5 March - 23 April, 2016
The dozen new sculptures from Liz Magor are made in the interest of considering what contributes to the compulsion to look at the world. If there is a pattern to one’s view of the world, or a repetition and predictability in what we want to look at, we might wonder what influences our scopic behavior. Beneath the obvious subjects that attract us, we can detect the force of covert or latent interests. Sometimes it’s the welcome repetition of a sentiment that has lodged itself in particular imagery. Sometimes it’s the excitement of apprehending a new thing, a strange colour or an unknown technique.
These works are made in order to see what happens if we avoid the familiar celebration of novelty and instead, focus intently on the overused, the worn and the ubiquitous. Toy animals that would be called sentimental for their blunt appeal to feelings are transformed in material and form, holding both their previous, degraded message and their refreshed intentions. Out of date and worn garments move away from their exhausted status and are reminded of their commitment to the body. In all the works dismissible things forge relationships with disposable things as they are reacquainted with their origin in manufacturing and packaging.
However, in a break with our expectation and perhaps our desire, these objects are no longer interested in us. We stand outside of their relationships to each other as they engage in their struggle or their thrall. These things now interest us by dint of their growing unavailability. We perceive that they long for experience as we long for life, have troubles the way we have troubles, and so we want to know them. Thus, in their disinterest in us they are moved from the periphery of desire construction, to the centre.
Liz Magor (b. 1948, Canada) lives and works in Vancouver, Canada. Since the early 1970’s Magor has had numerous solo exhibitions, most recently Six Ways to Sunday #06, Peephole, Milan (2015); Surrender, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2015); Liz Magor: A Thousand Quarrels, Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver (2014); No Fear No Shame No Confusion, Triangle, Marseille (2013). Recent group exhibitions include MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture, Vancouver Art Gallery (2016), Walks and Displacements, Andrew Kreps, New York (2015), A view believed to be yours, Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver (2015). Magor exhibited at documenta 8, Kassel, Germany (1987) and represented Canada at the Venice Biennale (1984). Upcoming exhibitions include Glasgow Sculpture Studios; le Crédac, Ivry-sur-Seine, France and a retrospective at Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (2016) touring to the Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Zürich and the Kunstverein in Hamburg (2017).