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Persistence draws together three recent contemporary installations by Canadian artists to explore the surprising and creative ways that technologies, physical objects and natural processes endure and transform. Featuring recently acquired works from the collection presented for the first time at the Gallery, the exhibition’s premise is inspired by media critic Marshall McLuhan’s ideas concerning the role of obsolescence in sparking creativity and the invention of new order. McLuhan’s writing is referenced in the title of Toronto-based Shelagh Keeley’s Notes on Obsolescence (2014), a large-scale multimedia wall work that prompts references to technological and capitalist cycles. The exhibition will also present a collaborative installation by Vancouver-based artists Julia Feyrer and Tamara Henderson. Invoking theatre, play, myth and ritual, The Last Waves: Laboratory (2016) recycles and animates various found and fabricated objects in a capricious, sometimes disorienting response to materials. Vancouver artist Germaine Koh’s Fair-weather forces (water level) (2008) also recasts the familiar in unpredictable ways. Koh’s minimalist sculpture features a row of stanchions with velvet ropes that rise and fall in response to tidal levels, dramatizing the persistence of nature’s processes and their profound ability to shape and regulate our lives. Each of these three works raises insightful propositions about perseverance, especially during this time of social and political upheavals.

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