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May 10, 2006
by Canadian Architect

This exhibition at Calgary’s TRUCK Gallery runs from April 28 to May 27, 2006, and features artists Jeremy Drummond, Adrienne Spier and Ehryn Torrell. Admission is free.

Of the exhibition, artist Nicole Burisch of Banff writes:

Our lovely little portmanteau of a title suggests nothing if not an ending: a resounding sense of nowhere left to go. But in the moment of any ending is a space for stopping and taking stock. The works gathered under this title all perform a kind of measuring: a sizing up, and a gauging of where we are. These works focus on various facets of the urban landscape: in particular, those aspects that seem to have reached some kind of a dead-end. Here then, is a place to check the edges, and to wonder if we might actually have reached a point at which no further progress can be made.

Surely, where we see ourselves is stuck in some kind of a fin de sicle, a pre-apocalyptic dnouement. Even in the face of runaway progress, we are still harbouring secret inklings; that we have, in fact, run out of things to say. We watch endless episodes of Survivor so that we can vicariously ponder the one album we would bring if we had to bring only one album. Like the turn of the last century, we are at a point where it feels increasingly difficult if not impossible to imagine the next step.

In anticipation of the next step, we must try and ponder what is in store for us. Ehryn Torrell’s large-scale paintings of decomposing houses reflect a pattern for how we perceive and treat the past; an investigation of the outmoded. While representing a literal ending, these depictions of collapsing houses also allow for extrapolated and inevitably inexact musings about the houses’ past lives. Our endings will also be subjected to similar readings: our suburban strip malls will look like this some day.

Similarly, the things we leave behind, like the used and unwanted furniture in Adrienne Spier’s sculptures, speak volumes about our histories, shapes and patterns. Spier’s treatment of this discarded furniture: dissecting and reanimating it, is eerily akin to some kind of scientific study, a quasi-archaeological approach. Unearthed, and subjected to the whims of their finder, these specimens reveal personalities of their own, and of their makers. Even though this discarded furniture has indeed reached its useful end, it can still be made to speak about its past. Informatino is wrung out of its outdated parts.

Our outmoded accoutrements are the sign-posts and furnishings of all that we have created. These can be rearranged to fit the subjective study of those future scientists who will come (we hope) to examine what we’ve left behind. Jeremy Drummond’s reconfigured photo-works suggest the lone sign-post at the very edge of the city: the one on the last street of the newest development. These signs act as metaphorical landmarks for our contemporary landscape, an indicator of the way we engage with our surroundings. We sit at a mental crossroads between almost-identical options, sensing somehow that the choice we make will have to be final.

Here is the archaeologist of the future! Trying to piece together what we did and who we were by intimately studying our leftovers. Forcing us to ask: at what point do the objects, homes and concerns of our time cease being au-courant, and start becoming artifacts? Perhaps it is vain to believe that we could actually reach a dead end. That there would be a distinct point where we would end, and something else would begin. Satisfying, but probably vain. Truthfully, we are not at a dead end. We are at a cul-de-sac: an ending, but also a point of departure.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit www.truck.ca.



Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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