January 2013 will mark the 15th anniversary of the Great Ice Storm, a synergy of five successive ice storms that struck a narrow belt of land from Eastern Ontario to Quebec in 1998. The storm was destructive enough to cause over 30 deaths and multiple electrical blackouts. It necessitated the deployment of 15 000 troops, and immobilized larger cities like Montreal and Ottawa. The ice storm also produced some of the most awe-inspiring imagery this nation has ever seen, particularly that of hydro towers collapsed like paper sculptures under the burdensome weight of ice.
The collapsed tower has been of particular interest to TH&B, and is the inspiration behind a series of works entitled RESURRECTION. The motive behind these works (which include performance, sculpture, and video) is to entrench the collapsed tower as a poetic metaphor—part of Ontario’s cultural identity, and an expression of the sometimes ugly, sometimes angelic negotiation between natural and urban infrastructures.
TH&B was the common name of the former Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo railway that operated out of Hamilton from 1895-1987. Crossing the Niagara Peninsula from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, the TH&B rail line was a vital link connecting the three cities. Hamilton artists Simon Frank, Ivan Jurakic, Dave Hind and Tor Lukasik-Foss, have appropriated the TH&B moniker as both a collective name for their self-generated art works, art projects, and performance endeavors.
Hear TH&B talk about their work on CBC Radio here