FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THIS IS PARADISE/ Place as State of Mind: The Cameron Public House and 1980s Toronto
Curated by Rae Johnson and Herb Tookey. Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art

This Is Paradise/ From the National Gallery of Canada Collection
Curated by Rae Johnson and Jonathan Shaughnessy.
Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and the National Gallery of Canada.

JUNE 25 to AUGUST 21, 2011
Opening celebration and reception: June 24, 8 to 11p.m.

TORONTO, Ont., June, 23, 2011 - The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is pleased to launch our sizzling summer exhibitions program featuring This is Paradise / Place as State of Mind: The Cameron Public House and 1980′s Toronto, and This is Paradise / From the National Gallery of Canada Collection. Following the exhibitions, Impulse Archaeology in 2007 and Art Metropole Top 100 in 2008, This Is Paradise is the third in MOCCA’s ongoing series that recall the rambunctious and fascinating history, evolution and context of contemporary culture in and around Toronto’s Queen Street West scene. The exhibitions are on view from June 25 to August 21, 2011.  The opening celebration takes place June 24, from 8 – 11 pm, with an outdoor BBQ by Prague Deli.

This is Paradise/ Place as State of Mind: The Cameron House and 1980′s Toronto presents a selection of groundbreaking visual art, fashion, performance, music and theatre created by artists whose playground, sometime-home, laboratory, stage, gallery and canvas was the infamous Cameron Public House of the Queen Street West art scene of 1980’s Toronto. The exhibition provides an overview of 1980s Toronto and an art scene marked by collusion between creative angst, experimentation and vanguard explorations of a burgeoning image-based, media-saturated culture. Curated by active participants in the scene, Rae Johnson and Herb Tookey, the exhibition features an eccentric array of work in all media produced mostly in the 1980s by 47 artists who were key players on the scene, including Cathy Daley, Tom Dean, Lynn Donoghue, Andy Fabo, Eldon Garnet, General Idea, the Hummers (Deanne Taylor, Janet Burke Jennifer Dean, Alan Bridle), Tim Jocelyn, Evan Penny, John Scott, Joanne Tod and Renée Halm, and many more.

In conjunction with the main space exhibition and the National Gallery of Canada at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art program MOCCA presents the exhibition This is Paradise/ From the National Gallery of Canada Collection, that features seminal works of the era by Susan Britton, David Buchan, Tom Dean, General Idea, Tanya Mars, Sandra Meigs, John Scott, and Joanne Tod, This is Paradise/ From the National Gallery of Canada Collection, is curated by Rae Johnson and Jonathan Shaughnessy, Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Canada, and is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and the National Gallery of Canada.

These projects are a featured component of Paradise Now, an extensive, neighbourhood-wide program of concurrent exhibitions and events from the community-taking place throughout the summer celebrating the phenomena of 1980’s cultural production. For information on Paradise Now visit www.paradisenow.ca.

Highlights / Key Facts

  • Third in a series of exhibitions examining the evolution of Toronto’s Queen Street West art and cultural scene.
  • Paradise Now is a project by the This is Paradise Collective, and is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Toronto, OCAD University, C Magazine and YYZ.

Links / URLs

Quotes:

  • David Liss, Artistic Director and Curator, MOCCA

“These exhibitions are crucial to MOCCA’s commitment to representing the rich and deep history of the Toronto art scene and serve as a context for the cultural activity of today’s West Queen West neighbourhood.”

  • Rae Johnson, Curator, This is Paradise

“This exhibition is a celebration of this era, marked by triumph and tragedy, and the reclamation of an important part of Toronto history. Works for this multidisciplinary exhibition have been borrowed from collections across Canada, to once again return to their origins, on Queen Street West.”

Tags / Keywords

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, MOCCA, This is Paradise, Queen Street, Toronto, 1980’s Toronto, National Gallery of Canada, NGC, NGC@MOCCA.

About the National Gallery of Canada at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art

The National Gallery of Canada at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is a three-year program that will see the two institutions co-organize and co-present a series of exclusive exhibitions in MOCCA’s newly-renovated project space, drawn from the NGC’s exceptional contemporary art collection. These will include the presentation of single works, new acquisitions or full scale exhibitions designed to complement MOCCA’s existing programming. Learn more about the NGC@MOCCA program.

About the NGC http://www.gallery.ca/

About MOCCA

The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art was founded from the former Art Gallery of North York in 1999, with the mandate to exhibit, research, collect, and promote innovative art by Canadian and non-Canadian artists whose works engage and reflect the relevant stories of our times. In 2005, MOCCA relocated to the West Queen West Art + Design District in downtown Toronto, in the heart of one of North America’s most dynamic arts communities and functions effectively as a nucleus of energies for cultural production and exchange. Since 2006, MOCCA draws 40,000 visitors annually.

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Supporters

The National Gallery of Canada at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is generously supported by Cineplex Media, Porter Airlines, and The Ouellette Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by AXA Art Canada. The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is also grateful for the patronage of THE ART DEPT., a leadership circle of MOCCA patrons.

All programs and activities of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art are supported by Toronto Culture, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, BMO Financial Group, individual memberships and private donations.

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Media Contact
Fayiaz Chunara
Head, Communications and Marketing
416.395.7490
fchunara@mocca.ca