January 22, 2010
by Canadian Architect
Toronto-based artist Micah Lexier recently unveiled a significant new project in downtown Toronto’s financial heart. I AM THE COIN is an installation featuring a story by writer Derek McCormack and 20,000 custom-minted coins.
Commissioned by BMO Financial Group for the BMO Project Room, I AM THE COIN is a year-long installation consisting of thousands of coins mounted directly on one wall of the Project Room. Each custom-minted coin is imprinted with a single letter of the alphabet. What at first appears to be a random grid of letters reveals itself, upon closer inspection, to be a series of words and sentences uninterrupted by spaces or punctuation marks. The words and sentences combine to tell a story that was written specifically for this project by Toronto writer Derek McCormack. The bottom half of the grid spells out the story, which can be read like a book, from left to right; the top half of the grid is a mirror image of the bottom. The story is all about coins, the installation itself, and the people behind it.
This complex tale is narrated by one of the coins on the wall, a slightly mischievous coin with a taste for puns, puzzles, cryptic constraints, as well as anecdotes about real people. But be warned, the anecdotes are not necessarily true.
A clue concealed within the story reveals the location of the narrator. The first one hundred people to find the clue and identify the narrator on this website will be awarded a special prize.
In celebration of the opening, Micah Lexier commissioned an oil painting by Vancouver artist Neil Wedman, a reproduction of which was used on the exhibition announcement. The painting depicts a random pile of the custom-minted coins, awaiting installation. In keeping with the theme of puzzles and clues, the title of the installation has been concealed in the painting.
The BMO Project Room is located on the 68th floor of 100 King Street West in Toronto. Visits to the installation are by appointment only. To book a viewing, please telephone 416.643.2609 or send an e-mail to the curator at email@example.com.
For more detailed information on this extraordinary exhibition, please visit http://iamthecoin.com/