Kent Monkman: The Art Game


October 28 -31, 2011
Toronto International Art Fair
Metro Toronto Convention Centre

The centrepiece of Art Toronto 2011 is the fair’s flagship work by Toronto-based Cree artist Kent Monkman, curated by Steven Loft. The Art Game is a life-size maze, constructed from booth walls identical to the Art Fair itself, which will lead the audience through an art world “funhouse”. The meandering corridors are made more confusing with the use of double-sided mirrors, trick windows, and fake doors, creating a feeling of disorientation and forcing the audience into a challenging experience of perceptual distortion and multiple choice. Dispersed throughout the maze are four “dioramas”, each presenting one of the four key players in the Art Game: artist, curator/museum director, gallerist, and collector.

This monumental installation draws on many of the same themes that reoccur throughout Monkman’s work, articulating them with trademark wit and whimsy. Monkman’s film, painting, and performance practices consistently deal with notions of subjectivity, history, sexual identity, and colonial legacies. In The Art Game, Monkman zeroes in on the business of art as the subject for his wryly humours treatment, presenting the audience with something that is at once a critique, an homage, a condemnation, and a fantasy.

by Daniel St. Germaine

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