The inevitability of change as an exhibit


Miriam El Abbassi | Arts Editor

Featured Image: Growth is a sculpture of a human/non-human hybrid (although, this is not apparent at first). Courtesy of Miriam El Abbassi, Excalibur

The 2020 Festival of Art and Science Exhibition, (BE) Coming An Exhibition of Experimental Contemporary Art, co-sponsored by Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology, ArtSci Salon, and The Fields Institute at the University of Toronto, is a unique collaboration between York’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) artists and artists outside of the York community. 

This exhibition seeks to explore the idea of change and its inevitability, as well as its process. Humans collectively tend to fear change and try to avoid it as much as possible, but often forget that there is no stability without instability — that change, or rather transformation, is an essential part of life. 

One of the first exhibits that is visible when entering the space, titled Growth, is a sculpture of a human/non-human hybrid (although, this is not apparent at first). Created by fifth-year AMPD student, Esther Kim, this sculpture is actually a segment of a human torso, with a network of coral growing from the top of it. The torso is casted from plaster while the coral is casted from aqua resin. 


Click image for full picture. Courtesy of Miriam El Abbassi, Excalibur


“The fragility of the human body casted in plaster is contrasted with the solidity of the resin, an excrescence to the human body. This unnatural growth of corals acts as the skeletal framework holding the body in place and completing its form,” Kim described in her artist statement.

Another eye-catching display is titled Ovum created by Suzanne Anker. It is a set of five egg yolks each contained within a petri dish that addresses the age-old question, “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” 

“The ontological question of which came first can be explained in Darwinian terms. During evolutionary processes of the transformation of species over vast amounts of time, the chicken as we know it today emerged as a proto-species, which had the capacity to produce calcium carbonate for its shells,” said Anker in her artist statement.

Anker describes the egg yolks as being seeds, which move towards crystallization.

This exhibit was located in the Gales Gallery, within the Accolade West building, until March 12, 2020.

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