Laura Moore
Curbside

October 22 - November 19, 2016



For beholders of a certain generation, Moore’s memorials to a bygone era of personal computing may trigger involuntary memories of ergonomic intimacy with outmoded media. For others, the minimalist but retrospectively ponderous morphology commemorated by the artist may retrieve a Modernist imaginary of angular and monochromatic archetypes. With typical irreverence, Moore characterizes the liminal condition negotiated by her objects as “not-quite-garbage.” Like the rag pickers commemorated by the poet Charles Baudelaire or the painter Edouard Manet, Moore invites reflection on the artful potential of dumpster diving.(1)
- Adam Lauder

For her second solo exhibition at the gallery, Laura Moore will present components of one man’s junk, a series of hand-carved stone sculptures of box computer monitors, PC towers, and personal speakers. The series was first sparked by a chance encounter with a computer monitor left abandoned beneath a railroad underpass in the city’s west end. Since then, the artist has salvaged numerous electronics from the streets of Toronto to perform a reversal of fortune: monumentalizing in stone what was once tossed to the curbside.

“Stripped of their proprietary logos and other identifying marks, Moore’s bantam monoliths are disorientingly generic yet tantalizingly familiar. The objects’ chiseled surfaces communicate the tactile functionality of their computational referents, even as their elevated presentation—on a custom-built wooden pallet—tacitly forbids the pleasures of contact. Though emphatically stationary, one man’s junk summons viewers to join the artist in cognitively mapping the ubiquitous “grid” of our digital and urban environments.”(2)

Moore’s daily ritual of bicycling across the city for source material is highlighted in a new video work title curbside. In the video we see old box TVs abandoned at the edge of the road, outdated computer monitors nestled in the back of pick-up trucks and broken printers placed carelessly in the middle of walkways. At turns nostalgic and tragicomic, the video is a mediation on the fleeting lifespan of personal electronic devices. These once treasured items become digital “junk” the instant they are evicted and placed in the public sphere – a process that highlights the perpetual cycle of consume and discard that connects local activities with the mass migration of e-waste circumventing the world.

As we enter the age of the Anthropocene, a time in which humans are leaving a permanent mark on the earth, Moore’s practice of carving vestiges of obsolete technology in the enduring medium of stone suddenly seems altogether fitting.

(1) Adam Lauder, one man's junk, commissioned essay by the MacLaren Art Centre.
(2) Ibid.
Click here to read the full essay by Adam Lauder, commissioned by the MacLaren Art Centre on the occassion of Laura Moore's exhibition one man's junk (July 7 - October 16, 2016).

Laura Moore’s sculptural practice has long explored the tensions between the monumental and the handheld, the disposable and the permanent, the interactive and the inert. The artist works primarily in stone, although her practice extends into wood relief, drawing and photography. Moore received an MFA from York University and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Recent exhibitions include Sculpture by the Sea in Aarhus, Denmark (2015), Material World at the Indianapolis Art Centre in Indiana (2015), TH&B UNITED at the Cotton Factory in Hamilton (2015) and Possible Futures: What is to be done? The Windsor-Essex Triennial of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Windsor (2014). Moore’s sculptures have been installed in numerous public settings, most notably at Google in Kitchener as part of the Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area Biennial (CAFKA) in 2014. The artist is a transient member of Studio Pescarella in Pietrasanta (Italy) and will be an artist-in-residence at Lademoen Kunstnerverksteder in Trondheim (Norway) in the summer of 2017.