Gold, Silver & Lead
30th ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION
Gold, Silver & Lead is a monumental stack of refined first generation Honda Civics, in painted steel, which rises 20’ above the viewer in a repetitive succession. Recalling the form of Brancusi’s Endless Column, but modified and transformed, it suggests both infinity and the wholeness of a finite form.
The work also references 1979, when the Toronto Sculpture Garden site was still a parking lot, and when Buckminster Fuller endorsed, in an advertisement, the Honda Civic as the car to service his own unique mobility needs. The TSG converted an old parking lot into a critical space, a thinking garden. Similarly Fuller’s vehicles wait for ignition and, once mobile, switch from the material to the immaterial - a mental state of fluidity. These parallel histories of transformation intersect neatly in 1979, the year that planning began for the Toronto Sculpture Garden. The totemic form of Gold, Silver & Lead acknowledges this history and pushes the idea of mobility one step further by making the automobile static and something to be considered rather than experienced.
Gold, Silver & Lead looks to the sublime, through repetition and pattern, but the attempt would seem to fall short, as the Civic modules have been fabricated to disassemble as they reach into the sky. The column is modeled on the obsolete industrialized object of the Honda Civic automobile, thus colliding Fuller’s notion of expansive mobility with Brancusi’s suggestion of the infinite through pure form. Thus, the hard object fades into the realm of mantra and repetition, encouraging a perception that is drifting.
Both the TSG and the artwork’s idle vessel form share the potential to transform our experience and to act as a starting point for something redundant or extraordinary. Knowing the origins of the site and the idea of Fuller’s vehicles sitting empty throughout the world, Gold, Silver & Lead embraces the concept of idleness and potential.