Participants: The Arbour Lake Sghool (Andrew Frosst, John Frosst, Wayne Garrett, Justin Patterson, Scott Rogers)
160 Arbour Ridge Circle NW
Calgary ABT3G 3V9
Ph. (403) 239-7125
Survey is an installation based work which creates a museum display for some of the accumulated materials and sculptures of the Arbour Lake Sghool. The case consists of a shelf which is built at half the height of the +15 window and extends horizontally from the back wall to butt up against the front window. Beneath this shelf are arranged layers of detritus, found objects, junk, paper and other knick-knacks which have been collected from the environment of the Arbour Lake Sghool (the suburban house shared by the artists). This cast off material is arranged to give the appearance of geological strata or bedding planes. On the top of the shelf, neatly arranged and numbered, are a set of small sculptures which have been created individually and collaboratively over the last three years by members of the Sghool. Each of these pieces takes everyday objects and arranges them to form new associations; de-familiarizing the banal and creating a series of strange, aestheticized artefacts.
Through this process of sifting, organizing and rearranging junk certain objects and ideas become privileged while others are abandoned. By separating the +15 into two distinct portions, one ordered and the other congested and messy, the work establishes a dialogue. This conversation between the two distinct spaces presents at once a hierarchy and a contradiction; the objects on top of the shelf are elevated, but they also rest on the material they arose from. The layers of junk are then the grounding for the elevated objects, suggesting that the two layers are inextricable. This strategy of presentation discusses a number of key issues which include: art making as a process of careful selection and separation, the curation/creation of knowledge and history through archaeological and museological processes, and the relevance of the quotidian in the construction of supposedly more meaningful artefacts. Ultimately, Survey implies that the objects presented are not individual works, but residues of an embedded social and historical practice. This practice could be considered as both art and archaeology – the discovery and archiving of cultural material from the mass of junk and history surrounding us.
The New Gallery Official Website