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Nothing to Declare: Current Sculpture from Canada

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Abstract

Abandoning sculpture’s traditional job of memorialising the great and the good, artworks in 'Nothing to Declare' revelled in humble materials and everyday processes, making their points with lightness, wit and humility. The show highlighted the renewed interest of contemporary artists from and based in Canada in objects and materials, exploring sculpture’s status and function, its history and future. Featured artists were The Nothing to Declare: Current Sculpture from Canada

Valérie Blass, James Carl, Liz Magor, Luanne Martineau, Tricia Middleton, Gareth Moore, Michael Murphy, Kerri Reid, Brendan Tang, Kara Uzelman, Rhonda Weppler & Trevor Mahovsky

. Works in the show were characterized by a spirit of ambiguity, open-endedness and disorder. Their tentative quality mirrored the contemporary uncertain mood. Ad hoc artistic methods reflected suggest resourcefulness in the face of adversity. Unassuming craft, household and DIY production processes dominate. Where artists used conventional sculptural techniques and media, they put them to mischievously paradoxical ends. Many incorporated pre-existing objects and substances, especially those with little financial or cultural value. Highlighting the performative and task-based nature of sculptural production, the exhibition included a piece by Gareth Moore that evolved over the course of the show in a process the artist calls ‘a distant collaboration’. It started with a suggestion box, paper and pencil. Over several weeks Moore executed as many of the more than 100 requests as he could. He included suggestions in a taped-up column on the gallery wall, and added the results of these instructions – from practical requests for ‘sharper pencils’ to more enigmatic edicts, like ‘no mango’, to which Moore made a paper pineapple. To requests for refreshments, Moore added a coffee-filled thermos and cups. Moore's piece was discussed by Murray Whyte in The Toronto Star http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/2010/02/11/any_requests_power_plant_artist_is_open_to_suggestions.html

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