M6J 2H2 Toronto
21 March to 27 April, 2013
Carr-Harris scrutinizes language’s meanings and edges, often fastening his deft analyses to the institutional structures that bear and uphold them: the exhibition space, the chalkboard, the book. In the gallery’s main space, Prose and Poetry of England is a three-part installation by Carr-Harris that considers the book as a frame for these considerations as much as an aesthetic object in itself. Working with John Masefield’s richly textured poem Cargoes, which compares in ascending historical register the sundry cargoes of three ships, Carr-Harris deconstructs the poem to open it up to the revealing and astonishing elements of language, display, and childhood stories.
On the gallery’s upper floor, an extrapolation from The Ideal House Project, an ongoing series jointly produced by the artist team of Yvonne Lammerich and Carr-Harris, positions the building’s model as both a noun and a verb, a paradigmatic object to be deconstructed and built again. As the artists write, “In the act of building there lies the basis of desire, of intention given form in an evolution of its spatial and aesthetic functions, and the concept of ideal form lies not in some finality, but in the play of possibilities that attends the process of living as becoming.”
Ian Carr-Harris was born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1941. He has shown extensively in Canada, and internationally, including such exhibitions as the 8th Biennale of Sydney, Canadian Biennial of Contemporary Art, Documenta 8, and the XLI Biennale di Venezia. He has had solo exhibitions at Chelsea School of Art, London; The Power Plant, Toronto; Centre culturel Canadien, Paris; Centre d’art contemporain, Herblay, France; and Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. His work has been included in exhibitions at Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation; Toronto; Musée d’art contemporain, Lyon; and Marburg Kunstverein, Marburg, Germany. His work is held in many public and private collections across North America and Europe.