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STUFF :  The  Culture  of  Obsolescence       Samuel  J.  Zacks  Gallery     APRIL  7-­‐18,  2014   Stong  College,  York  University   Toronto,  Ontario  M3J 1P3  

The culture  of  obsolescence  embeds  us  in  a  field  of  expiring  objects.  Things  that  we  take  as  direct  markers  of   identity   will   eventually   break,   become   passé,   or   have   to   be   upgraded   and   we,   immersed   in   the   staccato   of   our   material  culture,  have  somehow  come  to  accept  a  fragmented  sense  of  self.       This   exhibit,   through   the   work   of   14   artists,   explores   ways   in   which   we   assimilate   the   culture   of   obsolescence.   Selected  entries  are  grouped  to  represent  the  negotiations  and  contradictions  we  process  subconsciously  in  an   age  driven  by  choice,  innovation,  lifestyle  and  progress.    

      Clockwise  From  The  Intro  Panel     Expiry  &  Reinvention     Monika   Bodirsky’s   work   is   created   from   objects   found   in   flea   markets.  She  learns  the  history  of  each  item  before  setting  it   within  a  diorama  of  other  orphaned  objects.   Vanessa  Arnold’s  series  of  shivs  is  a  dark  reinterpretation  of  an   everyday  object  that  has  lived  past  its  intended  use.     Desire  &  Demise     Tara   Dorey’s   painting   of   a   kitschy   television   set   crosses  the   imagery  of  the  sacred  with  advertising.     Lucas   Johnson’s   series   documents   the   recent   closure   of   the   Sears   store   at   the   Eaton   Centre.   The   store’s   contents   are   rendered   useless   against   the   backdrop   of   the   glamorous   images  that  once  drove  customers  to  shop  there.     Waste  &  Progression     Holly  McClellan’s  Garbage  Dress  is  a  site-­‐specific  project  that   critiques   “fast   fashion”.   Members   of   the   community   at   each   location   donated   used   clothing,   from   which   she   has   constructed  each  of  her  unique  dresses.   Lauren   Mulhorney’s   Ethylene   series   touches   on   how   abundance   translates   to   desensitization.   As   we   view   a   petrified  specimen  on  a  pedestal,  she  forces  us  to  confront  our   own  unease  about  the  plastic  bags  that  clutter  our  drawers.       Luxury  &  Necessity     Robin   Tieu’s   “Good   Intentions”  illustrates   our   failed   attempts   to  fix  problems,  which  usually  make  the  problems  worse.   Ken   Vickerson’s   essay   contemplates   what   makes   an   object   worthy   of   repair,   particularly   perceptions   in   North   America   versus  developing  nations    

Death &  Resurrection     Andrew   Owen’s   modern   solargram   is   a   revival   of   the   long-­‐ forgotten   cyanotype   photographic   process.   Anna   Atkins   developed   it   in   1842;   her   work   was   largely   ignored   and   has   recently  become  a  highly  prized  art  commodity.   Jorge   Ayala   points   to   the   incompatibility   between   current   and   outdated  interfaces,  and  the  inevitability  of  decay  in  the  act  of   preservation.     Elimination  &  Minimalism     J.P.   King   provides   an   antidote   to   our   material   addiction   through  his  book  Materialists  Anonymous,  in  which  he  adapts   affirmations   from   AA,   replacing   the   word  alcohol  with  possessions.   The   flowchart   gives   step-­‐by-­‐ step   instructions   for   anyone   looking   to   de-­‐clutter   systematically.     Development  &  Loss   Georgina   Walker   explores   the   materiality   of   architecture   and   industry.   She   calls   attention   to   the   byproducts   of   construction   and  disrupted  spaces  within  the  city.   Patrick  Cummins  has  been  photographing  gradual  changes  in   the   urban   fabric   of   Toronto   since   1978.   The   series   shows   100   Adelaide  St  E  and  580-­‐586  Richmond  St  W,  giving  us  a  glimpse   of  obsolescence  in  the  built  environment.  

Obsolescence &  Mortality   Jenifer  Sutherland’s  twitter  essay  relays,  in  66  tweets,  the   anxiety  created  by  obsolescence.  The  essay  explores  the   anxious  transference  of  our  mortality  onto  objects.  

Vanessa Arnold  is  a  feminist  artist  and  educator,  born  in  Ottawa,   ON,   currently   living   and   working   in   Vancouver,   BC.  Her   art   practice   is   based   in   mixed   media,   spanning   from   miniature   to   gargantuan,   and   engaging   with  shop   technologies,   the   arcane,   the   everyday,   sculpture,  drawing,  photography,  public  art,  and  social  media.     Jorge   Ayala   is   a   Toronto-­‐based   new   media   artist   whose   practice   focuses   on   temporality,   ephemerality   and   immersive   experience.   His   research   in   light   and   optics,   and   sound   and   acoustics,   support   his   creation   of   installations   that   explore   how   sound   can   produce   images   in   people’s   minds.   Ayala   completed   his   undergraduate   degree   in   New   Media   at   the   School   of   Image   Arts   at   Ryerson   University   and   has   participated   in   workshops   at   IRCAM   in   Paris.   He   currently   works   as   a   freelance   software   developer   and   as   a   technical  assistant  at  the  Ryerson  Image  Centre.     Monika   Bodirsky   holds   a   Bachelor   of   Design   degree   from   OCAD   University.  She  is  currently  an  exhibiting  designer  who  has  worked   as   a   sessional   instructor   at   both   Sheridan   College   and   within   the   Faculty   of   Design   at   OCAD   By   drawing   parallels   between   work   fashioned   from   discarded   goods,   and,   individual   identities,   Bodirsky  questions  the  implications  of  contemporary  global  trends   towards  obsolescence  and  lost  narratives.     Patrick   Cummins  was  recently  featured  in  a  documentary  entitled   The   Impermanence   of   the   Ordinary,   an   official   selection   at   the   2013   HotDocs   International   Documentary   Festival   in   Toronto.   He   is   a   graduate   of   the   University   of   Guelph   with   a   M.A.   degree   in   Philosophy.  His  book,  Full  Frontal  T.O.,  in  addition  to  being  short-­‐ listed   for   the   Toronto   Book   Awards,   won   an   award   of   Excellence   from  Heritage  Toronto  in  their  book  category.     Tara   Dorey   work  is  driven  by  a  feigned  seriousness  that  pokes  fun   at   her   desire   for   the   melodramatic.   Works   often   cast   unconventional   characters   in   picturesque   templates   compiled   of   pop-­‐cultural,   art-­‐historical   and   religious   tropes,   which   overlap   to   encourage   ridiculous   associations   that   leave   viewers   with   more   questions   than   answers.   Tara   is   an   educator   at   Arts   for   Children   and   Youth   and   a   facilitator   of   community   mural   projects   at   Mural   Routes.     Lucas   Johnson   is   currently   studying   photography   and   media   studies   at   OCAD   University.   His   photographic   practice   is   one   of   “sensory  consumption”.  It  represents  a  progression  of  experiences   and   ideas,   metaphors,   and   narratives.   He   searches   for   instances   where  the  everyday  is  falling  apart,  exposing  moments  that  speak   to   larger   perceptions   of   society.   He   seeks   to   articulate   his   interpretation   of   the   everyday—its   drudgery,   distractions,   delusions,   and   indifference—encountered   and   depicted   as   a   nuanced  allegory  of  modern  society.     J.P   King   is   an   interdisciplinary   artist,   writer,   researcher   and   publisher,   whose   work   examines   material   culture,   contemporary   mythology,   masculinity   and   speculative   futures.   Currently,   he   is   completing   his   MA   at   OCAD,   operates   the   experimental   publishing   studio   Paper   Pusher,   is   a   designer   and   editor   at   Papirmass:   Art   Subscription,  sits  on  the  Board  of  Directors  at  Art  Metropole,  and   lives  in  Toronto  with  his  wife  and  collaborator,  Kirsten  McCrea.     Prachi   Khandekar   is   a   curator   with   a   keen   interest   in   understanding   how   design   mediates   our   experiences   and   structures   the   cultural   realm.   She   studied   Architecture   at   the   University   of   Toronto   and   went   on   to   do   an   M.A.   in   Design   Criticism  from  the  University  of  the  Arts,  UK.  The  concept  for  this  

exhibit was  developed  after  reflecting  on  our  material  legacy;  much   like   relics   from   ancient   civilizations,   today’s   manufactured   goods   are   a   way   to   understand   our   own   milieu.   Obsolescence,   in   her   opinion,   is   the   silent   pulse   that   keeps   us   tied   to,   and   circulating   through,  the  sheer  abundance  of  stuff  around  us.     Holly  McClellan  is  a  photo-­‐based  artist.    She  completed  her  B.A.  in   Theatre   Studies   at   York   University   and   her   Applied   Photography   Diploma   at   Sheridan   College.   Suburban   living,   consumerism   and   their   connection   to   the   environment   influence   her   work.    She   is   a   member  of  the  Iris  Group  a  collective  of  women  artists  in  Durham   Region.    She   teaches   at   Durham   College   part   time   in   the   digital   photography   and   fine   art   departments.   Currently   she   resides   in   Bethany,  Ontario.     Lauren   Mulroney   is   a   fourth   year   visual   arts   major,   studying   at   York  University.  She  is  passionate  about  projecting  environmental   and   social   issues   to   the   public   and   believes   that   photography   is   a   successful   way   to   visually   inspire   audiences.   She   hopes   to   continue   exploring  the  realm  of  documentary  photography.     Andrew   Owen   A01   is   a   professional   visual   artist   and   public   art   producer   who   recently   re-­‐established   a   studio   in   Toronto   after   operating  in  the  Pacific  Rim  in  Korea,  Japan,  Taiwan  and  Vancouver   for  almost  two  decades.  Wildflowers  Solargram  is  from  a  new  and   ongoing  series  large-­‐scale  photographs  created  with  a  variation  of   the  archaic  cyanotype  photographic  process.     Jenifer   Sutherland   completed   a   Ph.D.   from   the   Centre   for   Medieval  Studies  in  2002  on  anxious  reiterations  and  amplifications   of   the   self   through   cultural   narratives.   In   addition   to   scholarly   papers,  she  has  published  personal  essays,  poetry  and  short  fiction.   She   has   worked   as   a   freelance   broadcaster   for   CBC   Radio   in   the   past  and  is  a  practicing  psychotherapist  in  Toronto.     Robin   Tieu   is   100%   Canadian   but   made   of   foreign   parts.   Robin   started   her   art   education   at   Langara   College   and   graduated   from   NSCAD.   After   graduation,   she   worked   as   an   artist   in   residence   at   the  Harbourfront  Centre’s  Craft  studios.  She  now  works  for  OCAD   U  as  technician  and  sessional  faculty.  She  has  received  grants  and   awards   provincially   and   nationally,   she   was   a   juror   for   Canada   Council  for  the  Arts,  and  she  makes  good  coffee.     Ken   Vickerson   is   an   Associate   Professor   in   the   Faculty   of   Design   and   Chair   of   Material   Arts   and   Design   at   OCAD   University.   He   graduated   from   the   Alberta   College   of   Art   and   Design   in   1982,   and   in  1985  established  a  custom  goldsmithing  practice  in  Toronto.  He   has  exhibited  widely,  including  shows  in  Europe,  Asia,  America  and   Canada.   Vickerson's   work   has   been   featured   on   the   cover   of  Metalsmith  Magazine,   and   his   critical   writing   has   been   published   in   numerous   journals   and   magazines.   Ken   was   elected   to   the   Royal   Canadian  Academy  of  the  Arts  in  2003.     Georgina   Walker   is   a   painter   born   in   Calgary,   Alberta.   Raised   in   both   her   birthplace,   as   well   as   British   Columbia,   her   frequent   resettlement   has   influenced   her   artistic   practice.   She   moved   to   Toronto   in   2009   and   is   now   an   OCADU   alumni.   Having   a   background   that   is   rooted   in   urban   art   culture,   she   has   been   constantly  challenged  to  explore  how  the  spaces  we  occupy  shape   us.   She   has   been   in   group   shows   throughout   Toronto,   and   participated   in   workshops   &   events   for   youth.  

  STUFF  :  A  Culture  of  Obsolescence.    April  7-18, 2014.

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STUFF : The Culture of Obsolescence  

The culture of obsolescence embeds us in a field of expiring objects. Things that we take as direct markers of identity will eventually brea...

STUFF : The Culture of Obsolescence  

The culture of obsolescence embeds us in a field of expiring objects. Things that we take as direct markers of identity will eventually brea...

Profile for xulfus