Saturday, June 22, 2024

“The Garden Gardens” in the Sculpture Gardens

Toronto's tiny Sculpture Garden at 115 King Street East near Church Street has a new art installation on display called “The Garden Gardens” by Julia Campisi. Her work will be exhibited from June 1 to September 10, 2024. The Sculpture Garden is near Church Street and squeezes between two really old buildings (built in the 1840s).
Julia's Toronto Hydro Electric maintenance cover, above
I found one of the real maintenance cover that I found on the street, not to far away

Julia replicates life in some type of polymer or plastic, some of which have been destroyed by the time I had taken photos of the site. Her art is interesting because of her description of reason behind the art and because I saw one of her pieces in real life out in the street. From the Garden's website you can find the summary below.

“The Garden Gardens” explores the intricate systems that underpin urban life by transforming familiar urban elements into revered artifacts. In a deliberate nod to the tradition of the museum presentation, Campisi employs the plinth to create an open air art gallery that creates a striking narrative between adoration, artifice and absurdity. The installation invites us to navigate the complexities and generative effects that progress has in shaping our perception of reality, culture and identity. In doing so, she offers a powerful meditation on the nature of truth, authenticity and the enduring allure of facades in our modern world.

All that remains of the three basement floor jacks are the baseplates
They are unsurprisingly less durable when not made of metal. I feel bad for the artist and hope that they weren't destroyed on purpose

Working autobiographically, Campisi uses labour intensive and experimental methods to re-make seemingly random elements from her daily life. She is not interested in maintaining reality but rather is more interested in generating a fantasy to create a space where assumptions, absurdity and artifice are front and centre. She is not trying to trick the viewer but rather draw out their judgments and bring into question the general feeling or idea of culture as ascribed to our built environment. Ultimately, her work is fixated on why we exist and how the things that we never pay attention to ultimately define, generate and build who we are.

Amidst our cultural fixation with facades, “The Garden Gardens” serves as a commentary on society’s preoccupation with surface appearances. In our pursuit of the idealized and the superficial, we often unwittingly embrace facades to obscure deeper truths, blurring the lines between reality and illusion. These sculptural works invite viewers to confront this paradox and contemplate the profound implications of living in a world where truth is often veiled by artifice."

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