Toronto Field Trip

Here is a summary of all the great things we saw!


“Resolution: (Mass of Clarity) by PA System Art Collective

Within the Art in Use space at MOCA you can sculpt a clay representation of a need, desire, dream, or goal to make your intention tangible. The exercise draws on strategies of visualization, and is similar to sympathetic magic, wherein symbolic representations –like a vision board –are used to influence real life.

The clay miniatures will be included in a growing installation to be exhibited at the Ontario Science Centre (OSC) following the presentation at MOCA.

This project is an off-shoot from the artists’ ongoing work: Future Snowmachines in Kinngait (FSIK). As part of their ongoing project PA System, Kinngait (Cape Dorset, Nunavut) youth were asked to choose an object to represent their desire for mobility and connection to the land. They imagined and sculpted snowmobiles as play-dough miniatures. PA System translated the miniatures into larger sculptures through 3D printing, and casting in scrap aluminum (from the remains of their burnt down high school). The sculptures are being sold to support the purchase of real snowmobiles and the establishment of the local Land and Cultural Leadership Program for youth.

PA System, a collaboration between artists Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson, are the current OSC resident artists at MOCA until March 15, 2019

“Light Therapy” by Apolonija Šušteršič

Light Therapy is a room filled with a generous amount of light to simulate a bright, sunny day. Exposure to light is used as a treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), milder winter blues and sleep disorders caused by jet lag and overwork, or lack of daylight. Because it has no proven side effects and everyone can use it, light therapy can improve our busy lives and make us feel happier.

Light Therapy was originally produced for the Moderna Museet in Sweden in 1999, to explore how contemporary museums function as a public space, and as a social or healing device. The project was restaged at the Van Abbemuseum, The Netherlands in 2014, where Apolonija began to also consider new forms of artistic practice that are socially engaged — those which involve people and communities in debate, collaboration or social interaction. In its third iteration at MOCA, we add to this developing research, thinking about how museums might be places that support wellbeing, and more recently as spaces that support mental health.

MKG 127:

Laurel Woodcock

A large portion of Woodcock’s studio practice culled from familiar language; a turn of phrase, song lyric, punctuation mark, typography, visual trope, or element of syntax. These became materials from which she explored the problems and possibilities of language, its formal and connotative qualities and malleable meanings


What Do Stones Smell Like in the Forest? by Chloe Lum Yannick Desranleau

Presented as a choreographic mini-opera, Chloë Lum and Yannick Desranleau’s What Do Stones Smell Like in the Forest? stages a conversation about illness, pain, and what it means to become inanimate. Situated in environments of bright tones and ambiguous shapes, Lum and Desranleau’s performers engage with objects that serve as imperfect extensions of their bodies: things that both support them and weigh them down. Acting as a narrative of chronic illness, What Do Stones Smell Like in the Forest? is also a romance between body and object, a score for chorus and mezzo-soprano, an autofiction, a fantasy.


They Kept Shadows Quiet by Vajiko Cachkhiani

They Kept Shadows Quiet (2018), the eponymous installation commissioned especially for this exhibition, consists of two “interrogation chambers” installed side by side and flipped inside out. These chambers recall border patrol checkpoints where refuges and migrants are detained to await “processing,” and yet their reversal of inside and outside defuses these sinister connotations, as visitors are able to traverse the narrow passage between the two chambers unimpeded. The situation is familiar and unfamiliar at once: not only is the exterior architecture built and painted to resemble the exterior, but the installation also reverses the usual direction of the surveillance gaze by installing spyglass along the walls facing the passage and making the mirrors semi-transparent. Looking out from each room, the figure of authority is partly visible as a silhouette, implicitly menacing yet ultimately powerless to interfere with the passers-by.