“They made a day be a day here. They made a day be a day here. They made a day be a day here by a year by a year yearly they made a day be a day here by the year.”
– Gertrude Stein, How to Write, 1931
Between 2007 and 2011, I travelled across the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba searching for and writing about contemporary art. My travels were not linear, as if drawing a line from left to right or right to left across the middle of Canada. If my travels were to be traced, they would be lines jutting and dotting from one direction to another, looping and curling with no apparent logic. This is how I wandered, with no apparent logic, as a density of this kind holds no logic. I wandered across the flatness until—to my astonishment—the flatness only got flatter.
They say writing must begin somewhere, but I did not know where. Looking for the here here was the real focus of the project. I began writing long before my travelling started, but together they formed a sense of identity from this place. We were brought together by here. A map routed by circumstance and connections. In the beginning, we didn’t know each other, but here we are.
I have always held a firm belief that you can never truly know a place until you walk it. Each step taken is an interaction between a place and one’s senses, but this is still only half the story. Between 2007 and 2011, my looping jutting travelling brought me into hundreds of homes, studios, and exhibition spaces. I have had the pleasure of countless assorted conversations, with coffees and teas, and crackers with cubed cheeses. Some of these encounters stayed with me. Conversations can reverberate as echoes of a specific time and place, conjuring a shade of purpose and identity. We were all isolated geographically and perhaps politically, but we each held a space, and together we made a place.
The place was here, not there, and I was finally starting to understand how they made a day be a day here…
– Amy Fung
Amy Fung is a roaming cultural commentator, arts writer, and events/exhibition organizer. Her research interests usually involve ongoing considerations of identity politics, social engagement, and a sense of place. Her commissioned writings for monographs approach arts writing as a creative and critical platform. Her published writings appear throughout North America, UK, and Europe and she is a contributing editor for FUSE Magazine and the Vancouver correspondent for Akimblog. For more information, visit AmyFung.ca