Six-channel sound installation, false basement apartment
In October 2021, a tweet by realtor Desmond Brown documented a group of teens caught squatting in a vacant house for sale in Toronto. Walking in one early Saturday morning, Brown was surprised to discover that a group of friends had taken advantage of the empty space and made themselves at home the night before. The video shows the teens frantically streaming out of the house, and was picked up by local media where it was argued that these trespassers might damage the staging furniture, or otherwise hurt the resale value of the house.
Greenlight: Carlaw imagines the night that these teenagers had, and restages it from the speculative point of view of a basement tenant beneath them. What if, that whole time, there was a renter in a unit below that the teenagers didn't know about? And, what if, knowing that they would soon be reno-victed anyways, the basement tenant decided not to call the cops on the partying teens above them? Here, the ceiling becomes a voyeuristic sound theatre, where a night of coming-of-age teen vagrancy alludes to a shared precarity in Toronto's overheated housing market.
Greenlight: Carlaw was written & directed by Simon Fuh, and performed by Max Ackerman, Jonathon Bent-Ford, Kendra Cordick, Aidan Gouveia, Maddy Hodges, and Bri Wright, with sound recording by Amanda Ann-Min Wong and assistance from Chris Mendoza and Matt Nish-Lapidus. Installation of this work was exhibited in Collision Gallery, Toronto, Canada. Exhibition essay by Letticia Cosbert Miller.
Listen (headphones recommended):