5 6 7: Economies of Good & Evil is a catalogue of work by Toronto-based artist Mitch Robertson, placing his most recent project in the context of his career by way of images, texts, and an interview with the artist. It is published for an exhibition of the same title, organized by the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art (Winnipeg) and Oakville Galleries (Oakville, ON), and travelling to the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (Charlottetown, PEI); the Kenderdine Art Gallery (Saskatoon, SK); Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery (Halifax, NS); and the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery (Owen Sound, ON). This publication features full-colour reproductions of work spanning Robertson’s young, but proliﬁc career, along with texts elaborating the conceptual foundations of his practice. To introduce readers to the artist’s early work, and reﬂect upon its evolving confrontation of industries surrounding celebrity, tourism, and popular myth, long-time curator Robert McKaskell speaks to Robertson about the life and legacy of his irreverent approach to art-making. From loud, crass gestures of self-promotion and the banality of mass production to cynical subversions of the souvenir market and his inquiry into the icons of exoticism, McKaskell and Robertson discuss the motivations behind what the latter playfully dubs, “family-friendly conceptualism.” His recent venture into symbolic archetypes of good & evil, and Christianity’s controversial corporate makeover, is the subject of Plug In ICA curator Steven Matijcio’s essay “Economies of Faith.” Charting the conﬂicted relationship between Church and commerce through history, Matijcio analyzes Robertson’s current body of hand-tinted photos, rubbings, paintings, and a modular church through the lens of contemporary religious practice. His analysis, in concert with a trajectory of images and McKaskell’s interview, produce a platform from which to view the punning, yet poignant practice of one of Canada’s most provocative artists.
Interview by Robert McKaskell; Essay by Steven Matijcio Forewords by Anthony Kiendl (Plug In ICA) and Francine Périnet (Oakville) Edited by Paddy O’Brien Design by Andrew DiRosa (SMALL Design] 96 Pages; Colour and Black & White Images.
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