Obsolescence, by Shelagh Keeley, 2014
at The Power Plant, Harbourfront Centre
The piece covers a wall that is 25 x 40 feet in a room that is only 10 feet wide.
The large collage includes photographs taken inside an abandoned textile factory in Monchengladbach Germany.
A dictionary definition: “Obsolescence: being in the process of passing out of use or usefulness; becoming obsolete.“
One of the inspirations for this piece was Marshall McLuhan’s 1970 “Notes on Obsolescence” which opens with the lines: “When print or the motor car is referred to as “obsolete” many people assume that it is therefore doomed to speedy extinction. A casual glance at the historical record indicates the contrary. Gutenberg did not discourage handwriting. There is a great deal more handwriting done even in the age of the typewriter than was ever done before printing”.
And it ends with: “Obsolescence is a very large and mysterious subject that has had very little attention in relation to its importance.” The present paper may … thus help awareness of the role of obsolescence in sparking creativity and the invention of new order.”
Like all art, it is subjective. Like good art, it has the potential to make you want to linger in front of it and even to reflect and think.
This piece is scheduled to remain at The Power Plant until 17 May 2015.