Five HOUSE FOR SALE art projects are spread throughout the MacLaren Art Centre building, (Ontario, Canada) including galleries and other in-between spaces. The artists use familiar materials to create immersive environments, each raising important questions about the uncertainty embedded in securing housing, migration, belonging, and concepts of home.
Installation, black vinyl-coated steel chain link, plastic zip-ties, and House for Sale sign, 2023
Black Grass was collaboratively assembled by over 70 people from across Simcoe County. Working as a group to attach 20,000 zip ties to chain link fencing, participants shared stories about their individual experiences and relationships to the idea of home. The stories that were shared are permanently woven into this piece, capturing the unique ways that people think about home and what they would like it to look like in the future. The Black Grass occupies a 1,000-square-foot space in the Massey Family Sculpture Court.
Installation, black vinyl-coated steel chain link, white vinyl-coated steel chain link, plastic zip-ties, LED strip lights, sound and video installation, 2023.
White Noise White Noise invites visitors to explore the concepts of borders, control, and perception. The floor-to-ceiling curtains reference an assortment of ongoing global conflicts that have reinforced the significance of physical and imagined borders and divisions around the world. The Drawings The chaotic surface of the curtains invites the viewer to engage in a slow and detailed contemplation of their many layers. When examined closely, the drawings reveal themselves from behind the surface of zip-ties.
Unsheltered Maze. Installation, large-scale drawings, mixed media, silver prints, sound and video installation, 2023
This transparent maze structure filled with bubble wrap, packing tape, boxes, and objects ready to be packed away and moved to a new location, is a visual reference for housing precarity and the way housing needs have shifted and changed over the past ten years.
Installation at the MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Plaster models, carvings of newspaper headlines 2020-2023, collage of various newspaper articles 1981-2019 Photos by Toni Hafkenscheid
Toilet seats are adorned with references to contemporary media concerning the housing crisis from across Canada. These objects are displayed on top of newspaper articles from 1981 up to the present and historical images. Bringing the past and present into a conversation, Balancing Act reminds us to take a wide view of history as we consider how to address housing challenges moving forward – a view that balances our memories of the past with the realities of the present and the shifting needs of the future
Installation, 3D renderings printed on metal in various sizes, 3D rendings printed on banners in various sizes, black vinyl-coated steel, plastic zip-ties, video, 2023
Entrapped Entrapped combines a satirical real estate agency www.eternalchateaus.com, property renderings, and a model home to hyperbolically challenge the idea of homes as financial assets.
Black Polymer Wire Netting, Zip Ties, Graphite on Vellum paper, backlight
“Narcissus Is in the Age of Photosynthesis” is the project that emerged during the world pandemic crises. It tries to question the overall “idea of self-awareness” in the era of digital technologies.
In February 2022, the “Narcissus” project found its continuation in the new multimedia installation “Curtain”. Part Two, “Curtain”, is an object of restraint and obstruction (constructed from zip tie cuffs and black fencing), a presence of pure authority.
Part Three, "Black Grass", resembles an “ecological catastrophe of the mind”, where apathy and propaganda grapple with human currents.
HOUSE FOR SALE
Installation, Painting, Video Art, 2018
The project “House for Sale” oversized graphic sheets are devoted to the strange plights and puzzling situations of one couple in the confined space of a house. They are ready to expose their life to the spectator without any embarrassment over its deviations and existential problems. The viewer may inadvertently become a participant in the horror that is unfolding in the typical scenery of suburbia. The house is for sale, but the deal doesn’t include all its shadows, and there is no way out of the house for them.
Installation, Painting, Video Art
Combining paintings, installations, audio and video, the Living Space project is a new reality reflecting a subjective perception of time and personal boundaries. The paintings feature the actual living space of real people, but there are currents of an "alternate" reality.
Installation, Painting, Video Art
The idea that there is another world where everything has other dimensions; our relationship with the conditions of our environment determines the dimensions we find ourselves in - the project appeals to the deep layers of our conscience.
Floating house has no foundation or piles. It is divided into equal halves, mounted on two rafts. Fragments of foundation blocks and piles are laid out along the shore at a short distance from each other. They include molds for casting giant tulip bulbs through the holes in which the ends of the ropes are attached. ropes are stretched from blocks to rafts above the surface of the water, from opposite sides. Driving dynamics are on gap and it seems that the cables are "pulling" the halves of the house. The wooden frame of this floating house is finished with pink insulation for the walls. The installation is illuminated from the inside and reflected in the water. In the evening light, a video installation is projected onto the outer sides of the structure.
In the Habitat series, the artists present fragments of city life in Toronto and in Saint Petersburg at the beginning of the 21st century.
Magda and Lena are dolls. Or perhaps Magda and Lena are little girls who play with dolls. Or perhaps one of them, for example, Magda, is a doll, and the other, for example, Lena, is her little mistress. Dmitry Gretsky, who paints close-ups of the dolls, does not provide an answer to which one of these two owners of female names is real and which one is plastic, and this is what lends intrigue to the entire exhibit.
The twenty-odd paintings by Dmitry Gretsky comprise his innovative monumental series titled “Rebrand Rembrandt”. This latest emanation from the artist is a bold experiment in “re-branding”, a quest for a fresh visual interpretation of the painting and brand, “The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch” popularly known as “The Night Watch”, authored by Rembrandt in 1642.