Mar 4 – Apr 20, 2014: The Inconvenience Store, Shop 4, Cathedral Junction.
The Inconvenience Store was a conceptual store/art space which sought to examine the notion of convenience in consumption.
The store was located at 113 Worcester St. It was open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30am – 5:30pm and closed Mondays.
Gap Filler created a hybrid between a store and art residency to explore the theme of (in)convenience as it relates to our city.
Thanks to Life in Vacant Spaces (LIVS), we were temporarily occupying a vacant retail space in the central city: in Cathedral Junction that runs between Gloucester & Worcester in the block behind the cathedral. Here we opened up The Inconvenience Store.
Our main question was whether we could turn inconvenience into an asset and point of attraction for the central city, or even articulate an alternative ‘vision’ to a society developed around the notion of convenience.
The Inconvenience Store was a rolling week-long residency: each week someone new totally transformed and ran the store according to their interpretation of the name.
Long before the earthquakes, Christchurch’s central city was struggling because of all the massive – and incredibly convenient – suburban shopping malls. Some people want to push the inner city down that path towards more convenience, emulating the suburban mall culture. We feel that the central city needs a point of difference, that we should embrace ‘inconvenience’ and turn it into an asset and point of attraction for the city.
And we’re sure we’re not the only ones: the slow food movement, the resurgence of crafting, the prevalence of home brewing, etc, all indicate a fairly widespread sense that ‘inconvenience’ is becoming more and more appealing in our fast-paced consumer society.
Convenience breeds regularity and conformity, a proliferation of the same with no diversity. In a sense, CERA’s Recovery Plan for the central city is modelled on convenience, with the creation of physically discrete precincts of monocultures (the performing arts precinct, the innovation precinct), in place of an integrated variety of activities everywhere.
So the Inconvenience Store might fulfil a genuine central city need; raise a critical voice; be absurd, silly, enjoyable; lead to new ideas for the central city; be a ‘real’ store, or an art project, or a performance piece, or pretty much anything that responds to this terrain. The ‘inconvenience’ might have been in the physical layout of the store; in the products it carried; in the mode of payment; in the checkout procedures or interactions with the customers; or anything else.
Week One (4-9 March): Masha’s Impossible Products (Read more here)
Week Two (11-16 March): Bridget’s Two-Hour Shop (Read more here)
Week Three (18-23 March): Anita’s Fine Fare (Read more here)
Week Four (25-30 March): Gap Filler’s Inconvenience Store (Read more here)
Week Five (1-6 April): Rosalee’s Contrary Cornucopia (Read more here)
Week Six (8-14 April): Julia & Andrew’s Present Tense (Read more here)
Week Seven (15-21 April): Tiina’s Temporary Space
Read Gap Filler’s project report here
Thank you to Cathedral Junction for the temporary use of this vacant space through site-broker, Life in Vacant Spaces.
SPONSORS / THANKS:
Big thanks to Dick and Diane at Sign Displays – regular Gap Filler supporters – for the shopfront vinyl (in a hurry)!
We’re very grateful to McCarthy (as always) for the Inconvenience Store logo and shopfront design!
Thanks also to Peek for discounted panel hire to help with the shop fit out.
And the project wouldn’t be possible at all without Life in Vacant Spaces brokering access to the vacant shop & handling the license agreements, insurance, etc.