Never, as Always

Opening Reception: Saturday 15 May 2010 @ 7pm The exhibition Never, as Always presents the sculptural work of Marcy Adzich (Grafton, ON) in a delightful series that engages unconventionally with the traditional painting themes of still life, portraiture and landscape as subject matter. Using these themes as a starting point, Adzich has developed work that slips through the constraints differentiating art and commodity, and the distinctions between object and display. By simultaneously juxtaposing an array of materials which may be considered precious or cheap, beautiful or distasteful, Adzich creates three dimensional tableaux that explore the imperfection of the pursuit of beauty and insinuate themselves into a larger perspective about desire and possession. Never, as Always reveals the interplay between scene and situation, still life and landscape, abstraction and representation, revealing unexpected configurations of beauty and place.

Images of the exhibition can be found here

Marcy Adzich lives and works in Grafton, Ontario. She has a BFA from the University of Alberta and an MFA from University of Victoria. Adzich’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and the United States. She will be the artist-in-residence at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson City in August 2010.

Exhibition Essay

by Catherine Toews Into the Imaginary MuseumWith an imaginary museum you can do whatever you want, you can think about it before falling asleep, or you can go out in the morning and build it from scratch. And if it doesn’t work, there is nothing to be ashamed of. You can always say that it was simply an exercise in loss. In the end, I just think there is a certain strength in being invisible.” – MAURIZIO CATTELAN

Marcy Adzich’s beautiful, whimsical sculptures are of an enchantingly rare breed powerful enough to create their own worlds within the world of the gallery. Rather than passively standing at the doorway to these peculiar worlds we can fall, jump, or fly into them. In Adzich’s imaginary museum, we trek over the synthetically grassy hills and through a glen of toy trees. Towards the blue haze we go. Adzich states that she is interested in developing work that slips “through the constraints that differentiate art and commodity, and the distinctions between object and display.” Each sculpture quietly demands attention, and the works co-exist strangely, yet cooperatively, in the gallery. Fragile glass bubbles house delicate wood shavings under a protective and birdlike velvet wing. A lone doll face stares curiously out from a fluffy, cotton candy-shaped confection of greenery and frills. Intent on “juxtaposing an array of materials and things which may be considered precious or cheap, beautiful or distasteful,”

Adzich is an alchemist capable of elevating mass-produced materials from factory gloss to dreamlike shimmer and utilizing conventional gimmicks of retail display to protect and present fanciful specimens. Adzich’s work is propelled by serious concerns about possessions and value. She states that “our desire to possess and fill our spaces and larger environments with things” has brought us “no closer to finding contentment with what we have.” Adzich critiques the fetishization of objects by creating new objects and makes it work because the objects she creates are so undeniably, intriguingly, and elegantly worthy of the floor and wall space they occupy.

There is an over-arching sense of wonder and play present in the work, and the friendly yet forceful tone is one worth listening to. Adzich’s museum, filled as it is with lumps and bumps and irresistibly tactile materials, holds open the door to visitors both young and old. It is easy to imagine a child eagerly approaching one multi-tiered blue, green and black sculpture and carefully arranging plastic toys on the curved tabletop at a kid’s eye view, just as Adzich has crouched down from her own adult’s eye view to arrange the trees in her tiny forest. The exhibition title, “Never, as Always,” seems apt when describing this set of undeniably unique sculptures that, although unlike anything we have ever seen before, seem oddly referential to a nostalgic memory bank of blurry moments from childhood and nearly forgotten pop culture references.

In one work, Adzich creates her own version of a factory, comprised of twisting pipes and architecturally intricate rafters and supports. This isolated industrial complex seems like a place where the productivity-obsessed Doozers of Jim Henson’s popular eighties television series Fraggle Rock would almost feel at home. One can nearly imagine the tiny green creatures compulsively building seemingly purposeless yet amazingly complicated structures upon this terrain. Adzich’s artifacts defy easy definition or categorization. They do not ask to be dissected, but rather to be valued and appreciated. By rewriting the conventional rules of display and representation on her own terms, Adzich offers up a rare chance to step away from the gallery and into a landscape, and we pass through the looking glass and into the imaginary museum.

Catherine Toews is an artist and graphic designer. Born and bred on the Canadian prairies, she now calls Kingston home and spends her days working in a museum.