Patty Johnson with Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, Canada.
A Viewing Room v. 3 was a summer-long experiment (June through August 2018) that offered changing views into the relationship between an intersection of design and art. In collaboration with Susan Hobbs, the aim was to bring the private public and look at how the juxtaposition of artworks and design objects could create new kinds of dialogues.
When the gallery first proposed this exhibition my impulse as a designer was to create a series of pieces for viewing the artworks. As with my recent installations Made Away and Transfome, I’ve always been interested in putting unlike things together in order to reveal new connections and I began to see this as an opportunity to further expand on that idea.
It started with the two works shown on the next page by Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky. They view these pieces as street photography although rather than snapshots they collect objects in cities like Paris and Vienna and then photograph them on the floor of their hotel room in the order in which they collected them. One of their objectives is to give permanence to transient objects like food wrappers, toys and souvenirs that the artists argue “make up the fabric of our lives.”
In contrast, I had a series of objects and products from my projects over the last decade that were very much about place. They had permanence by virtue of the materials and processes used and by the people who made them. I sourced similar carpeting and installed these objects next to the photographs by Weppler and Mahovsky as a response to their original premise. In this way we built the installation ‘live’ sensitive to the placement and juxtaposition of designed objects and art pieces.