When independent curator Patrik Andersson invited T&T to create a sustainability-themed exhibition for the Pendulum Gallery during the Winter Olympics, he made this request: “Think about what happens when the Olympic countdown clock goes below zero.” Tony Romano of Toronto and Tyler Brett of Bruno, Saskatchewan—who often make art together under the sobriquet T&T—responded with a cheery, postapocalyptic vision of Vancouver called False Creek. Specifically, their installation is a kind of after-the-gold-rush imagining of the area.
In summer of 2007 a banner was proudly unfurled from one of the upper stories of a newly erected condominium tower on the north footing of Vancouver’s Cambie Street Bridge. Printed on it was a picturesque image of False Creek complete with knock-off geodesic dome and striated, pinky-orange sky. The vista approximated the view from the apartments on the opposite side of the building; as the building itself prevented the viewers of the ad, mainly commuters driving, biking or walking southward on the bridge, from seeing the actual vista, the image, in effect, stood in for the view. Below the picture was the phrase, “Who needs art?”
The work of T&T (Tony Romano and Tyler Brett) reflects on ideas of sustainability, green architecture and technological progress. Their artworks frequently include elements of natural systems such as solar power and organic filters in conjunction with recycled and reconfigured technology. Over the course of their diverse artistic practice, they have developed a survivalist-informed aesthetic, creating whimsical, yet critically considered artworks that provide astute commentary on our historical moment.
False Creek was commissioned by the Pendulum Gallery to coincide with the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and is a participating exhibition in Other Sight’s three part series When the Hosts Come Home. Installed in HSBC’s main office building in downtown Vancouver, False Creek comprises three sculptural assemblages, a panoramic print and a children’s colouring centre. Designed by Canadian artists T&T (Tyler Brett and Tony Romano), the exhibition temporarily transforms the corporate environment of a bank and public atrium into an optimistic post-apocalyptic environment.