Art Toronto International Art Fair to Present Major Works by BGL, Marman & Borins, Amalie Atkins, VSVSVS (Oct 24 to 27 2014)

From a media release:

October 24 to 27, 2014

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Toronto, ON (September 16, 2014) -
Art Toronto is celebrating its 15th anniversary this October 24 – 27 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, with a refreshed fair design featuring more than 100 select galleries, and an ambitious curatorial series that includes large-scale installations by prominent Canadian artists including BGL, Marman & Borins, Amalie Atkins, VSVSVS, and Thrush Holmes. This will be the first time several of these pieces will be shown in Toronto, and in Canada, thanks to the combined efforts of Art Toronto, artists, galleries, and sponsors.
BGL, Canada de Fantaisie/Canada Fancy
Art Toronto is proud to announce the inclusion of a major work by the Québec-based collective BGL, titled Canada de Fantaisie/Canada Fancy, an urban carousel made from steel security fences suspended from a lamp post at this year’s fair. Canada de Fantaisie/Canada Fancy explores the concepts of control and freedom, and invites viewers to break down barriers as they climb on and enjoy the ride. Usually a tool for crowd control, in the hands of the artists the security barrier becomes a symbol of transcendence and creativity. Speaking about the piece, the artists said, “We will transform this object that was intended to reduce delinquency into something that inspires delirium.”

The piece continues BGL’s ongoing investigation of crowd barriers and their relationship with collective values and cultural patterns. With its appearance at Art Toronto, Canada de Fantaisie/Canada Fancy is making a return visit to this city. First conceived for the huge survey exhibition Oh, Canada, held at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts in 2012-2013, the work was assembled at York University, where BGL was the sculptor-in-residence. A team of ten fine arts students helped to finish it.

Canada de Fantaisie/Canada Fancy is sponsored by RBC Wealth Management, and presented by Art Toronto and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. BGL is represented by Diaz Contemporary, Toronto (Booth #720), and Parisian Laundry, Montreal (Booth #902).

Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère and Nicolas Laverdière, whose names lend their initials to BGL, have been collaborating for almost twenty years to create ambitious and often humorous works of art. Their elaborate sculptures, installations, and performance works offer an original take on social and political issues, including consumer culture, contemporary values, the art establishment and the environment. Reacting to the increasingly digital age, BGL takes a distinctly DIY approach, tinkering, playing and enjoying the “poetry of materials.”

BGL has participated in numerous solo exhibitions in Canada and around the world. They will be representing Canada at the prestigious 56th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia in 2015 in a presentation organized by the National Gallery of Canada. Marie Fraser, of the Université du Québec à Montréal, is the guest curator. The Venice Biennale is among the most important contemporary art events in the world, and the only international visual arts exhibition to which Canada sends official representation. The Presenting Sponsor of the Canada Pavilion in 2015 is RBC Wealth Management, with major support provided by Aimia.

BGL’s works are included in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, and in many private and corporate collections including RBC, Aimia, and The Granite Club.

Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins' Pavilion of the Blind (2013)
Pavilion of the Blind (2013) is a large-scale kinetic installation, featuring a colourful array of window blinds, panels and shades. Pavilion of the Blind arranges and rearranges itself into a series of constantly hanging abstract compositions. Movement is triggered by a motion detector and controlled by a microcomputer housed within the structure. The title of this work is both a visual pun and a reference to H.G. Wells' 1939 text The Country of the Blind, a parable that reflects upon the nature of vision, and how we communicate our visual experience with others. The Pavilion functions as a window into the mind of the artist, running through a seemingly endless series of pictorial themes and variations. The piece is at times opaque and contained, yet the transitions in the position of the components allow for transparency. Pavilion of the Blind plays with the concepts of opacity and transparency, raising questions about changeable reality, barriers to perception, the filtering of information and the mediated experience. Pavilion of the Blind allows for a thoughtful and somewhat paradoxical commentary on artistic practice and the nature of abstraction. This is first time Pavilion of the Blind will be exhibited in Toronto.

Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins (Marman & Borins) have been creating large-format sculpture, installation, mixed media, and electronic art since 2000. They have exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York and most recently, the Nicaragua Biennial. Currently, they are producing several large-scale public art projects, including commissions for the Toronto Transit Commission and Waterfront Toronto's Pan Am Village. Marman + Borins are represented by Cristin Tierney, New York.

Amalie Atkins, Three Minute Miracle
Three Minute Miracle (2008) is a significant installation work previously featured in the Oh, Canada exhibition of contemporary Canadian art at Mass MoCA. The piece is comprised of a 10-foot diameter tent within which a 13-minute looped video is projected. Wrapped with thick felt, the darkened tent allows viewers to escape into the story, momentarily pulling the viewer away from the cacophony of the fair. Telling a story of cakes, wolves and rotten teeth with a simple soundtrack of piano accompaniment enhanced by two short vocal choruses, the video has a humorously dreamy yet ominous feel. The tent is handmade by Atkins from cream-coloured felt, ringed at its ceiling by red pendant flags. Visitors will be invited to don felt boots or simply stride into the tent as they enter to view the film.

Amalie Atkins is a Saskatoon-based artist working in film, installation, photography, and fibers. Atkins’ work ranges from filmmaking, to fabric-based sculpture, to performance. Atkins currently lives and works in Canada. Amalie Atkins is represented by dc3 Art Projects, Edmonton (Booth #1212).

VSVSVS, Nap Station
Nap Station is an on-site lounge created specifically for Art Toronto by Toronto artist collective VSVSVS (Booth # 917).  The space is both a functional rest area for guests, and a cheeky response to the physical and social environment of the art fair.    

“We know what it’s like out there under the bright lights, shoes pattering against the carpeted floor, people everywhere and a million paintings. Come to VSVSVS’ nap station to enjoy a much-needed respite from the stress of art. Lay your weary head to rest and let the buzzing of the crowds become a gentle, soothing white noise. We can’t turn day to night but we will have curtains. Schedule an appointment; drop-ins welcome.”

VSVSVS (pronounced “versus versus versus”) is a seven-person collective and artist-run centre based in the Toronto Portlands. Formed in 2010, the group’s activities encompass collective art making, residency programs, a formal exhibition space, and individual studio practices. Collective members include Stephen McLeod, Laura Simon, James Gardner, Miles Stemp, Wallis Cheung, Ryan Clayton and Anthony Cooper. VSVSVS’s collective work focuses on the collaborative production of multiples, drawings, video works, sculpture, installations, and performance. An open framework allows each member to play to different interests, while contributing to a common goal. Working with seven heads is an experiment in being together too much and making things constantly.

VSVSVS recently participated in Mercer Union’s Taking [A] Part and Platforms Projects at Art Athina in Greece, and Yan Wu’s This Area is Under 23 Hour Video and Audio Surveillance, currently on view at Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto. Upcoming projects include an exhibition with Niagara Artists Centre and a residency at Centre Bang in Chicoutimi, Quebec. VSVSVS would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Two VSVSVS members, James Gardner and Wallis Cheung, are 2014 RBC Painting Competition finalists. Paintings by Gardner and Cheung will be on display at Art Toronto alongside fellow finalists in the RBC Wealth Management VIP Lounge.

Event Information:

Opening Night Preview – A benefit for the Art Gallery of Ontario
Thursday, October 23
Special Collectors’ Preview 4:30pm to 6:30pm
Opening Night Preview 6:30pm to 10:00pm
Public Hours
Friday October 24 to Monday October 27, Friday & Saturday – Noon to 8:00pm Sunday & Monday – Noon to 6:00pm
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
North Building, Exhibit Hall A & B
255 Front Street West

For more information and tickets please visit: