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Archive: March, 2012

NOW: A Collaborative Project by Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette

March 7th, 2012

By Beth Corbett, Communications Intern

“Come on in, you’re open,” reads the cheery welcome at the front desk of the NOW Service Bureau, part of the AGO’s current Toronto Now exhibition NOW: A Collaborative Project by Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette. Enter the Service Bureau and experience Martindale and Paquette’s Do It Yourself agency, meant to challenge the hurried pace of life and encourage meaningful thought on pressing Toronto issues. The Post NOW wall provides a forum for sharing ideas, asking questions such as “How can you affect change in your city?”

The artists were brought together by guest curator Katherine Dennis, and the exhibition incorporates elements from their design, graphic arts, graffiti and street art backgrounds. Sean Martindale, who has an MFA from OCAD University and graduated from Emily Carr University’s design program, is known for his street art interventions such as his “poster planters” in Kensington Market and sidewalk planter interventions. Pascal Paquette practices graffiti writing under the pseudonym Mon Petit Chou and graduated from La Cite Collegiale in Ottawa in graphic arts.

The NOW Service Bureau is housed in the street-facing Young Gallery beside FRANK, the AGO’s restaurant. Home to all of the AGO’s Toronto Now exhibitions, the Young Gallery is free to visit and does not require a ticket.

The other part of NOW is Gift Shop Gift Shop, located inside the AGO Gift Shop. Gift Shop Gift Shop expands on the self-reflective themes of NOW with a variety of items from Toronto artists, leading a tongue-in-cheek exploration of consumerism and commercialization.

Visitors can get their picture taken as an “AGO Shopper” with Tongue & Groove’s Your Face Here, or buy a set of 25 postcards with images of the AGO Gift Shop, modeled after the Frank Gehry transformation postcard set. It’s also possible to pick up an exclusive dematerialized, cubed souvenir balloon from General Idea’s Magic Bullet, or to take home a water bottle personalized with an artist’s name – water included!

NOW: A Collaborative Project by Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette kicks off the AGO’s 2012 Toronto Now series, running January 21 – April 1, 2012. Toronto Now is a series of contemporary art projects that puts the focus on Toronto artists and displays their work in the AGO’s free, street-facing Young Gallery.

For more photos from the exhibition, visit the NOW Facebook Page.

Image Credits:
  1. Young Gallery; photo courtesy of Katherine Dennis.
  2. Graffiti wall art by Posterchild, completed as part of the
     Martindale/Paquette Whitewash (2011-ongoing) video project;
    photo courtesy of Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette.
  3. Name Dripping Water, Keith Cole; individual 
    branded water bottle, water included; photo courtesy of Keith Cole.
  4. Your Face Here, Tongue & Groove collective;
    photo courtesy of Katherine Dennis.
  5. Infinite NOW (2012), Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette (installation photo);
    photo courtesy of Katherine Dennis.

Art & Philosophy: Borduas and the Existential Drama of the Visible (Audio)

March 7th, 2012

Paul-Emile Borduas, Résistance Végétale, 1970.

Paul-Emile Borduas, Résistance Végétale, oil on canvas, 114.2 x 147.2cm, Bequest of Charles S. Band, Toronto, 1970, Copyright Art Gallery of Ontario

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David Ciavatta
Recorded: Wednesday, February 15, 7 pm in Jackman Hall
Duration: 01:34:57

What is it that we actually see when we take the time to linger with one of Paul-Émile Borduas’ abstract paintings?  The paint on these canvases does not completely efface itself for the sake of allowing objects to appear; but nor is the sheer materiality of the paint–rich as it is–the primary object of our gaze.  In this talk Ciavatta draws from the philosophical insights of existentialist phenomenologists Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, to suggest that what these paintings make visible is, in the end, the expressive movement of existence itself:  through these paintings our eyes bear witness to the spontaneous emergence of a pre-objective sense and purpose out of the contingency of the world’s sensuous materiality.

David Ciavatta is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ryerson University, Toronto, where he teaches seminars on Existentialism, Phenomenology, and the Philosophy of Art.