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Indepth Arts News:

"Stories For Grandchildren: Mitch Robertson"
2001-06-01 until 2001-07-01
Forest City Gallery
London, ON, CA Canada

Mitch Robertsonís solo exhibition, Stories for Grandchildren juxtaposes the glamour and nostalgia of claims to fame by people he has met with the mundane truth of his own life so far. The exhibition includes four recent bodies of work and a 224 page hardcover book which was printed to coincide with the opening of this show. The main piece in the exhibition is a large wall installation of more than 200 metal plaques, each engraved with a claim to fame made by various acquaintances and close friends.

Contrasting these ritzy and often humourous texts, two groups of personal photos titled People I Know, test the artistís memory by acknowledging the people in the photos forgotten over time. In one series, the artist has enlarged every class photo from kindergarten to grade 8, then silver leafed out all the children he does not remember the first and last names of while the second series uses the original photos from various events such as family vacations and sports teams.

The last piece consists of two objects cast and hand painted in editions of 75. Copies of an everyday Chinese lucky cat and the head from a plastic cat with sentimental attachment stand on a sheet of lime green felt in two groups facing each other as though in a stand off. By using toy cats to approach such complex issues as conflicts between major chains and Ďmom and popí shops, or political battles like the recent meetings in Quebec, the installation appears as though it were intended to educate children in terms they could understand. In truth the series attempts to comprehend the cross over from when an everyday object of no value suddenly carries new importance as a sentimental keepsake.

Mitch Robertson grew up in Woodstock Ontario and now lives and works in Toronto. He has shown his photos, installations and sculptures across Canada as well as N. Ireland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia and New York with upcoming shows planned for England, Czech Rep. and Armenia as well as numerous venues in Canada and New Zealand.

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