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EXHIBITIONS

Sediment Addendum
(David Court)



134 Ossington Street
(Entrance on Foxley Pl,
rear of building)
Toronto, Ontario
M6J 2Z5

Friday thru Sunday, 12-5pm
or by appointment

info@sidecentre.com
647 340 3998




SEDIMENT

January 13 – February 26, 2012
Opening reception: Friday, January 13, 7-10 pm

Barbara Balfour
Bill Burns
Hyang Cho
Céline Condorelli
Joel Cottrill
David Court
Dave Dyment
James Gardner
Xan Hawes
Shane Krepakevich
Tiziana La Melia
Karl Larsson
Yam Lau
Micah Lexier
Laura Marotta
Michelle McGeean
Parker Branch
Roula Partheniou
Marek Rudzinski
Stephanie Shepherd

________: I like that complicated authorship that happened
with ____________ and that I can see happening here
where there’s this call that’s very structured and needs mul-
tiple participants, orchestrating collaborations. Then there’s
this spine running through the show that’s actually your
reaction, your building [of] a structure. In a way it
clarifies your intentions from the beginning. This structure
feels like it’s the environment that’s actually going to pro-
vide context for these collaborations. Yeah, it’s quite curious.
It’s very slippery authorship throughout the piece.

___________: It’s something I’ve been trying to navigate
ever since I put the call out. I didn’t have a clear idea in my
head at the beginning about how much of it was me and
how much the show was open to be shaped by the people
who submitted. So it’s been back and forth the entire time.
[In the end] I’ve asked a few people [to] do work in the
show that is further away from my thinking so that it can
get out of my reach in a certain way. I want those uncer-
tainties and surprises [so] that I then have to think about
exactly what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, what my role is...
The open call allows me to do that.

________: The guy who was the director at the _________
Museum in _________ did very interesting exhibitions for
30+ years. Not only was he the director/curator but he
also designed the exhibits and did all the graphic design.
And so although he was using other artists’ work, there was
this subject that moved through the exhibitions that was
very much of his authorship.

And with a call like this I find it interesting how you’ve left
it ambiguous. Because at a certain point someone could
come along and say: this is a curatorial project and I’m
doing it this way, or: this is a show that I want to do and it’s
an art project that necessitates collaboration.

___________: From the beginning I’ve never wanted to say
this is a show [I’ve] curated. Even in [terms of] invites and
posters, I’ve always thought of having a list of participants in
alphabetical order, not distinguishing who is building a sup-
port structure, who is submitting a book, who is organizing.

______: But all these things almost have to be decided
because they’re the support structure for the show as
well, right?

___________: Yeah, obviously there’s some kind of an
agenda on my part but my hope is that in the end it’ll be
more complicated because of all the works in it. But even
the hypothetical anthology that makes itself would have
to be in some kind of form or medium and that choice is
[a] support structure that dictates the character of the
anthology to a degree.

________: So maybe then this role of neither artist nor
curator - maybe it is exhibition designer or designer?

___________: My hope is to not name what I’m doing but
to nevertheless have a clear approach to it. What it is is
unclear, or what name best fits it is unclear but it’s a distinct
operation.

______: Maybe it’s also an escape - maybe you’re escaping
from making work as an artist?

___________: It’s kind of an escape or attempt to rename
it when it doesn’t need to be renamed.

______: Yeah if it’s an escape, it cannot yet be named, right?
I mean, as soon as it would be named it would not be an
escape anymore.

•••

________: You’re not only juggling the books that don’t
have partners and texts that don’t have partners but you
also have to accommodate seven things and find a way to
make the experience of them in the exhibition lucid.
Whatever your structure is has to present or contextual-
ize them. Yeah, it’s not just an exhibition designer, it’s
slightly curator too, right. There’s still this other thing.

______: But you could say every exhibition designer to
some extent has an influence or is partly curating. There’s
even people doing both, like ______ ____ for instance,
who actually understands all kinds of displays as actual
works of art. That’s maybe too short but in every case [he]
questions the influence that any sort of display has on the
work itself. The point is to ask the question: how does your
structure actually influence the works it presents?

___________: Yeah, and it’s always been very clear to me
that it will influence it a lot.

______: And there you still take on a certain responsibility,
if not as an author or artist or curator, still it’s some sort of
responsibility.

One of my main concerns [is that] ___ _________ should
be a place for people, for the community - a place to
be used and accessed. The question is how you actually
provide a structure that allows for that, which is sort of a
paradox because you already have to make decisions.

________: It comes down to design again, right: how do
you design an organization to make people want to dynam-
ically participate in a way that will feed this kind of activity?

______: Yeah, exactly. That’s the interesting thing. How do
you make structures that to a certain extent can multiply
themselves?

•••

________: I would think [of] a lectern as being one exam-
ple of a practical book support - one that holds [the book]
at a right angle while you read through it. In the back of
your mind is there a precedent form that you’re thinking of
or is it left ambiguous as to what you mean by support? Is
it a physical object that holds a book up, because the book
is also its own support in the way it holds the text?

___________: I left it fairly ambiguous. I guess the base
precedent is the person holding the book and there are
other precedents like the lectern. The floor is [also a]

no-other-option support system. Whether people will
directly reference those things or they’ll be completely
unusual forms for the task of supporting the book, I’m really
curious to see.

________: Whatever the impulse was at the beginning,
what form were you thinking of? Is it a bookshelf, the
lectern, a machine for reading? Or is it an exhibit structure
which has a different…

___________: It’s actually closer to your first thought and
maybe closer to ____ _______’s thought that the book
doesn’t need support or it is its own support - that it holds
and presents information in a certain way, similar to the
way that words hold meaning and information that are
transmitted.

______: What [will] be interesting is what [will come] out
of the collaborations, because initially you would say the
object [is] put on the support structure. But you could
actually equally look at it the other way around. You could
say the structure becomes the thing and the thing becomes
the support.

________: Yeah, one depends on the other, right.The only
reason that these structures exist is the support, the context
that the book provides for them so that they become, hopefully,
married together.

___________: That’s [part of] the idea behind having the
large structure: to get rid of any spatial or conceptual sense
of independence.

________: For that to work you really have to then make
these mini-marriages, whatever they are, contingent on
your structure – it can’t be too polite. It has to feel like
exhibition design. It has to be a total environment. I think if
you have these collaborations in the space, that whatever
the exhibition structure becomes - it’s holding some books,
it’s holding a text, it might actually hold this text - it needs
to maybe hold these collaborations as if they’re books, as if
they’re texts as well. Essentially [the structure] makes a
context for these collaborations to happen. I mean you’ve
already made the context by making the call but maybe then
a neutral space can’t accommodate these anymore? Maybe
you need to author the space in the same way that you
authored the call?

______: That’s where design really becomes interesting
as a possible answer to this question that you’re asking
of authorship.

________: It’s the one thing we haven’t talked about. We
talked about the book being an autonomous thing but it’s
actually a composite of binding, paper, typography. And ty-
pography, separate from the text, is authored by somebody.
The book was authored by somebody who layed it out for
the text. Collaboration is actually in the object already.

I keep coming back to this idea of designer because they’re
the ones that are utilizing these kinds of pre-authored
forms and making a thing that has sense with it.

___________: That’s the point of it being a support
structure, that it’s there as an auxiliary thing which makes
something else, the exhibition, completely possible. But on
its own it’s not useful. In a similar way to design, it fulfills
someone else’s need or function, it doesn’t create its own
need and then fill it like an artwork might.

________: The thing [that] I’m hoping to see in the collabo-
rations is this idea that [it] is not a platform holding up the
book as this thing that needs more attention. It’s actually
about this hybridity that’s going to happen between the two
that’s a new text. Which brings me back again to this question:
what’s your support going to be? Because it’s going to show me
[the collaborations] and how they’re going to be read. I’m cur-
ious to see: does it claim [the collaborations] in such a way
that I can’t imagine them to be outside of this context?

______: I think the best of all cases is that the marriage is
happening overall, so that the structure and the pieces can’t
be separated from each other. Or probably they could but the
whole thing becomes a thing and then it’s attached to other
things again.

•••

________: _________ ________, who [was] working with
__ _________ … She designed all of his furniture – let’s be
real. She has very interesting things to say about interior
architecture - the surface finishes, these kind of more minor
forms. The surface finishes were very sensual and often they’re
full of built-ins. So the actual wall fell away with the cabinetry
or the built-in benches would fold down. There’s this kind of
modularity that was built into the spaces. She is really interested
in the built-in as true architecture because it’s actually at the
moment of our touch or contact with this intimate space.

And the book functions in that same way. It has a kind of
architecture but it is about this direct engagement. It’s
plastic like you’re saying - its subject is actually really fluid.
A codexbook you can flip through back and forth and you
can have these wonderful jumps, from page 13 to page 73.
As a result the information is able to fold and collapse on
itself. When you have a concertina fold, you actually can
manipulate it like a material to create new form. The binding
itself is architectural.

___________: It almost seems, by your comparison
of architecture and the book, that the book would be
________’s ideal architecture - it’s all surface. The amount
of the book that isn’t a surface to be touched is really
minimal compared to a building with all its bulk and extra
materials.

________: In the same way that a book is architectural, it’s
actually autonomous from whatever structure you throw it
at; you’re always able to extract it. It has its own space and
we know how to move through that space - we know how
to receive information from it. Even in terms of perception
when we’re talking and I pick up this book, I am able to
create a space that only I can access, that you can only see
from one side. Book space is actually physically altering the
space around us. I love the kind of body feel of sitting on the
subway and realizing that the person reading the book across
from you is immersed in a text that makes them less aware of
their environment. The only thing you can imagine is from
the look on their face, what you can glean from the cover.
But there’s this rainbow arc of the pages that they’re in; you
can only intuit what it is. I find that very romantic and exciting.

______: That is the thing about books, right: they dissemi-
nate but then again, as you described it, they’re their own
defined space.

___________: I guess I think of them as not their own
defined space; it’s not as if they completely dictate the way
in which you engage with them. They need some kind of
support but they’re receptive to switching supports all the
time, to [reacting] to whatever else is around like the archi-
tecture of a streetcar, the social space of a streetcar or the
social space of a gallery.

________: So are they furniture?