Kevin Cyr, a Brooklyn-based designer and artist, opened his new mobility and shelter-themed exhibition, 'Home In The Weeds', this last month at 941 Geary in San Francisco. Cyr is the artist who designed and built the fantastic human-powered campers, Camper Kart and Camper Bike, as a way to explore human powered movement and shelter with a vintage aesthetic. His new project is a collection of shelters for a future worst-case scenario and includes a bike-pulled trailer, a tent with wainscoting, a shelter from discarded materials and a fallout foxhole shelter built into the ground.
Home in the Weeds is Cyr’s personal reaction to the fragility of our current society and the feeling of imminent doom. Natural disasters, job loss, injury and other misfortunes have the potential to drastically transform our lives, so Cyr wanted to explore how shelter can provide a peace of mind in these turbulent times. In this solo exhibition, Cyr built or transformed recycled, reclaimed and vintage materials into safe havens for future worst-case scenarios and explores optimistic notions of home, self-preservation, mobility, concealment and protectionism.
The first shelter is a tag-along camper towed by an old Raleigh 3-speed bike, reminiscent of his earlier camper/bike projects. Inside, the camper is stocked with vintage items reminiscent of childhood camping trips. Next is a transportable, yet immobile canvas tent that conceals a built-out room with wood flooring, wainscoting and a wood burning stove. Third is a rustic shack built from found materials, conceived as an urban fort and equipped with a CB radio for communication with allies, peep holes for scanning the surroundings and weapons as a last resort. Finally, Foxhole, an underground shelter stocked with survival necessities, is a site-specific installation that Cyr built into an oil pit used by the former smog shop occupant.
Cyr also created a series of drawings, paintings, silkscreen editions and photographs of the shelters, people who might inhabit them and objects that are included in the installation. The supporting material fills in the details of the story behind the shelter and the characters who would live there. The drawings of the shelters emphasize the design of each piece, while paintings of the objects speak to the vintage aesthetic. ‘Home in the Weeds’ opened on April 30th and is on display in the San Francisco gallery until June 4th, 2011, so this is your last week to check it out.