Long before the earthquakes, Christchurch’s central city was struggling because of all the massive – and incredibly convenient – suburban shopping malls. Gap Filler felt that the central city needed a point of difference. Convenience breeds regularity and conformity but the Inconvenience Store fulfilled a genuine central city need; raised a critical voice; was funny, silly, enjoyable; and led to new ideas for the central city. It was a ‘real’ store, and an art project and performance piece.
Gap Filler called for proposals to take over the space for a rolling week-long residency. The theme was open to interpretation, but the main question was whether inconvenience could become an asset and point of attraction for the central city, or even articulate an alternative ‘vision’ to a society developed around the notion of convenience. The opening week was Masha's Impossible Products. Masha invited the public to come in and create their own impossible yet very useful items, which would make their lives much easier. Items up for sale included sweet dreams, a 30 hour day, and eyes for the back of your head.
Gap Filler’s own take on the theme explored the provenance of things, offering people products in various stages of convenience. You could buy sunscreen; or a pack of coconut oil, beeswax and zinc oxide to mix your own sunscreen; or a coconut (to refine into oil) and some raw zinc slag and a blowtorch to oxidize the zinc. Some of the information on hand (about carcinogenic nanoparticles and suchlike) was a bit inconvenient, and those making purchases might have even been asked a few questions about their own provenance.
Rosalee's Contrary Cornucopia offered produce that had different designated wait times corresponding to the distance the food had travelled. The customer was required to wait for the set amount of time before receiving their groceries, thereby paying with their time. Rosalee wanted to get people thinking about the consequences of globalisation while also encouraging patience and contemplation in a fast-paced world.
Sign Displays, McCarthy, Peek Exhibition