Whether you’ve taken notice or not, it’s clear that Hamilton has reconfigured its image considerably over the past decade. After years of crippling economic instability from the collapsing industrial sector, artists are now repossessing the city. As they’re saying down on James St. North, “Art is the new steel.”
Although a native of the city, Dorian Batycka has only recently opened up a studio to launch his revolutionary Temporary Projects, a space seemingly unique in the blossoming Hamilton art scene. Batycka takes a boundary-dissolving, open-ended approach to his work.
“Temporary Projects started as an idea. Last summer, drifting in between Amsterdam and Venice on a fat scholarship from the Gabrielle Erasmi foundation, I got the idea to open a studio/gallery space when I got back to Hamilton,” Batycka explained in an interview with ANDY.
His vision is indebted to Charles Esche’s concept of the ‘dispersed museum.’ Esche describes the concept as “that which
dissolves only to reappear in different spatio-temporal contexts, while remaining dedicated to creating sites where the surrounding community can encounter new and exciting works of art.”
Batycka, born in Hamilton, has great optimism for the city, having witnessed its transformation over the past decade. “The Hamilton arts scene is incredibly distinct and replete with a flavor uniquely its own,” he professed. “For the arts to grow in Hamilton we need people in the community willing to invest time.”
This past weekend, Temporary Pro
jects hosted the opening of a gallery entitled History that Happened or was Dreamed in its space downtown above Sonic Unyon on Wilson St. The gallery featured the works of four of McMaster’s most engaging young artists, organized by Ariel Bader-Shamai, whose work was also featured, alongside pieces by Kearon Roy Taylor, Aaron Joo and Amy McIntosh.
“[The title] alludes to notions concerning the subconscious experience of memory as a mediator between the self and the real world – a déjà vu-like moment wherein history becomes that of which was dreamed,” explained Batycka. The artist offered both prints and photographs, brilliantly representing the enigmatic nature of the theme.
The opening of the gallery was als
o celebrated with performances by a tremendous amount of gifted musicians. The first night, which featured the artists discussing their works, was accompanied by an electric jazz band and guitarist Liam Carlisle. On the second night, the galley was turned into a show, featuring sonic accompaniment by Hysteria Siberania and Jung Blud.
“I generally just move through my personal channels – friends, colleagues, other artists and collaborators,” explained Batycka, referring to the selection of artists for his project. “Having literally zero budget and no funding, I needed to expand my definition of traditional gallery programming to be more inclusive of explorations in other fields and disciplines.”
For Batycka, the future of Temporary Projects is entirely open, with a possible change in location on the horizon. “As an idea it’s important that it has time to grow. My goal for the next several months is to continue to cultivate relationships a
nd foster interesting collaborations.”
Temporary Projects will be featuring History that Happened or was Dreamed at 22 Wilson St. for the rest of this month.