SSSpun / HOWL
Sep 15 - 25
In SSSpun, Robert Hengeveld plants a tree atop a large rotating mechanism stationed on Ontario Place’s artificial mountain. Confounding expectations of typical tree behaviour, SSSpun spins in one direction, then the other, drawing attention to the constructedness of the many forms that mimic nature at Ontario Place. Choreographed to pause briefly from its dizzying activity, the tree periodically seems to rejoin the living world. Weaving in and out of our preconceived notions of nature, Hengeveld’s installation suggests, in a few succinct and wondrous moments, nature’s capacity to move beyond what humans predict and comprehend.
This installation is meant to be viewed from ground level. Climbing is not permitted.
Robert Hengeveld’s interest in the natural and the artificial (and the theatrical comedy of the rift between the two) underpins Howl. Adapted from a project originally commissioned for Nuit Blanche 2013 by Crystal Mowry and Ivan Jurakic, the project features a coyote chasing a rabbit continuously along the rails of a steel rollercoaster. Embodying an ongoing natural cycle of predator and prey, Howl reduces a food chain to absurdist kitsch. Highlighting the campiness of human depictions of the natural world, Hengeveld’s installation stands in knowing contrast to the complex (and often disregarded) processes that support urban wildlife across the city of Toronto.
Robert Hengeveld is a media and installation based artist living in Toronto, CA. He received an MFA from the University of Victoria, having studied at OCADU previously. His work has been exhibition across Canada and internationally. Recently exhibitions include Opinion Makers ( London UK ), Mulherin Toronto/New York ( NYC ), Hallwalls Contemporary Art Centre ( Buffalo NY ) and the Art Gallery of Guelph ( Guelph ON ). In 2014 Robert finished a three year artist-in-residence at the University of Guelph's School of Environmental Science during which time he collaborated with scientists and researchers. More recently he has been invited to participate in the 2017 Arctic Circle Expedition hosted by The Farm Foundation. The project includes an expedition through the Arctic with a group of artists and scientists. Robert Hengeveld is represented by Mulherin ( Toronto/New York )