The next couple weeks will see the closing of two great exhibitions in the Toronto area; go see them soon if you can. Land|Slide: Possible Futures (closing October 14) is an ambitious curatorial project which transforms the historical buildings of the Markham Museum into an engaging and interactive contemporary art park. While beautiful by day, we’d recommend an early evening visit to experience some of the more subtle installations’ full effects. Favourites include Deirdre Logue’s multisensory, multichannel video installation, Euphoria’s Hiccups, which activates the walls, floor, and countertops of the Honey House, and Frank Havermans’ Untitled high-tension intervention which parasitizes the Strickler Barn to unsettling effect (both pictured below). Above, Martindale, Myers, and MacKinnon’s “refined and enriched” intervention within the Burkholder carriage house is a thought-provoking commentary on high art consumption.
Summer travels always put us in mind of the weather and its extremes. Between sunny skies, stifling heat, and sudden storms, we become exquisitely aware of the weather, and how it may impact our precious few days of vacation. We check the five-day forecast, we debate packing the rainwear, and once we’ve left, we keep tabs on the weather back home, glad to be free from the heat of the city, or sad that we are missing out on some of the best metropolitan weather in weeks.
Perhaps with this in mind, Interaccess opened their summer season with an exhibition based in the documentation of weather from the far northern territory of Nunavut. We were lucky enough to have seen Constructed Land earlier in the month and had planned to write a review of it before leaving; that didn’t happen. Now we’re back, the exhibition is closed, and we’re offering up a brief après-view instead.
Beautiful interactive map of the wind in motion as it flows over the US in near realtime. Click to see today’s wind patterns as well a gallery of past patterns and a link to the website of the map’s collaborative creators, Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg. Zooming and tracking create interesting effects too.
Over the past few weeks we’ve been thinking especially hard about art. So hard, in fact, that recent encounters with art that foregrounds the physical experience have been a hugely welcome relief from all that heady cogitation.
The first such encounter got us out of our chairs and walking up stairs as part of Derek Sullivan’s recent Power Plant show, Albatross Omnibus. Comprising three industrial-sized stepladders and 52 print-on-demand artist books suspended from the ceiling, Albatross Omnibus conceptually echoes Yoko Ono’s well-known 1966 installation, Ceiling Painting (YES Painting), whereby viewer initiative and participation is required to experience and complete the performance of the exhibition. However while Albatross has similarly playful, meditative, and uplifting moments, Sullivan’s books collectively embody a much more idiosyncratic and energetic profusion of words, images and ideas rather than a singular (albeit profound) experience. This is not to say that Sullivan’s work is superficial; in fact the many humourous concrete texts and visual koans which make up the body of Albatross belie a deeper love and engagement with the history of reading, print, and the book itself. Steering a ladder through space, ascending the steps, and stretching up to page through each slim volume in turn, one enacts a physical experience of the pre-digital library, wherein books occupy positions, not always easy to reach, in a specific place and time. At a moment when books are rapidly beginning to disappear into the cloud, we are reminded not only of the sheer pleasure of touching and turning a page, but also of the importance of preserving and protecting the printed format as one of the still-unsurpassed achievements of human social, political and cultural expression.
The Artist is Present is a game in which anyone can pit themselves against a most formidable opponent—uncertainty—by participating in a virtual re-creation of Marina Abramovic’s 2010 performance at MoMA. I admit to losing the game almost immediately after starting it, but rather enjoyed game designer Pippin Barr’s own account of playing it, as well as his response to the avalanche of interest the game’s release brought his way.