story have unfolded? What is the best path forward? We share these roads with gratitude for the land beneath, and a desire for better routes ahead.
We’re grateful to acknowledge the support of the Province of Alberta through Alberta Foundation for the Arts!