The Last Things Before the Last
The Last Things Before the Last resurrects fragments of two earlier exhibitions at the McMaster Museum of Art (MMA) within a new configuration of works from the collection. The reconstructed elements are from artist Alexander Pilis's 2010-2011 curatorial endeavour The Blind Architect Meets Rembrandt and from the 1994 installation that opened the new building of the MMA, featuring the donated collection of Herman Levy as it once hung in the Levy family home. These exhibition fragments are incorporated into a new composition with its own associational counterpoint on the theme of disappearance and reappearance. More particularly, the new configuration draws on the breadth of the time span of the MMA collections – from a Ptah-Sokar-Osiris tomb figure (1,000-500 B.C) across First World War-era pages of the Levy family photo album to Toronto artist Max Dean's self portrait Chair Without Front Legs from the 2011 series Objects Waiting. Outside the traditional format of exhibition-making that is structured around a delimited time frame, an art historical period, and/or a chronological form of presentation, this seemingly 'ahistorical' exhibition invites an excess of history.