Scenic Events on a Path of Upheaval and Damage Control
Jul 17, 2003 - Aug 24, 2003

scenic events on a path of upheaval

Noel Harding


Damage Control

Paul Butler     Michel de Broin

Curated by Camilla Singh


July 17 to August 24, 2003.

Opening Reception: Thursday July 17, 7 – 10 p.m.


The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is pleased to present two exhibitions that will take place from July 17 to August 24, 2003, as part of an Ontario-wide event called The Water Project, in co-operation with the Ontario Society of Artists, (OSA).


Noel Harding’s scenic events on a path of upheaval was created in 1980 at the IKON gallery in Birmingham, England.  The piece was originally conceived as the Russians invaded Afghanistan, and is being reprised here in the wake of recent events in the Middle East, and looming, perhaps mere decades in advance of an impending disaster of a global water crisis.  As Patrick McGrath wrote of the piece in Vangard magazine, “…the scenic events are the simple visual pleasure of fresh lettuce and healthy goldfish, moving irrevocably, like the great trundling apparatus of our civilization, down the path of upheaval”.


Noel Harding is an international artist living in Toronto, whose work can be found in numerous collections, including: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; The Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels and The Hara Museum, Tokyo. Harding’s work has been featured in more than 70 solo shows and has been included in over 100 group exhibitions.


Damage Control  broaches the subject of water from an ecological perspective and its relationship to popular culture in North America.  A selection of works from Paul Butler’s Positive Mental Attitude Series included in the exhibition are landscapes depicting the immense power and force of water in nature.  Each image is a magazine cut-out, collaged with duct tape covering sections of the image like a Band-aid solution to larger, global, environmental water issues.  As a final dose of irony within each work, is a pasted on slogan, which advocates adopting a positive mental attitude to the situation.  Butler himself describes the work as being basically a visual prozac.


Michel de Broin is creating an exciting new work for the exhibition, titled Blue Monochrome, which is essentially a Jacuzzi within a metal disposal bin.  The outer framework of the hot tub is a mid-sized, metal dumpster.  The inside of the dumpster is a pristine, soothing, bubbling, chlorinated, pool with a functioning water filtration system.  The work provokes discussion around recreational and/or disposable attitudes and usage towards water and our other natural resources.


Paul Butler is an emerging artist from Winnipeg with gallery representation in Toronto at Wynick/Tuck Gallery.  His work has been exhibited in Germany, England, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and throughout Canada.  Michel de Broin is an emerging artist from Montreal who is represented by Pierre-François Oullette Art Contemporain in Montreal, and has exhibited in Germany, Switzerland, Ottawa, Toronto, and extensively in Quebec.