The title of the exhibit is ‘Surrender’ and the words on the wall say this:

“Liz Magor’s art invites us to reconsider our relationships with the things we encounter every day.  Through subtle shifts in materiality and context, her works reveal the important role that objects play in our lives: they can allow us to conceal ourselves or to express our identities.  In her sculptures and photographs, Magor explores how we depend on domestic materials to develop a sense of self.”

Nothing is mentioned about surrendering, or why the exhibit has the title that it does.

In the first room there are boxes on the wall.  Each box looks like a carefully wrapped sweater or jacket that has just been purchased.  I can envision a middle aged saleslady taking her time to package your purchase, like in an Eatons store thirty or forty years ago.

art installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario by Liz Magor - two walls with many open boxes on them. The boxes are made to look like they've just been opened to reveal a sweater or top folded neatly inside, including the tissue paper that often accompanies a new purchase. The clothes have all been decorated with different objects.

On closer look, most boxes also have a hand print, or shape of a hand with index finger pointing at something and little details are amiss…  a ketchup package for example.

blog_liz_magor_cornhuskers

The second room has a number of smaller installations.

A garment bag left over a chair.
Neatly folded blankets hanging on a wall.
A platter of chocolates and left overs.
A tweed jacket on top of a liquor bottle.

art installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario by Liz Magor - in the foreground are two long narrow tables. On one of them is a platter with chocolates and a platter with the remains of cheese and crackers.

A husky under a blanket (of snow?  on a bed?)
A coat and purse hanging on a hook.
The contents of a room boxed and ready to move.

art installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario by Liz Magor - 3 pieces. First, a pile of moving boxes and other items that look like they are in the midst of getting ready for the movers. Second, a large white blanket bed sized that has a hole in the middle of where the pillows should be but instead there is a wolf curled up inside the whole. Third, what looks like a jacket hanging from a hook on the wall

art installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario by Liz Magor - two hangers with plaid blankets folded over them hanging from hooks on a wall. One of the blankets has a clear plastic Creeds bag over the top part of it

On closer look, some of the details on the blankets are wrong
including the labels that are sewn on back to front.

The label on a plaid blanket is sewn on backwards so that the writing on the label faces the blanket.

I was interested in what people’s reactions were to this exhibit so I had a chat with a couple of the employees about it.  According to them,  there was no reaction.  Most people showed interest in the boxes but when they walked into the second room they rarely stopped to take a closer look.

blog_liz_magor_rose

As for surrender, I did find reference to it in the description of the exhibit on the AGO website, ” In this exhibition, everyday objects and forms, as well as the natural world, function allegorically by evoking the human need to surrender to desires, compulsions, fantasies.”  Once again, I will leave it to you to decide if this description fits.

Exhibit continues until 29th November.

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