#6 Installation Art? What is it and how does it come together?

Last week, Camal Pirbhai and I were in Barrie for the grand opening of Houston Avenue Bar & Grill. Camal was commissioned for the opening party to create an art installation with the theme of the restaurant by the Chartreuse marketing company.

Installation art refers to 3D works in interior spaces, which are usually designed for a specific site as the case for Camal. The number of installation art increased largely since postmodernist artists, that influenced the way the audience experience or perceive a particular space. It can be temporary or permanent, as it is assembled in exhibition space such as museums and galleries or public venues. Most of installation art are site-specific, meaning that they are designed to exist solely in the space which they were created.

Houston Avenue in Barrie

It required some preparation before the show day. The idea of the installation was to incorporate the restaurant staff and the food they serve, making the project very individual. Camal wanted to do so by filming the staff eating some kind of food provided by the chefs of Houston. In order to make it more conceptual, he captured close-up of a feature on a face, especially the mouth as one puts food in his/her mouth. As Camal was on short notice, he went up to Barrie just the weekend before the grand opening to film the restaurant crew.

Camal Pirbhai, Houston Project Installation, 2012

After filming short videos, I helped Camal chose top 10 videos to be edited by a production team called OTALKO. While we were waiting for OTALKO to do their magic, we decided to test out the installation. It required some time, as Camal envisioned to suspend 10 televisions. Although Camal had the idea of how it will look like, he did not construct entire installation. It made sense to me since most of the time the installation works are very site-specific.

Camal and Jessica next to the Houston Project

Camal's Houston Project incorporates mixed media installation - 10 televisions, each playing a different short film of the restaurant staff eating food prepared by chef David Chung of Houston, embroidered forks and knifes, and wine glasses to evoke the theme of the restaurant. It sure fit the occasion and it looked great on the red carpet!

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