Barrie is home to one of Southern Ontario's finest regional galleries, The MacLaren Art Centre. We were lucky to visit a few weeks back for a survey of Kristan Horton's work, curated by Ben Portis. We spent a long time enjoying this exhibit, and walked away imbued with the activity and anxiety that permeates so much of Horton's work.
Using photography, video and digital media alongside drawing and sculpture, Horton's practice is diverse and episodic. Taking the mundane objects, garbage, and ephemera of his studio, he engages with this chosen environment and explores what is within his immediate reach. His process embodies a youthful energy that results in work that asks sophisticated questions about one's relationship to space, objects, technology, and time. In viewing this retrospective, we saw and connected to a theme of ritualized labour. Many of the pieces exhibit notions of work itself, either by their content expressing elements of process and the act of making, or by the obvious commitment to an intensive making experience needed to create them.
Paradoxically, an artistic practice restricted by self-imposed confines can open the scope of creation and discovery to limitless outcomes.
Don't miss A Haptic Portrait of Groping Imagination, on until May 26, 2013.
Installation photography by André Beneteau, copyright MacLaren Art Centre, 2013