You heard us right. Sarah Keenlyside and her collaborator Joseph Clement are doing a complete recreation of Ferris Bueller’s bedroom for Come Up To My Room 2016. From Jan 21-24, we invite you to take the day off and check out Bueller’s room alongside over 25 site-specific art and design installations!
[Video by Sarah Cornthwaite]
You’ve been on a massive scavenger hunt to source items for Bueller’s room. What has the process been like?
What people might not realize about Ferris Bueller is that he was maybe one of the most spoiled teenagers of all time. I bet if you did a count of his audio gear alone, it would be worth tens of thousands of dollars. In the vintage market, this stuff is still expensive today so a lot of my budget has gone towards his electronics. When the room is done, I plan to sell it all off and donate the money. In this day and age, you feel a bit frivolous doing something like this, so it’s a good way to turn it around and give back. Ferris has a Red Cross poster in his room and we’ve got a refugee crisis in the world, so I thought it was really appropriate place to donate.
Are there any items you just can’t find?
I can’t find his CD player anywhere! I’m trying to be as exact as possible. If there is a series 1 and series 2 of a gadget, I want the correct one. I want people to walk into the room and instantly know where they are.
That said, I’ve had a lot of luck sourcing items. We found his TV at a thrift store and it works perfectly! I also really wanted to find Ferris’ computer and I was lucky to meet Syd Bolton of Brantford’s Personal Computer Museum. He’s a huge Ferris fan and will be programming Ferris’s PC for the exhibition.
[Syd Bolton of Brantford’s Personal Computer Museum, programming Ferris’s PC! Check out the museum at www.pcmuseum.ca.]
[Douglas Coupland’s slogans for the 21st Century]
Are you a John Hughes fan?
I am the biggest John Hughes fan! His films were formative for me growing up and there’s something so comforting about watching them now. They make me long for that time – it was the beginning of computers and we were still so naïve about them. Douglas Coupland did a piece with slogans for the 21st century and one of them was “I Miss My Pre-Internet Brain”. It’s true. I find myself wanting to watch retro TV shows and movies to get back to that time.
Why did you decide to recreate this iconic bedroom and what does Ferris’ room represent?
I wanted to make a bedroom, first and foremost. Then we’re playing with the concept of recreation and whether that’s even possible. Can you bring the past into the present? The room represents a turning point where we were still very naïve about technology and what was about to come. Ferris has a cell phone, he has a computer with a form of the Internet because he’s able to change his grades – but the tides haven’t quite turned yet. That’s why this room is so important to me. It’s not just a spoiled teens bedroom. He had all the latest and greatest but it was still on the cusp of our digital revolution.
Do you think Bueller’s room will change within the context of the Gladstone Hotel and what does Come Up To My Room lend to this project?
I love this hotel and I really get the spirit of the Gladstone. I probably wouldn’t propose this project for anywhere else, so in a way they’re intrinsic. I just don’t think it would work in a sterile space like a showroom. There’s history at the Gladstone and it saturates throughout.
I love events like Nuit Blanche and Come Up To My Room because they’re open to everyone. I love when art isn’t just confined to high society art people. Ferris is such a cultural icon but there is real artistry that goes into the recreation and a lot of thought that played into why I wanted to do it. To me, it’s still serious art in a way but it’s all really fun and people can engage with it at whatever level they want to. The artists I love tend to be read on many different levels.
So take the Day Off, grab the Sloan’s and Cameron’s in your life, and check out the teenage bedroom you know and love! Get your tickets in advance on Eventbrite.
Follow the making of Bueller’s room online!