1. v.tr. To make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of:
When I bought the gallery space at 1081 Bathurst it was full of junk. Old used books (it used to be a bookstore), pieces of wood and other detritus clogged the space from top to bottom. I’m not kidding. Something had to be done.
But instead of calling in people to get rid of the junk, we – Ton and I – decided to use it to renovate the gallery and make art with it. We have spent about eight months converting a pyramid of debris into what you see before you.
During this process we explored modern ways of making art. We copied my own paintings, for example, changing and then presenting them in a completely different context. In a sense, this is much the same process we used with the junk. By using previously-cut pieces, the forms that followed were inevitably dictated by the original. Yet the end results turned out radically different.
This mindset inspires me. Our consumerist culture creates so much junk; but by looking at this junk as a commodity to be redesigned we enrich ourselves while we clean up.