Art at the Jackman Humanities Institute, 2014-2015
"This Area is Under 23 Hour Video and Audio Surveillance"
4 September 2014 -- 30 June 2015
Curated by Yan Wu
Opening Reception: Thursday 4 September 2014, 4:00 to 6:00 pm
Location: Jackman Humanities Institute, 170 St. George Street, 10th Floor
Public Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 to 5:00 pm
Image: Ahmet Örgüt, This area is under 23 hour video and audio surveillance, 2009. Ink on aluminum plate, 8 x 11.5 x 1/16 inches. Laumeier Sculpture Park Collection, with funds from the Mark Twain Laumeier Endowment Fund. Photo courtesy Laumeier Sculpture Park.
The title and subject of the exhibition "This Area is under 23 Hour Video and Audio Surveillance” is a play on Turkish artist Ahmet Ögüt’s site-specific intervention at Laumeier Sculpture Park (USA) in 2009. Obsessed with finding the missing hour plotted in Ögüt’s work and the possibilities it promises, the exhibition presents twelve international artists and collectives whose works carve the secluded 24th hour into the physical space and everyday reality of the Jackman Humanities Institute. Employing a myriad of divergent mediums, forms, and strategies, the artworks act as potential points of entry to modes of play by means of the games each artist devises. In particular, the artists challenge the notions of play regulated by today’s rhetoric of productivity: flexibility, distraction and greed; their works contemplate how the rules of games are constructed and how they might be destroyed: through conscious interaction, forms of application, and transgression. “This Area is under 23 Hour Video and Audio Surveillance” celebrates the power of humour, allowing the viewer to recover from the delusory happiness of ideology towards release into the lucidity of seeing things for what they are.
The project is produced by the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (Hart House), which is financially supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.
List of Works
Ahmet Ögüt, This area is under 23 hour video and audio surveillance (2009) Photo documentation
Vincent Trasov, Mr. Peanut for Mayor Campaign (1974) DVD, photographs, prints
Lee Walton, Making Changes (Reykjavik, Iceland) (2007) DV 5:00 minutes
Gwen Macgregor and Lewis Nicholson, The things I forgot (2002) Text, glow-in-the-dark vinyl
Myfanwy Ashmore, Super Mario Trilogy (2006) Display on computer monitor, controlled by computer controller
Shane Krepakevich and Elif Saydam, thismelody.biz (2013-ongoing) A companion online archive of discursive picture pairs
VSVSVS, If every year is a marble, how much marble do you have left? (2014) MDF, foam, paint
Kelly Mark, Chess Set (1998) Salt & pepper shakers, ceramic tiles & wood
Jackman Humanities Institute 2014-2015 Theme: Humour, Play, and Games A distinctive human quality is our sense of humour, and our attraction to play and to games. Play is central to such fields as literature, music, poetry, art, and film. Humour can, of course, be very serious: a powerful critique, a source of strength to survive, a tool for building solidarity, and a means of drawing and redrawing limits. But humour also poses a challenge to the serious. Today, when scholarship needs to justify itself and time is money, what room is left for play and humour? Can they be justified along functional and economic lines (e.g. play is the seedbed of the genuinely new) or must we resist justification in the name of play itself? What is an old joke worth? Games can be both competitive and collaborative, and play is structured by the virtual spaces games create. Playing games and studying games fosters new modes of knowledge. This theme will allow all disciplines, those that have long-recognized the aesthetic importance of humour and play and those that traditionally have not, to intersect with new thinking about games, and so explore a full range of serious (and sometimes funny) play.