Libby Leshgold Gallery

The Libby Leshgold Gallery is pleased to announce the launch of Laiwan’s new video work PANDEMIA: The Movie, as part of the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program for Emily Carr University ‘s Urban Screen. The screening will commence on August 30, 2021.


PANDEMIA — The Movie (2021) is a sequel to Barnacle City — The Movie (2016), continuing Laiwan’s explorations into mock sci-fi “tiny action” movies. It is a speculative fiction, imagining a world of interbeings, when what we consider “alien” return home to a place of their belonging.


Stretching imaginative possibilities of a future city or a city that once had been, that is of a dream, a poem, as in Barnacle City, wondering in this speculative non-spectacle about what could be more alien than what we already have here. Of surrealisms found in abundant ecosystems, toward a renewal for biodiversity along the False Creek Flats, encouraging a return of native fauna and flora, local micro-creatures and Indigenous stewardship. This imagining may indeed be “alien” for current systems of gentrification and urban development.


PANDEMIA also plays with Hollywood constructs of space and science fiction alienness. While Barnacle City referenced a scene from the movie Dune (1984), PANDEMIA dances with quick scenes from The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and The Black Hole (1979). What results is a quirky, intriguing proposition imagined during challenging times of Covid and global climate crises.


With starship appearances by: SS Rosehip (Rosa rugosa), SS Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), SS Misty Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro), SS Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), SS Clam (representing Saxidomus gigantea), and others, including special guests Kamaya Leo & Lily Wyss, with gratitude to Cease and Senaqwila Wyss.


pan·de·mi·a, noun = affecting a large population
from Greek pándēmos “common, public” (pan- pan- + dêm(os) “the people” + -os adjective suffix) + ia


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Acknowledgements to Susanna Browne, Cate Rimmer, Libby Leshgold Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art & Design, City of Vancouver Archives, Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, and the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.


The urban screen, located on the north-east wall of the Wilson Arts Plaza, is an initiative of the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program in conjunction with the Libby Leshgold Gallery at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. To date, the program has included the work of Barry Doupé, Dana Claxton, Marina Roy, Cole Pauls, and Diyan Achjadi. The screen operates daily from 8am-9pm.






Canada Council for the Arts


Image: Still from PANDEMIA: The Movie (2021)