There's something kind of baffling and magical about it. So I'm okay to suffer for the space limitations because it produces that effect.
—Andrew Milne, photographer
It all started when photographer Andrew Milne decided to build a huge wooden camera. Then he needed a truck to transport it. Then he thought the truck could also work as a darkroom and studio. Then he thought it could double as a gallery space.
And the Museum of New Ideas was born. Milne opens the truck doors to the public for the first time on June 28 at 6:30 in the parking lot at Old Market Square.
The vehicle is an old 1979 delivery
truck that runs on propane. Its inside dimensions are five feet by five
feet and is only six feet high. It can reasonably hold two to three
people if they're not too tall.
It stays open for just one evening before Milne plans to drive it to Saskatoon for a week where its dual functions as exhibition space and photographic studio will be put to use.
Milne says the name for the project just came to him one day. "I realized the name is an incredible metaphor for photography in the sense that a camera captures new things and makes them old," he says.
"Because whenever you look at a photograph you're always looking backward in time--it's always the past, it's something that's happened already."
Milne says running a museum out of such a small space actually creates a certain amount of focus.
The museum can hold only two or three people at a time, with the tall ones crouching down. (Andrew Milne)
"What I like is it seems like this impossible place. There's something kind of baffling and magical about it. So I'm okay to suffer for the space limitations because it produces that effect."
And having a mobile museum offers some amazing opportunities. "It gives me the chance to tour a show almost effortlessly," he says. "It allows me to be spontaneous with expositions in the sense that I will be able to just pull up in a parking lot, unfold the staircase, open the door and then there's a museum in the parking lot for, say, 20 minutes, and then I can move on and create these sort of random and interesting experiences."
The inaugural exhibit, Fashioning Machine, curated by Dalnavert Museum's Jennifer Bisch is an appropriate choice because it explores Milne's interest in the intersection of technology and art.
It features a Jacquard shawl, made on a mechanical loom from the turn of the 19th century, a punch card from an old railway (the beginning of computing) and an original textile created by local artist Melanie Wesley that has parts of machines sewn on the outside of the garment.
The Museum of New Ideas opens its doors June 28 at 6:30 in the parking lot at Old Market Square.