Yasmeen Kanaan: The Virtual Garden by Juan Ortiz-Apuy

Juan Ortiz-Apuy: The Virtual Garden

The Virtual Garden continues the conversation on the culture of fetishizing commodities that the artist started in his 2017 exhibition, The Garden of Earthly Delights at the Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography in Toronto, accompanied by a text by Daniella Sanader. Inspired by Hal Foster and T.J. Clark, Juan Ortiz-Apuy presents visitors with a visual manifestation of a “bad dream of modernism.” The Virtual Garden is a cross between architect Rem Koolhaas’ 2002 article “Junkspace,” published in October, and Hieronymus Bosch’s 15th-century tryptic The Garden of Earthly Delights. Koolhaas takes the lid off of the modern built environment’s seductive nature by drawing parallels between the over-filling and artificial nature of junk food and the undernourishing ethos of the contemporary built environment, what he called “junkspace.” Ortiz-Apuy amplifies this addictive and trapping sensation of instant gratification associated with junk-commodity culture through his vibrant and dynamic hand-cut collages. The collages illustrate an amalgam of human and animal bodies with furniture pieces, sourced from multiple IKEA catalogs, design history books, and National Geographic magazines.

The Virtual Garden is curated and designed by Yasmeen Kanaan, Vitrine Coordinator, Department of Art History, in collaboration with Sarah Piché, EAHR Coordinator. The March 2021 online vitrine exhibition is presented in conjunction with EAHR’s third annual Diversifying Academia Library Research Residency, focusing on bibliographical sources of recent new BIPOC faculty in the Faculty of Fine Arts of Concordia University. Poster Design by Sarah Piché and editing by Alice Ming Wai Jim. Presented by the Ethnocultural Art Histories Research Group (EAHR) with the support of EAHR|Media and the Concordia University Research Chair in Ethnocultural Art Histories. The EAHR Diversifying Academia Library Research Residency is organized in partnership with Concordia Libraries and supported by the Department of Art History. EAHR’s activities are made possible with the support of The Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Concordia University is located on unceded Indigenous lands. The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of the lands and waters of Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal.

You can view the virtual gallery here. 

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