OCAD presents ORLAN, Useless Beauty and Design for the

Other 90% during Scotiabank Nuit Blanche

TORONTO, September 18, 2008—The Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) will present the exhibitions Useless Beauty and Design for the Other 90% alongside a performance by French artist and OCAD artist in residence ORLAN during Scotiabank Nuit Blanche on Saturday, October 4 from 6:52 p.m. to 7 a.m., October 5.

Useless Beauty, curated by OCAD Professor Johanna Householder and Jennifer Rudder, features work by artists KC Adams, Lois Andison and David Krippendorff that addresses notions of hybridity, gender, race, beauty, utility and fashion. The exhibition is presented in part as a response to ORLAN’S week-long residency at OCAD (part of OCAD’s Nomadic Residents program), and her video reading at approximately 9 p.m.

In addition, OCAD’s Butterfield Park will showcase an interactive presentation of treadle pump designs from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s touring exhibition Design for the Other 90%, which opens in the Professional Gallery as part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche and continues until January 25, 2009.

Finally, OCAD’s Alumni Association invites Nuit Blanche revelers to participate in Sketching Beauty, an all-night sketch crawl. Participants can gather sketching materials in Butterfield Park, and return their drawings to OCAD later in the evening for display during the event.The Professional Gallery of the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) will host Design for the Other 90%, a collection of design solutions addressing the basic needs of poor and marginalized populations not traditionally serviced by professional designers, the university announced today.

More Nuit Blanche programming at OCAD:

Do Not Play on or Around
Until October 10 (reception during Nuit Blanche, 8 to 10 p.m.)
Printmaking student James Gauvreau presents a mixed-media exhibit in Transit Space (Level 2, 100 McCaul Street) examining urban street art as a practice that has emerged out of graffiti and vandalism to evolve into a legitimate form of cultural expression.

Before I Forget
Until October 5
The OCAD Student Gallery (285 Dundas Street West) presents work by Integrated Media students Jo Alcampo, Liam Crockard, Dylin North and Steve Shaddick, curated by Matthew Williamson, which surveys the vagaries of memory via digital technology through web-based archiving, live video environments, interactive sound sculpture and video installation.

BACKGROUNDER:

The Works in Useless Beauty:

KC Adams: Cyborg Hybrids and Cyborg Hybrid Accessories
Winnipeg artist KC Adams explores the intersection of technological and socio-cultural evolutions. Adams presents a cross cultural-technological ideal, an intriguing interplay of contemporary race politics and analytical detachment. Useless Beauty showcases Adams’s Cyborg Hybrids photographic series, in which the artist theatrically stages celebrity-like portraits of models with mixed Aboriginal and European ancestry. The images belie their subversive and specific political edge. Her puns and double entendres, hand beaded and chosen by Adams’s subjects, speak to a shared politic in a way that is layered with cultural significance and poignancy. With her Cyborg Hybrid Accessories, Adams further animates her photographic works by subverting our obsession with portable, personal technologies with a sharp political and satiric edge.

Lois Andison: Camouflage 1 and 3 and maid of the mist
Toronto-based Lois Andison’s sculptural works examine the relationship of technology to nature and the body. With Camouflage 1 and 3, Andison proposes a kind of wearable technology that enables its wearer to employ actions of natural display, still only partly understood behaviors. Camouflage 1 is a stunning hybrid: a dress with an elaborate Elizabethan collar covered with Queen Anne’s Lace. The collar responds to a visitor’s approach by clicking into a series of positions, spectacularly articulating both seduction and protection. Camouflage 3 literally extends this metaphor in a couture garment with an extendible/retractable neck that spouts smoke, referencing both Sybiline riddles and prophecies and the joke of a woman blowing her top.

With maid of the mist, Andison twists a hatter’s steaming block into a complex metaphor for the female psyche by piercing an iconic portrait bust with holes that emit steam, finding a compelling vision inside the notion of a steaming brain.

David Krippendorff: Behind the Curtain and Night of 1000 Stars
Perhaps the strongest metaphor in the classic film The Wizard of Oz is the illusion of power. In Berlin-based artist David Krippendorff’s work Behind the Curtain we are presented with the slowed down movement of the curtain that hides the wizard himself. Here the “moment of discovery” is frozen — the curtain never opens to reveal the impostor behind it. The endless and mesmerizing motion creates a sense of expectation, which is never fulfilled.

One of the first signs of human existence found in outer space was the transmission of television signals. Space has therefore “witnessed” our existence through endless television shows, films, newsreels and soap operas. Krippendorff’s video Night of 1000 Stars considers human significance in the context of the infinity of space and time, in contrast to the greatest of Hollywood aspirations — to be a “star”.

About Johanna Householder, Curator, Useless Beauty
Co-curator and OCAD Professor Johanna Householder, is a multidisciplinary artist and writer. She is a founder of the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art which takes place in Toronto, Oct. 23 to Nov. 2, 2008. With Tanya Mars, she co-edited Caught in the Act: an anthology of performance by Canadian women, in 2004.

About Jennifer Rudder, Curator, Useless Beauty
Jennifer Rudder is the Curator of Gallery Stratford. From 2003 to 2007 she was Director/Curator. Rudder is Editor of the monograph Ordinary Marvel: Susan Kealey, published in 2003 by YYZ Books in Toronto and Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge, Alberta. She served as contributing editor for the art publications MIX and Canadian Art, and has written for Fuse and Lola magazines. As an independent, Rudder has curated numerous exhibitions including Crime and Punishment for the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston, Ontario which toured to Gallery 44 in Toronto and the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Jennifer was Executive Director of the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition for five years and Director of YYZ Artists Outlet between 1983 and 1993. She is currently completing a Masters of Visual Studies at the University of Toronto and is an Instructor at Brock University.

About ORLAN, Nomadic Resident
From plastic surgery interventions and performances to photography and digital works, ORLAN has been a formidable presence in contemporary art for over four decades. Since the 1960s, her work has transcended the numerous “posts” and “isms” of the art world’s different movements, all the while interrogating our bodies and identities, questioning art’s relation to life, and testing the lines between the real and the virtual.

ORLAN joins OCAD as its third artist-in-residence in its Nomadic Residents program from September 29 to October 3, presenting a free public lecture on Tuesday, September 30, 6:30 p.m. For details and additional information about ORLAN, please visit the www.ocad.ca.

About Design for the Other 90%
OCAD’s Professional Gallery hosts Design for the Other 90%, a collection of design solutions addressing the basic needs of poor and marginalized populations not traditionally serviced by professional designers, from October 4, 2008 until January 25, 2009.

The exhibition, organized by the New York-based Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and curated by Cynthia E. Smith, explores a growing movement among designers to design low-cost solutions for the “other 90%” — that is, the 5.8 billion people (out of the world’s total population of 6.5 billion people) who have little or no access to most of the products and services many of us take for granted. An extensive website, including a blog, discussion forum and additional resources is available at http://other90.cooperhewitt.org/.

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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Media Contacts:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer, OCAD
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile: Ext. 1327)


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