This exhibition is about encounters. Both/And 2011 takes place inside the University of Toronto Art Centre (UTAC) Art Lounge, a unique space open to students. While it offers all the same cutting edge technology as well-established commercial galleries, it is driven by different policies and interests. It provides an opportunity to student artists to display their art free from commercial restrictions found in most galleries and museums. A place where students and visitors are encouraged to share what they have created out of what they saw, imagined, or dreamed. A place to bring a book and read, meet a friend, or just sit down with your coffee and contemplate art. It is a multifunctional space, where art, ideas, and contemplation happen.
Already in its third season, Both/And 2011 has once again filled the Art Lounge with art made from experimentation, exploration, and the process of self-discovery. Both/And is more a place in time rather than an event. Here, the artistic intention is rooted in the Real, integrated into the lived experience.
I could have focused on the conceptual aspects of this third season of the Both/And exhibition. I could have emphasized how its ambiguous statements are crucial to facilitate encounters, the moments where intentions and manifestations seem to be suddenly redirected, and an unexpected detour happens. I could have highlighted the historical aspects of the fresh artistic manifestations giving us important clues regarding the tendencies of our present times.
Instead, I wanted to draw your attention to the space and what it means to exhibit at the UTAC Art Lounge. Both/And is what it is today because it takes place in a space where intentions meet their manifestations. Even the moniker ‘art lounge’ hints at the multipurpose character of this space. The Art Lounge is a facilitator, offers the meeting point where the individualistic experiences turn into an interconnected expression.
The UTAC Art Lounge embraces opposite and complementary ideas. True to its historical moment, it aims to represent a multitude of perspectives, to embrace opposite and complementary ideas, not only by respecting its multicultural climate, but above all by valuing all that which is subjective.