by Grady Mitchell | A new show/event/game called Portraits of Brief Encounters takes place tonight (November 12) at thisopenspace in Chinatown (434 Columbia St.). It will ask viewers to do more than just look at art. Each piece in the show corresponds to a short story in an accompanying booklet, and viewers will be asked to match as many stories and images as they can. Team-ups, deception and conniving are not only condoned, they’re encouraged.
There’s more at stake than bragging rights. Five dollars will get you a copy of the stories and a raffle for the grand prize, a limited edition book compiling prints of the images and stories. For every correct pairing you’ll knock $5 off one of the original pieces in the show, all starting at $250 with the proceeds going to the artists. For those who struggle with basic math (like myself), that could mean a total of $75 off. What’s more, every five correct answers nabs you another raffle towards the grand prize book.
The stories – all of which are true – are an expansion of a regular column of the same name that Cole Nowicki writes for Vancouver’s Sad Mag. The show features 15 new stories, interpreted by a roster of artists recruited by curator Elliat Albrecht. She chose a diverse crew of emerging and established artists, meaning that while some portraits are pretty straightforward, others take a looser approach, making the viewer’s assignment a little tougher. “Some of them will be easier to get than others. It should be interesting,” says Cole.
One of the toughest parts to work out, according to Yashar Nijati, the mastermind behind the game, was figuring out how to get around the dubious human tendency for petty cheating. While you’ll be told how many answers you scored correctly, you won’t know which ones, keeping people honest.
The game starts at 6pm and the answers will be revealed at 10pm. Copies of the book will be on sale at the show and online.