Western Visual Arts students Kevin Rodgers and Matthew Ryan Smith culminate their doctoral research in separate PhD Thesis Exhibitions opening at the McIntosh Gallery this week.
Rodgers’ exhibition, OUT OF ORDER, includes sculptures and drawings made from commercial signs, modified furniture and fragments of philosophical texts. With this new body of work, Rodgers explores the abstraction of politics and representation.
While much of the exhibition indirectly refers to political and cultural events of the past 40 years, the artist questions conventional notions of chronological time. In this sense the exhibition can be seen as “untimely,” where things are both no longer of the past and not yet of the future, and are thus “out of order.”
A publication designed by the artist accompanies the exhibition. It includes a text by Toronto-based writer and curator Rosemary Heather.
Smith’s exhibition, Some Things Last a Long Time, investigates the manner in which our private lives precondition the act of seeing. In these selected works, the artist’s mode of address is predominantly communicative in both a literal and figurative sense.
By candidly expressing events from their private lives, these artists encourage audiences to respond using their own history. Rooted in self-reflection, this internal dialogue is a powerful instrument for critically examining the visual sphere. By engaging with the artist’s personal lives, the audience may come to better understand their own responses.