k.nicol
Small Box That TicsClock of Doom, view 2Clock of Doom, view 1
ToolKit
MKG 127,
Toronto,On
August 9 - September 8, 2012

Toolkit is an exhibition of human-scaled objects that give pause for thought. Made by practitioners of critical design, contemporary art and social action, and existing in the realm of furniture, products and utensils, these are implements — some speculative, some fully operational — that disrupt habitual actions and interactions, and allow us to consider alternatives. Aligning with an idea that change in the world might best be wrought by tools that alter thinking, some of these objects partake of the tendency to make objects increasingly smart, while others are resolutely dumb, reflecting back the interactions that shape the world around them.

Toolkit includes works by Montreal based artists Sonny Assu and Daniel Olson, Berlin based artist Michel de Broin, Brooklyn, NY based architect Justin Gologorsky, Vancouver/Toronto based collective Instant Coffee, London, UK based designer Onkar Singh Kular, Victoria based artist Chris Lindsay, Vancouver based artist Heidi Nagtegaal, Toronto based artist Ken Nicol and DE/UK based artist Sascha Pohflepp. This exhibition was guest-curated by Germaine Koh.

Reviews

Toolkit at MKG127 - Akimblog, Terence Dick, September 3, 2012.

"...Toolkit and was put together by ex-Torontonian, current-Vancouverite Germaine Koh. Much like her practice of making the everyday strange, this exciting selection of young artists from around the world all creates objects that absurdly upend our expectations of the vernacular. Ken Nicol's deadpan devices are useful in that they have functions, but those uses serve only to establish the uselessness of the work. In high contrast to these highly crafted things are Michel de Broin's MacGuyvered water-rocket and the low-rent James Bond suitcase in which it rests. In an accompanying video it does what it does with varying degrees of success, but you can't fault the artist for trying. In between these two extremes are more than enough quasi-commodities to, if not help you through the day like a good tool should, recalibrate your experience of how we interact with the built environment. Consider this a pleasant but rigorous refresher before the fall art season starts up in full swing" Terence Dick (Akimblog). For the full article click here.


Toolkit: Machines for Reflection - Canadian Art Online,Gary Dault September 6, 2012

"...By and large, the tool-objects that work best in “Toolkit” are the ones that appear to work the least: Ken Nicol’s introverted, stainless-steel, key-wound small box that tics (2007), for example, ticks on forever, like a sonic hourglass indexing your life, making nothing happen, preventing nothing from happening, monitoring nothing—as it gradually runs down (only to be wound up again). His Clock of Doom (2008) is even more unsettling—a mute, faceless clock that ticks towards some inevitable but unpredictable moment when (we are told) the alarm will go off: a consummation without context or reward" Gary Dault (CANADIANART). For the full article click here.


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