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Reckitt, Helena; Fletcher, Harrell; Bastos, Augusto; Brandt, Thomas; Frey, Sean; Jickling, Hannah; Kobayashi, Alison SM; O'Donnell, Darren; Reed, Helen; Reid, Kerri; Shaw, Kristin; Swintak, Swintak; Tanaka, Maiko; Wah, Amy; Wielonda, Karen
Languages: English
Types: Other
A ten-day project and six-week exhibition, with an accompanying event series involving a visiting artist and various local people, translated into cake form, with photographs, text descriptions and a blog (cakeworthy.blogspot.com). \ud \ud Harrell Fletcher invited six Toronto-based artists, who in turn invited six people who don't identify as artists, to devise an exhibition from scratch together. Alongside the six artists the group included a lawyer, a mathematician, a baker, a computer engineer, a puppeteer and clown, and an economist and former Angolan freedom fighter. \ud \ud Creative decisions were reached through a process of discussion, but not always consensus, with group members' skills and experiences informing the project's direction. For instance, Karen Wielonda's expertise as a baker stimulated the use of cakes as a sculptural element and commemorative device, while a lemon-shaped cake is derived from mathematician Kristin Shaw's lecture about geometry and infinity. An accompanying lecture series presents individuals that the group encountered speaking on a range of subjects – from surviving traffic accidents to studying medical herbalism.\ud \ud For Fletcher, a self-described "shy person," this way of working diverts attention away from him as the artist and towards other people whose experiences and accomplishments are generally not celebrated in public.\ud \ud Treading a fine line between amateurism and professionalism, sentimentality and seriousness, the project valued the activities of people from all walks of life and evoked a sense of collective learning and knowledge. The alternative title proposed by the participants "it was bound to lead to disappointment" pointed to the perhaps inevitable tensions and agonisms within a group project of this nature.
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