Presentation House Gallery
The Polygon Gallery
333 Chesterfield Avenue
North Vancouver, BC V7M 3G9

Slavs and Tatars, “Reverse Joy” launch @ fountain in the Wall Center Plaza, Vancouver


Reverse Joy (fountain) investigates the possibility of joy through mourning via a simple color. A kind of metaphysical acrobatics or splits, the fountain brings together the incommensurate via the naïve, playful festive use of red on one hand with the symbol of blood, commemorating martyrs, and its cynical political manipulation on the other.

An early installment in Slavs and Tatars’s new cycle of work The Faculty of Substitution, replacing one thing for another, telling one tale through another, a look at substitution in the widest sense, from al-badaliya to mystical substitution to the antimodern, the Reverse Joy fountain and presentation ask what it means to adopt the inner-most thoughts, experiences, beliefs, and sensations of others as one’s own in a search for self-discovery?

How does this circumlocution–looking at a something else as a prism on the chosen subject of study, going somewhere else which initially might not seem relevant instead of directly heading towards one’s destination–challenge the very notion of distance, as the shortest length between two points? An investigation of the role of mysticism as an agent for change in the material world, in Vancouver, Reverse Joy explores the revolutionary and critical role of the sacred shared amongst all three Abrahamic faiths: the call ‘for one world or none’.