A Twist on Relational Aesthetics

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Happy Meal” by Montreal artist Thierry Marceau at Joyce Yahouda is no longer in exhibition but is definitely worth mentioning! Why may you ask? What importance does it hold? And why bring it up now? Well, my friends this display by Thierry Marceau displayed the past, relational aesthetics, and celebrated the gallery space in a number of new and exciting ways. 

The ethos surrounding “Happy Meal” was the exploration of the relationship between POPULAR CULTURE and the King of Pop Art, ANDY WARHOL. Marceau transformed the gallery space into a playground of kitschy, gauche McDonald icons in conversation with the late Mr. Warhol.

Upon entering the space, the viewer walks beneath the iconic GOLDEN ARCHES into a McD’s haven. The viewer was then confronted with images, installations and sculptures all relating to that franchise we all know so well and love. Chicken nuggets play in what looks like a play pen, hamburgers sculptures, friends of Ronald McDonald, images and video installations of Ronald McDonald play throughout the gallery space, where viewers could sit on comfy red and yellow pillows mirroring those playgrounds kids are so often used to playing in at the restaurant.

To the left of this so-called McDonald’s sanctuary lay another room. Covered in silver paper, hung images of Marceau depicted as Warhol imitating the environment of THE FACTORY. These two rooms adjacent to each other seem to fit perfectly next to one another – the King of Pop commenting on one of the largest popular culture phenomenon’s that has taken over internationally.

Now, I that I have explained the space, why might you ask is this innovative or any different? What struck me about this exhibition was the underlying celebration of our postmodern world we live in today.

What Marceau essentially created was a place of deconstruction where we could look at the past, and our current situation today and find new ways of interpreting the past to our current situation. This exhibition plays upon this relatively new 90’s theory art historians like to call RELATIONAL AESTHETICS, but puts a twist on it.

Marceau created a space where the viewer could INTERACT, take part and come to ones own conclusions. There was no need for the artist to coerce the audience into interaction because the space he created did this itself. We walk around see what we see and come to our own conclusions. Maybe Warhol was celebrating this global franchise that links people, cultures society together. Maybe he was making a mockery of how culture becomes so wrapped up in our consumer goods and getting a bang for our buck. This twist for me was new and exciting, because I felt an instant conversation arise between myself, McDonald’s and Warhol. Marceau breathed new life into a late artist and older artistic movement. It was NEW, EXCITING, and FRESH. That’s what ART should be.

PEACE OUT, K

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Dirty in Toronto: Kim Stanford’s Show at Gallery 1313

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In Toronto’s COOLEST area Queen West, Gallery 1313 is currently displaying its newest exhibition Dirty (May 15th– May 26th). Dirty, by Kim Stanford replicates mundane objects such as socks within the given space as an exploration “into larger, absurd work that both attracts and repels, and opens a conversation about the universal dialectic between the taken-for-granted and a search for meaning.” After having seen the piece (online but soon enough in the flesh), many interesting artists and ideas come to mind. It is interesting to sees these parallels and derive new and exciting interpretations for oneself, creating a new dialogue- which is exactly what this artist intends. Won’t you join me through this adventure? Read on, and come up with your own interpretation and let us know what you think?

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The title of the exhibition and the installation reminds me instantly of French artist Louise Bourgeois, specifically her piece Cumul I (above).  In this piece, Bourgeois explores the notions of sexuality and the Freudian concept of childhood trauma. These conglomerate round objects in Culmul I (seen as either penis or breasts- it has never been defined by the artist herself) reflects the repetition seen throughout Dirty. Could we say that Dirty, with its initial title can be seen as highly sexualised, allowing us to explore our own psychoanalytical metaphors?

The socks also play on the familiarity of objects, allowing the viewer to relate easily to the piece. Like the soft marble in Cumul I, the material plays with the familiar material marble used throughout Art History. Both of  these, use the familiarity of objects to create something appealing to look at, yet at the exact same time creating something repulsive.

To push this parrellel even further, upon entering Gallery 1313 the window gallery, holds an installation reminiscent of the socks, however hung together like sausages on a meathook. Could this get more Freudian or feministic – in the case of Bourgeois?

I will leave it you to follow your he(ART) and let your imagination run free. Let us know what you think, and take a stroll down to Gallery 1313 if your in town.

Peace Out, K

The Street is Their Canvas

Our Diamond Queen

For those of you who go GAGA for Street Art…boy will you he(ART) our latest recommendation. It’s pretty evident that one of our main focuses with this blog, is to show you all things art from around the world.

Now there are people that might think graffiti is a form of vandalization… because let’s face it, they are defacing property. So some would consider this one of the “lowest forms of art”. We here at CultureHe(ART)s say to those people SHOW YOUR FACES & STATE YOUR CASES!!!! Warhol’s paintings were once deemed “insignificant” and “ugly” (although we are MAJOR fans and do not see why) and NOW look. A piece by Andy can reach sky high price$$. Such is the case with Mr. van Gogh as well. But like we stated in a the previous article “A Bone to Pick with Mr. Hirst; My Spiel”, art should be done for the sake of art – and I think graffiti artists have taken this idea and run with it. The street is their canvas.

There is not one city in the world that you can walk down, without seeing some mural, wheat paste, or tag. For example, walking the streets of Soho in London we came across this uber fabulous graffiti image of the one and only Queen (and boy does she look splendid). There have been efforts made by some cities like Toronto where public figures such as their former Mayor Rob Ford wanted to obliterate the genre. It did not and has not gone down so smoothly.

These efforts have only strengthened artists and furthered their cause. Since we cannot be EVERYWHERE snapping pics of Urban Art…check out this website with Street Art from around the world – Street Art Utopia – ya dig?

Peace Out, K.