bean race (2013)
Bean Race 2013 : a slow race to new heights
League is a community-based art project launched by artist Germaine Koh and based in the Elm Park field house in Kerrisdale, in the summer of 2013 as part of the Vancouver Park Board Field House Residency Program. League is an open gathering space for the purpose of playing sports and games invented by participants. Each game, its field, and its strategies, all evolve through trial and improvisation, and new and unusual equipment may be invented. League participants tweak established structures and rules, bring into play unexpected objects, think widely about possible spaces for play, pursue unconventional approaches to procedures, and tackle situations with both mind and body.
One of these perhaps-unconventional approaches is to think about slowness and patience, and about cultivation as a strategy. We therefore propose a meandering, but dramatic, race to the new heights, pitting patience and care against the vagaries of the environment: the League Bean Race 2013.
The project is inspired by the Bean Tower built by artists Verena Kaminiarz and Cedric Bomford in the Skulpturenpark Berliner Mauer (Berlin Sculpture Park), which re-imagined Vladimir Tatlin’s industrial “Monument to the Third International” tower as impressively organic. Kaminiarz and Bomford will be one team participating in the 2013 Bean Race.”
–Germaine Koh, 2013
During the Spring/Summer of 2013, I participated in the Bean Race as a member from team Gropp’s, sharing my great love for Gardening, especially legumes of the long-climbing variety. I was a little skeptical of the shady spot in Kerrisdale Park, but our rich compost-mix and the sweltering summer heat ended up being perfect conditions for our Scarlett Runner and Purple Pole Beans to thrive. The inspiration flowed throughout my art practice during the summer and resulted in a few pieces relating back to the abundant bean-theme (see the images above- Bean Race Poster, Germinate I & II, Seed Nest).
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