PUBLIC ART: Billboard on Shaw by Aislinn Thomas

April 27, 2017 - June 4, 2017

Critical Distance is pleased to announce the selection of Mountainburger by Aislinn Thomas for the Spring 2017 Billboard on Shaw. Through this program and partnership with Artscape Youngplace, we are continuing to provide an exciting opportunity for curators and artists to present large format printed artworks for the freestanding mural/billboard on our building’s front lawn.

In this playfully absurdist image, interdisciplinary artist Aislinn Thomas manufactures an encounter between a plush hamburger and a sylvan, mountainous landscape. As a symbol of Western commodity culture, the hamburger offering seems anomalous in this rugged environment, far from its usual metropolitan context. However this collision of topographic grandeur and the simulation of an urban icon can also be seen as a gesture of negotiation in the face of the sublime. Contextualized further through its placement in downtown Toronto, and coinciding with Canada’s 150th year celebrations, the billboard begins to raise pointed questions as to just where we as a country have come from and where we might hope to go from here.

Mountainburger will be on view outside Youngplace through August 2017. We wish to congratulate Aislinn, and to extend sincere thanks to the many curators and artists whose thoughtful proposals for our spring billboard were a pleasure to consider. Stay tuned for new opportunities to submit proposals again in the future.

Please join us to celebrate the new billboard on Thursday, April 27th from 6–9 pm
A reception for artist will take place in our third floor gallery at Youngplace and will coincide with the opening of Signals & Sentiments, our Featured Exhibition for the 2017 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Critical Distance Centre for Curators (CDCC)
Suite 302, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5
See Google map of location

About the Artist

Aislinn Thomas is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes video, performance, installation and text-based work. She culls material from everyday experiences and relationships, exploring themes of vulnerability, empathy, possibility and failure. Aislinn is a recent graduate of the University of Waterloo MFA program and earned a BA in Studio Art from the University of Guelph. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is the recipient of several grants and awards including a C.D. Howe Scholarship for Arts and Design, a Social Science and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Masters Scholarship, and grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Aislinn currently lives and works in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

Critical Distance thanks Artscape Youngplace for their generous support of this project.


image: Aislinn Thomas, Mountainburger (billboard), 2017, on view at 180 Shaw Street in Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood through August 2017.