Liz Magor

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 Out of date and worn gar­ments move away from their exhaust­ed sta­tus and are remind­ed of their com­mit­ment to the body.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).