Rhonda Weppler & Trevor Mahovsky
Northern Lites Mini-Mart
With Northern Lites Mini-Mart Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky have created a life-scale sculptural homage to the common corner store in the form of a 300 square-foot lantern. Two thousand smaller lanterns are displayed upon shelves inside the store, illuminating its translucent walls. These small lanterns, laboriously assembled by the artists, represent a cornucopia of products ranging from toothpaste to canned pork goulash. During the course of the evening the store will gradually darken, as visitors enter the see-through building and select lanterns, which are offered for free, to carry off into the festival atmosphere of Nuit Blanche. A sentimental version of a closing-out fire sale, this work invites as many questions about the complex nature of gifts as it does about things that are sold. Weppler and Mahovsky’s artwork focuses on the objects that comprise the background of the world. Though rooted in the tradition of still life, their art often takes the form of ‘living’ sculptures and environments that change in time. These works are intended to trace the drawn-out, effortful processes that bring them into and out of existence.
Northern Lites Mini-Mart is the latest iteration of a project that has also been exhibited in Dallas (2015), Detroit (2014), Atlanta (2013) and Toronto (2012).
According to curator and critic Dave Dyment: “One of the best-considered Nuit Blanche projects ever, the work succeeds in numerous ways. Participants I spoke with that night attested to the care that viewers took to select the perfect item to take away, an intimate experience amongst the spectacle. It also advertises itself (and the entire event of Nuit Blanche) as the viewers carry the light into the rest of the city.”
This artwork will open for one night only: Saturday, September 24 from 7 pm to midnight.
Rhonda Weppler (born in Winnipeg) and Trevor Mahovsky (born in Calgary) have worked together since 2004. They have MFA degrees from the University of British Columbia. Exhibitions: National Gallery of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, LABoral (Gijon), Dos de Mayo (Madrid), Power Plant (Toronto), Tokyo Wonder Site, loop-raum (Berlin), Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax). Residencies: apexart, New York (Mahovsky), ISCP, New York (Weppler), Artspace, Sydney. Collections: Musee d’art Contemporain de Montreal, National Gallery.
Location: Beaver Hills House Park, Jasper Ave (between 104 & 105 Streets)