I have spent almost two weeks now on the Toronto Islands, doing a Thematic Residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point.
Artie Vierkant came from New York to talk conceptual art, and the organizer Lucas Soi pops in to our studios. Other residents from Toronto are Georgia Dickie, Vanessa Maltese, and Laurie Kang; Nathan Manuel is also visiting from Brooklyn. It’s midwinter and we are isolated on a car-free island (groceries require a 40 minute walk to & from the ferry), but at least we get to tease the Americans about their inexperience with snow.
For most of my time here, I’ve been developing two new pieces in my Intersectionality series. I’m altering a book with lots of personal reflections on marginalization and math. And on the studio’s big wall, I have made a 6 by 5 foot painting that uses symbols to talk about national political systems, then statistics to talk about identity politics.
And then there’s some fun little pieces. I’ve been playing around with 1/8″ masking tape under the paint left over from making a Meta-Diagram. (Those paintings keep reminding people of Julie Mehretu‘s complex “systems” artworks.)
Wandering over to the “Bridge Boutique”, Algonquin Island’s hut for swapping clothes and books, I gathered lots of collage material. Today I gave in to a trend, and de-MOOPed the beach, claiming all small red objects. It’s unclear whether my plastic detritus wants to be a post-Valentines monstrosity or a set of fake family memories.
During these two weeks I have made new connections between the concepts I work with, as well as new connections to artists. But I am not sure if this experience demystifies the art world or makes it more mysterious.