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Indepth Arts News:

"waste management at the Art Gallery"
1999-04-07 until 1999-07-11
Art Gallery at Ontario
Toronto, ON, CA Canada

LAST WEEKEND Exhibition presents an artistic spin on recycling From April 7 to July 11, 1999 The Art Gallery of Ontario presents the exhibition waste management, a light-hearted exploration of the ways in which an up-and-coming generation of artists approaches disposable aspects of contemporary culture. Works include sculpture, photography, drawing and installations.

waste management takes a humorously provocative look at modern society, at our habits of consumption and the values that accompany them. A sense of mutability and possibility characterizes the work in the show. Implicit in much of it is a critique of consumer culture, and in this vein, a recycling of familiar products and images. Some pieces are constructed from a variety of discarded materials such as broken glass and old sweaters; others are composed of the most common elements of everyday life, such as bubble gum, plastic drinking straws or Ikea furniture. In Knitwork, for example, Ottawa artist Germaine Koh recycles old sweaters she has found, unravelling and re-knitting them together again in a single continuous piece. Brooklyn-based artist Joe Scanlon addresses the ultimate question of domestic waste in a work entitled DIY, which is a coffin he has constructed from old Ikea bookshelves. The artists in waste management turn their eye to the world that surrounds us. There is a sense of wonder in the recasting of familiar material, a playful and engaged feeling suggesting that art is created by the connection made between materials and the imagination that transforms them, says AGO Director Matthew Teitelbaum. These works are not remnants from a world falling apart, rather, affirmations of a new sense of order. waste management is not a scholarly exhibition with a solid theoretical framework, explains Christina Ritchie, AGO assistant curator of contemporary art. It is an on-the-spot response to new ideas in contemporary art and culture. The popularity of paper recycling, backyard composting and municipal sorting programs are just some of the most familiar among many waste management operations. In a society based on excess and superfluous consumption, waste management has become a public ritual of moral redemption. The ways that these practices are reflected in the things that artists are making now is the focus of waste management. waste management presents both Canadian and international artists including Tom Friedman, Michael Landy, Daniel Olson, Sandra Rechico, Joseph Scanlan, David Shrigley and Kelly Wood. The exhibition is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario and a catalogue will accompany the exhibition. Admission is Pay-What-You-Can. The exhibition is open Wednesday to Sunday, also open Tuesdays as of April 27. waste management is the first exhibition in Pulse, a provocative new series at the AGO on the art of our time sponsored by Progressive Auto Insurance. The series Pulse was created as a response to the extraordinary range and vitality of contemporary art practice today in Canada and abroad, to position Canadian artists in an international context, and to introduce rising international artists to Canadians. The participation of David Shrigley and Michael Landy is supported by grants from the British Council. The Art Gallery of Ontario is the eighth largest art museum in North America. Its collection comprises more than 24,000 works representing 1,000 years of extraordinary European, Canadian, Modern and Contemporary art. The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation. Additional operating support is received from the Volunteers of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the City of Toronto, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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