As part of my recent Culture of Cities course, we were asked to use our readings and research from the past semester to create a response or a portrait for the city of Regina. Throughout the readings, many of discussions tended to cycled back to a sort of “bitch-fest” about Regina, picking at the negatives of this small city, noting the lack of consistent public transit, support for culture, awareness of its own place in a larger global context, as well as the blind assumption that money = progress and therefore that anything that doesn’t further those goals-like art, community, building a more connected society etc. are worthless. Although I’m sure all of those thoughts are not entirely true (all the time at least), it certainly felt that way after a long hard winter and through the constant comparisons of Regina to “better” cities.
In an attempt to change my perspective into something more positive (although it’s likely still pretty catty), I imagined a “better” Regina, filled with artwork and engaged citizens that want excitement in their lives. I took a series of photos (some of them very kindly contributed by Vincent Sorenson of http://www.reginascenes.com/ – website currently down), and manipulated them with Photoshop. Curating a mini-exhibition in a variety of spaces throughout the city, I imagined artworks that would suit the spaces and some of the overarching thematic issues I see in Regina, and materialized them in the photos. With a range of works that includes a diversity of voices, mediums, approaches and levels of experience, I imagined a city where anything was possible. The style and concept of the book is based on a local publication called Regina’s Secret Spaces.
Here is the product of that exercise: