Written by: Sarah Eskandarpour
Photographed by: Earl Vidad & Khalid Mokhtarzada
Torontonians are lucky to be exposed to a plethora of concerts, festivals and art shows. No matter the time of year, there is always something to attend and experience – you just have to know where to look. So, on April 3rd the PDT, friends and family piled into our respective Ubers and made our way to Queen West for a Friducation field trip – the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.
The first thing that struck me was the building – set in a busy part of the city, you’d think it’d be easy to find MoCCA but to an untrained eye, it’s just another building that may or may not be abandoned. After waiting outside in the courtyard, meeting a man trying to spark the philosophical minds of Queen West-ers with the question “what is love?” and playing with some arguably creepy sculptures with Philo, we headed inside for the big ticket show – Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything.
Un café, s’il vous plait?
What is Love?
Not being familiar with much of his work, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The team had spoken about his work here and there and I got the general gist of it but no formal studying of him as an artist had been done. All I knew was that the 21st century was his muse and since it’s always interesting to see how others view this time in human history and our future, it was enough for me.
To be quite honest, I didn’t have high expectations. How good is he really if his exhibit is free? Clearly I’m not as into art and culture as I’d like to think because it was fucking awesome.
Coupland’s work biography
Upon entrance into the exhibit you’re struck by a wall of perfection. Tiny, unobtrusive objects laid out row by row that set the tone for the rest of his exhibit – a retrospective, sometimes melancholy ode to the older days, the simpler days, challenging what we’ve become both as humans and Canadians in the 21st century.
Upon the entrance
With a combination of painting, sculptures, legos, pictures, vintage objects and even gum, there is no preferred medium for Coupland’s madness. Anything goes as long as it does what he wants it to – provoke us to reflect on our past and our future, challenge us to choose between the homogeneity of the suburbs and the chaos of the city and to discuss what it means to be Canadian, be it a familiarity with the Group of Seven or recognizing that ‘905’ does not belong to Toronto.
Some of his amazing works
To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. If Mr. Coupland set out to impress and inspire the mind of just one person, then he has found success in me.
Of course, any sort of mental stimulation also stimulates another part of the body (not that part, sicko). The stomach. We were all hungry. In the true nature of democracy, we all took a vote and decided to go to Milestones for burgers et al. before crossing ROM off of the Coupland field trip bucket list.
I wish I could say that we actually continued our journey to the ROM but the food and company at Milestones was just too good. By the time we were finished with that leg of the day, we were all too tired and full to continue on.
Though I would have loved to have stuck to our strict schedule and made it to the ROM, the spontaneity of the day was just as fulfilling. Call it subliminal influence or just mere coincidence, it’s quite fitting that we were forced to choose between sticking with the comfort of order and organization or the excitement of disorder and impulsiveness the same afternoon we’re faced with Coupland’s physical representations of that dichotomy.