July 2015 - Toronto ON
I have made several attempts to see the exhibit at MOCCA which is sadly closing shortly, the museum, I mean. Another new condo to replace it.
For the final farewell to 952 Queen Street West, artist Dean Baldwin, a long-time practitioner of convivial scenarios, establishes the Queen West Yacht Club, a fictitious social venue in situ at MOCCA on the occasion of its closing exhibition.
Where the reception desk once stood, there is now a chalet whose surfaces wouldn’t pass the marble test to measure levelness. It’s not the first time this chalet has been erected (it was originally commissioned by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2011) but, as Heraclitus said, “you could not step twice into the same river.” Every time Baldwin reassembles it, it’s something else altogether. It has all the trappings of a seaside shanty, and with each reincarnation, he adds a few more things; in saying this, he points to an olive-green fridge in the aesthetic school of Boler trailers and a cooking stove from the 19th century. Source
All of the walls in the interior space of the gallery have been torn down and a 1952 Nordic Folkboat, on its side, sits in the centre. Have you ever built a ship in a bottle? Much like that task, Baldwin and the MOCCA team sectioned the boat into a few parts, made a free cut across the drywall of the main entry wall, brought the pieces through and assembled it. If the hand-cut quality of the drywall being left as-is was the first acknowledgement that the space was sauntering coolly toward its own termination, then the second was the big dent the masthead made in the heating vent. MOCCA doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, an attitude that other major public institutions in the country could take a hint from. Source
The supplies that line the inside of the upturned boat call to mind Wes Anderson’s trendy, jejune sets in their fixation with things campy and camping: books, wine, whiskey, tools, canned peaches, marmalade, limes, coolers, rope, an oyster fork, sweet pickled onions, yellow mustard, lavender talc, aluminum foil, WD-40, a bucket, a gas lantern, maraschino cherries, canned tomato juice and a fire extinguisher, to name a few. The scene is replete with a radio tuned to a 24-hour short-band, bilingual Canadian station that broadcasts to-the-minute information about climate on the water. Source