thisisnotasafespace was an experimental performance series created and curated by Laura Bardsley and Andrew Jamieson in Montreal, Quebec. The pop-up variety shows took place in public locations such a park on the side of Mont Royal, an abandoned warehouse, the parking lot of the SPVM. Andrew and Laura established the single mandate that the events were never to happen in a living space, or anything that qualifies as a traditional venue, DIY or legal. On the day of the show, a Google Map image marked with an “X” would be sent to everyone who had “the number”. All advertising, as well as the sharing of the phone number, was done through word of mouth only. thisisnotasafespace did not have a social media presence. Andrew and Laura chose the name as a charmingly antagonistic way to convey to both performers and potential audience that, as organisers, they could not guarantee a “safe space”, as the shows took place in public settings, with no barriers or boundaries like walls and doors. Laura and Andrew were pleased to discover that through this experimental structure, in the face of a lack of security the audience would inevitably form a “safer space” for themselves and the performers with little to no verbal communication. This was done in vastly different environments each and every event.
Following each event, Laura and Andrew would rendezvous with the performers and engage them in a discussion on a specific topic. These conversations were compiled into two zines (unfortunately the third edition, Oh, Fuck was lost to time. The first was titled WUSS, and focused on Bret Easton Ellis’ accusation of millenials being, as he phrased it, “Generation Wuss”. The second zine, named HAQ contained conversations discussing “the fine line between artistic appropriation and influence”.
zines & media
thisisnotasafespace III ::: SPVM Headquarters Parking Lot
thisisnotasafespace IV ::: Downtown Montreal (Numerous Locations)