Emergency Situation consists of hundreds of hand-made fabric sculptures that resemble airplane oxygen masks. The masks are a means to evoke the ominousness, urgency and panic of the contemporary political climate, addressing our understanding of what constitutes an emergency situation or a state of emergency.
An oxygen mask represents the preservation of life in dire situations. Although contextually limited to air travel, the sense of anxiety and impending doom this object carries can also be related to contemporary political and social tensions, such as environmental concerns, rising nationalism, and forced migration.
Through its use of textile as its primary medium, Emergency Situation also addresses issues pertaining to labour and globalization. Located at the intersection of labour networks, consumerist desires, and aesthetic values, textiles’ humble, mobile materiality enables them to circulate across continents and within global economic systems.
‘Emergency Situation’ explores Okada’s research interest in the current state of democracy and our lack of trust in government institutions and officials. From environmental destruction, nuclear proliferation, mass migration and global economic crisis, governments have been unable to gain the population’s confidence that they will work against the problems that have come to dominate the 21st century.
Ultimately, this installation works to translate feelings around sociopolitical uncertainty into an artistic object. ‘Emergency Situation’ exists to acknowledge and address the tension between the worlds of contemporary arts and politics.
About Candice Okada
Candice Okada is a Vancouver-based artist working primarily in photography, textile, needlework and installation.
She holds an MFA in Visual Art from UBC, a BFA from the University of the Fraser Valley, focusing on both art history and contemporary artistic practices, anda BA in Sociology from the University of British Columbia, and.
Her work has been exhibited in Canada and the US and she has participated in artist residencies at Aktuelle Architektur der Kultur in Centro Negra Spain, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Toronto’s Artscape Gibraltar Point. She was the recipient of the Roloff Beny Scholarship for Photography, a BC Arts Council Scholarship and a Canada Graduate Scholarship.