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Preview: Ghost Hole

Saturday 27 October 2012

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It’s that time of year again, folks. And like the plot of some scary movie, a bunch of beautiful young people are about to make a dubious decision about where to celebrate Halloween – I mean, really: let’s all jump on a Ghost Ship and sail across to Toronto Island, where we’ll hole up in an abandoned, haunted, school in the middle of nowhere and hope nothing bad happens.

But that’s exactly what’s going down at Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island this evening, except instead of pretty young things being hacked to death, they’re hoping to see some great art, hear some brilliant live music and maybe get slightly spooked at the Ghost Hole IV event. I spoke to curator Vanessa Rieger about what this spooky event entails:

For our unacquainted readers, what is Ghost Hole?

Ghost Holes are an unexplained phenomena that occur in areas of high paranormal activity. They can be found in attics, alleyways, under bridges or under beds. When the veil between worlds is thinnest, these otherwise dark and lonely places become activated and transformed. Mysterious ghosts and supernatural entities have been recorded opening doorways that can lead into other worlds, other times and other dimensions.

How did you come up with the idea of Ghost Hole?

It all started 5 years ago, when a friend of mine moved into a new apartment and discovered a boarded up room in his attic.  He broke a hole through his ceiling and brought his friends up into the space.  It was as if someone had boarded up the room 50 years ago and tried to hide the fact it ever existed.  The room definitely had been boarded up for 40-50 years, the wallpaper was old and all the outlets and light switches were old and out of date.  It was the strangest place.  We then dubbed it the “ghost hole”.  I proposed to my friend that I wanted to have an artshow up in that space, because I thought it would be an amazing experience for people to crawl through a hole with a flash work and look at artwork on the walls.  But he ended up declining… and I was just left with the idea.  When I joined the White House Studio Project, then located on Lansdowne avenue near College, I proposed the show to everyone there and they were excited.  That was the birth of the first Ghost Hole.

Can you tell us a bit about previous Ghost Holes?

The first one was located at The White House Studio project at college and Lansdowne.  The Second at the new White House location in Kensington market and also in part with Double Double land down the street.  Last year’s ghost hole was at El Gordo’s Backyard, also in the market.

How did you end up with this year’s venue?

I knew that I wanted to go bigger and better this year.  I knew if I couldn’t, I wouldn’t want to do it.  When I participated with New Traditions and Allcaps on the island this last summer, I knew this was the place.  I talked to Lisa Cristinzo at Artscape about it and she agreed to it.

There are artists currently in residence at the arts centre – how are they getting on with each other and their work?

Really great!  I’ve conducted interviews with them you can find on the Ghost Hole IV website http://ghosthole4.wordpress.com

What do you hope to achieve with this year’s Ghost Hole?

The major goal for this year’s event was to really activate the building.  Most events and concerts that happen at Gibraltar point are outside, and don’t really utilize the building interior.  With Ghost Hole I really wanted to highlight the building, focus on it’s history, get participating artists to really consider the space and get to know it intimately.

What are your plans for future Ghost Holes?

Ghost Hole 5?  I dunno.  Like I said before, if it’s not bigger and better than this year’s, then I might just have to put it to rest.  But I think that next time I’d like to apply for a grant and hopefully get some financial support so I can give artists budgets.  Right now Ghost Hole is a labour of love and everyone is working on spec and relly just for the fun of it.  If i could pay every artist that participates in Ghost Hole an artist fee for their time and effort.. well, that would be my Halloween dream come true.

So, join us on the island tonight…if you dare! Our good friends Barbara are playing at 10pm – check out our interview with them.

You can find more info on Ghost Hole IV here