Sep 15 - 25
A meditation on the built environment and its influence on human behaviour, Michael M. Simon’s Piece Tower uses temporary architectural structures to disrupt Ontario Place’s landscape. Placed just out of reach, Simon’s installation beckons in the night, glowing from inside each of the tents. During the day, the curious configuration of scaffolding and camping gear evoke the absurdity of the temporary living arrangements humans often set up in order to ostensibly get close to nature. Likewise, Piece Tower echoes the construction taking place along Toronto’s waterfront, questioning our common acceptance of an expanding city, ever-populated by more and more temporary structures.
Michael Simon's practice employs the visual language and theoretical conventions of architecture as a means of both exploring and undoing the at times all-too austere rhetoric of the discipline. Using common, cast-off and found materials, he investigates concepts of permanence, temporality and nostalgia, and creates sculptures and installations that relate to the human body. Michael was born in Southern Ontario, raised in small-town Northern Ontario, obtained his Bachelors of Architectural Studies in 2005 from Carleton University in Ottawa and is currently enrolled in his first year of the Masters of Art, Media and Design at OCAD University. For eight years he apprenticed as an architectural lighting designer where his work on public spaces received national recognition. In 2012 he started his own design consultancy providing creative solutions for a diverse group of small businesses and architects, as well as consultation and management services in the fabrication and installation of large-scale public art projects for other artists. This progression has seen Michael delve deeper into his own artistic practice, and create installations that merge manual and mechanized or digitized means of making. Michael has been awarded public art commissions in Toronto (Dot_JPG, 2014-current) and Mississauga (Life Lines, 2015). He has also completed major pieces for Ottawa Architecture Week (Piece Tower, 2014), Ottawa Regional Society of Architects (Brain Storm, 2012), Arboretum Music Festival (ARBelisks, 2014) and the United Way (#ABenchIsNotAHome, 2015).