Public Studio: What We Lose In Metrics Opening

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Public Studio: What We Lose In Metrics Opening
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Art Gallery of York University says
In their first major solo exhibition in a public gallery, opening Wednesday April 13, 6 – 9 pm, Toronto collective Public Studio (Elle Flanders + Tamira Sawatzky) ask what we lose in such metrics, in turning forests into standing reserves for commodity exploitation and trees into colossal columns of statistics.

From 13 April – 19 June, 2016 at the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU), What We Lose in Metrics cultivates our complex relationship to the forest through an immersive installation that brings together an unlikely constellation of natural, technological, and human forces into an intricately woven architectural frame. Traverse the exhibition as if animating your own play-through of video games The Path, Witcher 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Skyrim, and Assassin’s Creed III. With these games as clues, we lose our way en route to a cabin in the woods containing a cascade of images, all in black and white and collaged together in rapid pursuit of each other: Apocalypse Now, Rambo, Bambi, Avatar, Rashomon, and more—evidence of the pervasive and profound symbol of the forest as a place of refuge or ambush, evil or enchantment ... hunter or hunted. But back in the thick of it, Public Studio leads us along, speculating with each new forking path as to whether there are alternate cosmologies of nature—a way out, perhaps. At the interstice of two large-scale multi-media installations, Public Studio take us to the edge of the clearing, but without providing clear-cut answers. We turn another corner where a 10’ x 20’ LED screen, now a cleverly detourned grow light nourishes a fledging forest comprised of saplings registering a new world order: a Bioplan based on the lifework of renegade scientist Diana Beresford-Kroeger. They grow patiently awaiting planting at the close of the exhibition as we carry on.

In our passage through these dread woods perhaps we have recognized the reserve of deep memory the forest stands for—a psychic and symbolic archive we all share. Could it be written in the Rights of Nature, created for this exhibition by Haida lawyer Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, that we might find the darkness at the end of the tunnel where it all began?

What We Lose in Metrics is curated by Emelie Chhangur + Philip Monk and is a Primary Exhibition of the 2016 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Toronto artist Gina Badger is also hosting the AGYU Performance Bus — and who wouldn’t trust a self-defined "kitchen witch" to get you out there safely? Gina is cooking up something special to take to the woods, though we are not going to disclose her ingredients, just yet. The free Performance Bus departs OCADU (100 McCaul St.) at 6 pm sharp on Wednesday April 13 en route to the exhibition opening of What We Lose in Metrics & Rates of Accumulation and returns downtown at 9 pm
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By: Art Gallery of York University

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