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Iconic Site (#5) – Sans façon
September 14, 2018 @ 8:00 am - February 18, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Iconic Site (#5)
Sans façon is an international art practice via Calgary that responds to the ever-changing relationship between people and place. Their neon piece Iconic Site was created as a response to the situation of many cities, where massive waves of new developments have changed the face of our urban environment, often replacing the character of the place with hollow words and meaningless sentences. Originally developed as a commission for the Centre for the Urban Built Environment in Manchester, the sign has been re-imagined for its new context, with the iconography and typography of signs found on North American roadsides. Here, in the dense heart of Toronto, where a two-decade long development boom has radically transformed both the cityscape and the lexicon used to describe it, the work takes on new relevance.
Positioned atop a hill at The Bentway’s newly opened Strachan Gate, the work reflects equally on the changing nature of the surrounding communities and the ambitions of The Bentway project itself, which has transformed one of Toronto’s most significant landscapes into a new shared public space for the growing city. It is here that we recognize each signature city project is part of a larger continuum of change, remaking a site “iconic” time and time again.
Part of The Bentway’s Fall Art Exhibition If, But, What If?
Sans façon is an art practice working internationally on projects ranging from ephemeral performances, temporary installations in public space, large scale permanent artwork, and collaborating with design teams on major infrastructure projects or developing and implementing city-wide strategies involving artists in discourse with a city. The majority of their work tempts interaction with the surroundings and is often realized in close collaboration with communities, corporations, and individuals including city councils, scholars, architects, engineers, and designers.
Established in 2001 in Glasgow, Scotland, the practice moved to Calgary in 2011 to be lead artists for the innovative public art project Watershed+, integrating artists and creativity within the City’s Utilities & Environment Protection department.