Shedding Light on Building
September 4, 2008
The Self-Aware Shed is a worn, wooden structure, much like the historic 401 Richmond building in which the gallery is situated. Squeezing in between a pillar and a ceiling fan (also blocking the gallery entrance), the shed is an attempt to counter the “white skin” of YYZ’s modernist setting. It’s a similar project to her Nuit Blanche installation where she transformed a Toronto City dumpster into a boutique hotel.
At YYZ, rather than working from a proposal, Swintak was able to choose the direction of her work as it progressed. This process, different from most residencies, resulted in some unusual additions to the shed. Finding the Self-Aware Shed to be somewhat unsatisfactory on its own, Swintak built a tarp-wrapped tunnel starting from one end of the shed and opening onto the gallery’s loading docks.
“I would never have built something that leads outside if I hadn’t of been hanging out by those doors for a month sitting at my desk and doodling.”
Gallery, shed, and the outside worlds blend together to create spaces that are both contrived and natural, familiar and strange. For Swintak, the best surprise is bringing the outside in. By drawing visitors to the gallery’s loading docks, she hopes to bring a strange and new light to an ordinary view of the city.
“I often find the real world as better than art,” she writes. “Piles of old wood in alleys and bags blowing around, all the social stuff going on -just watching the world pass by is a pretty mind blowing experience.”
Self-Aware Shed will be on display from Sat September 6th – Sat October 18 at Toronto’s YYZ Artists’ Outlet.
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