Andreas Buchwaldt & Joshua Vettivelu
Cloud Painter

Jayne Wilkinson
Trinity Square Video, Toronto
January 13—February 18, 2023
Andreas Buchwaldt & Joshua VettiveluCloud Painter, exhibition views,
Trinity Square Video, Toronto, 2023.
Photo: Darren Rigo, courtesy of the artists
Trinity Square Video, Toronto
January 13—February 18, 2023
For this speculative exhibition, Andreas Buchwaldt and Joshua Vettivelu imagined a near-future world in which the texture of reality is plausibly administrative rather than technologically wondrous. Neither dystopian nor utopian, their fictional future is a world almost too much like our own, complete with an incredible wealth of details that narrate logical extensions of present-day environmental, social, labour, and economic issues.

The titular cloud painters are a class of workers—artists—in a society that has resorted to living under a dome to protect themselves from the Earth’s unliveable atmosphere. Visitors to the gallery enter the cloud painters’ world through a custom-designed cube whose interior is set up exactly like an office cubicle, with a rear-projected looping image of a cityscape, similar to Toronto’s, filling the (fake) windows. The cramped space will feel familiar to the arts administrators who staff artist-run centres and are accustomed to second-hand office supplies—the cheap desk, uncomfortable furniture, file folders, corkboard, and out-of-date telephone produce a true arts-office simulacrum, as many of the exhibition pieces have been either sourced from the Artist Material Fund (an organization that recycles exhibition and office materials from galleries and museums) or were found or recycled.

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This article also appears in the issue 108 - Resilience

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