Indepth Arts News: |
"waste management at the Art Gallery"
1999-04-07 until 1999-07-11
Art Gallery at Ontario
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
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
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
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.