Opening April 1st, 2011 from 7-10pm
In Matthew Coghlan’s new work comprising Sister City, the artist explores the haphazard metaphysics of our shared built environment. Brooding monuments hunker down on islands and peninsulas, tarnished medals of utilitarianism that have been decorated and repurposed. These sculptures ascribe a value that is more than arbitrary to places that may be otherwise overlooked and unloved. It is their neglect that makes them special. Faithfully reproduced and tended with care, reinstated in new surroundings, they become talismans of a checkered past with a thousand distinct stories. Coghlan’s practice sits at the intersection of art and craftsmanship. Individual pieces act as memento mori for physical objects which can no longer exist as they once were. The reproduction of minute elements becomes ritual, but even the most meticulous copy belies the flaws which exist in our fabricated environments. The mundane is approached with reverence and becomes extraordinary.
A young generation of contemporary artists continue to grapple with themes of entropy manifesting itself around them. Focused most acutely with artists who are involved or inspired by the graffiti movement in urban centres, the beauty of the surfaces experienced and explore begin to inform the content of their studio practice. With the impending buff of Toronto’s streets by it’s current mayor Rob Ford, artists are seeking out and employing methods of archiving and cataloguing the history of this specific movement that exists in our urban environment. Coghlan’s sculptures engage with the ideas of urban archeology and the taxonomic ordering of what is experienced.