Twilight by Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky
by Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky
A Toronto Sculpture Garden project at Lisgar Park
60 Lisgar St., just south of Queen St. West
Until Oct 27, lit nightly from 7:45pm to 6:30am
Twilight is artist Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky’s DIY temporary public artwork, housed in an improvised pop-up structure and containing delicate, taped-together monuments to everyday things. The project is a giant lantern made to mimic an antique store, in homage to the many small business that have lined Queen Street West, including those which now only exist in memory. The transparent store contains 500 lanterns, which comprise a glowing archive of vintage items, ranging from books, to old technology, to musical instruments. Many of the objects, such as a TTC fare box, speak to the history of Toronto, while others point to the history of the project itself, representing objects reproduced for past iterations of stores the artists have created in cities such as Washington, Toledo, Dallas, and Atlanta. Each lantern has been painstakingly made by photographing every side of each object, which the artists then print, cut, fold and tape together to make each item by hand.
The store is illuminated in a repeating computer-controlled light pattern, starting at 7:45pm each night. The lanterns are lit one-by-one until the whole store is bright, as if a phantom shopkeeper were stocking the shelves. Their lights then shift, object by object, from neutral white to one of the colours of the rainbow, causing the store to take on seven different colour moods over the course of the night. Once the store is fully lit, the lanterns are extinguished one by one, and the lighting cycle repeats.
There is an online archive of many of the files used to assemble these lanterns, made available for anyone to print out and make for themselves, at the artists’ web-based project www.craftsabyss.com.
Rhonda Weppler (born in Winnipeg, based in New York) and Trevor Mahovsky (born in Calgary, based in Toronto) have worked collaboratively since 2004. Both artists have MFA degrees from the University of British Columbia, where they met in 1996. They are currently producing Crafts Abyss, an ongoing online exhibit with digital DIY and ASMR inflected video and participatory zoom craft bee components, sponsored by the Museum of Arts and Design (New York). Exhibits include: National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), LABoral (Gijon), Dos de Mayo (Madrid), Aurora (Dallas), Vancouver Art Gallery, Flux Night (Atlanta), Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Power Plant (Toronto), Musee d’art Contemporain de Montreal, Tokyo Wonder Site, loop-raum (Berlin), 516 Arts (Albuquerque), Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax), Alter Space (San Francisco). They were winners of the 2014 Glenfiddich Prize, and are represented by Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto.
Lisgar Park is a partially accessible space.
Catherine Dean, Public Art Officer
City of Toronto