Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Meet on the commons @ The Art Gallery of Mississauga

Meet us on the commons

Curated by Elizabeth Underhill

The Art Gallery of Mississauga

July 21 - September 11, 2011

Featuring new and recent works by
The Department of Unusual Certainties
Sarah Febbraro
Serena Lee in dialogue with Anna Okrasko
Derek Liddington
Nathalie Quagliotto
Sarah Sharkey Pearce and Mariangela Piccione
Stacey Sproule

Meet us on the commons is an invitation to explore the public realm and encounter the people within it, by imagining and experiencing shared gathering places over a fragmented series of built environments, natural settings, and online networks in projects that focus on the role of youth in the formation of the commons. Through performance, sculpture, video and interactive works, emerging artists document, conceptualize and mythologize the rebellious actions of young people as gestures that open up space and welcome us to consider new places for play, discovery, and belonging.

The commons, a term used to describe shared public places, often take the form of parks or city squares that serve as accessible spaces for all members of the public, yet constantly face regulations and barriers that restrict their usage. Works in this exhibition investigate alternative uses and versions of the commons by citing the agency of defiant young people to freely enjoy and create shared gathering places. As provocateurs who flout authority and resist “fitting in”, such youngsters are frequently perceived as rule-breakers and undesirable troublemakers. However, artists in Meet us on the commons propose non-normative behaviour to be a vital catalyst for the making and sustainability of the commons, and explore conflict and resistance as liberating acts that disrupt hegemonic control over the spaces we visit, transforming them into publicly-malleable heterogeneous meeting places of pluralistic use that welcome difference and dialogue.

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