Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
September 5 to October 26, 2014
Artists: Brew Pub Journal (Vancouver/Toronto), Jonah Brucker-Cohen (New York), Bill Burns (Toronto/Dawson City), Arabella Campbell (Vancouver), ch+qs arquitectos (Madrid), Tomas Chaffe (Stockholm), Michelle JaJa Chang (San Francisco), Steven Chodoriwsky (Los Angeles), Maggie Groat (St. Catherines), Jesse Harris (Toronto), Justin Langlois (Vancouver), Gordon Matta-Clark (American), Dax Morrison (Toronto), Archer Pechawis (Toronto), Jon Sasaki (Toronto), Jeanne van Heeswijk (Rotterdamn) and others
To Be Destroyed: 60 jury selected proposals for a museum
The discussion about culture's impact on communities endures. As the dialogue continues through a range of theories and criticisms, contemporary art museums must be self-reflexive and self-motivated towards evolving, asking: How is a contemporary art gallery defined? What is the art institution’s function in society? Are contemporary art galleries, as they presently exist, relevant? The current juncture in MOCCA’s existence, the search for a new, permanent facility, is the decisive moment to consider how institutions are perceived and situated in their own geographic, cultural and professional communities and what their contributions are/can be within these realms.
The exhibition title TBD, most typically used as an acronym for 'to be determined', proposes that the definition of an institution such as a museum or contemporary art gallery is not fixed. TBD exposes the defining factors of contemporary art galleries for scrutiny and examines the institutions' effects on communities in order to imagine possible futures and new approaches.
As a mode of artistic practice, the genre of visual art that came to be known as ‘institutional critique’ has continued to resonate and evolve since the 1950's. Artists have maintained a critical interest in the mechanisms of art production and exhibition, expanding to incorporate social and spatial practices. TBD encourages institutions and their communities to arrive at common understandings while acknowledging plural interests. Fore-grounded by art-works that critically examine and respond to the culture industry is a program of events that further the discussion.
Programming: A key element of my projects is activation through discursive events. Learn more about the programming for TBD here.
Writing about TBD:
MOCCA feels pinch as trendy restos, boutiques, move in, Murray Whyte, Toronto Star
How much art can you take? MoCCA’s thought provoking show turns the spotlight on itself, James Adams, The Globe & Mail
The public was invited to join the Brewtality of Fact Beer Club (image on left).
The first three meetings were hosted in a private location and members were taken through an intimate ritual of introduction to mugwort by Gina Badger. The fourth meeting was held at MOCCA and included presentations from Gina Badger and The STAG Library, moderated by cheyanne turions.
Used in the beer brewed and consumed for the club, Artemisia vulgaris, commonly known as mugwort is an invasive species which has spread from Eurasia across Canada, flourishing in urban spaces that have been altered by human intervention such as abandoned lots, rail-yards and roadsides. Mugwort has deep roots in indigenous European medicine, relieving fatigue, promoting lucid dreams and acting as an abortifacient. Mugwort also has been used in Gruit beers as a substitute for hops in traditional brewing processes.
Through the development of a beer using wild-crafted mugwort from the city of Toronto, land with which the Huron, Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe people have a long, historic and profound relationship, these artists consider what and how mugwort can teach those exploring the conflictual complexity of settlement. Mugwort can talk to us about taking root in place, connecting with traditions across distances and back in time, and how to cultivate these teachings in the present, renewing our relationship to place and that which grows here.