- Artist: Jenine Marsh
- Medium: Intervention
- Project Type: Disturbed Landscape
- Curator: Kari Cwynar
- Neighbourhood: Downtown
Experience a large-scale installation and architectural intervention by Jenine Marsh that upends Nathan Phillips Square.
Nathan Phillips Square
- Address: 100 Queen Street West
- Physical Access: Wheelchair accessible
This work expands upon Marsh’s artistic practice on a monumental scale, creating an immersive environment using the existing architectural features of Nathan Phillips Square – Toronto’s civic centre. When Toronto’s City Hall was constructed in the early 1960s, the architects incorporated a massive modular plaza, composed of concrete pavers that could be removed to create a temporary park. This utopic vision failed to become reality, with the pavers remaining in place, except for their occasional removal to accommodate wiring and service water lines. For Nuit Blanche, hundreds of concrete pavers will be lifted, revealing the forgotten space beneath. The enclaves below the paving stones are strewn with remnants of public life that has fallen through the cracks: scraps of trash, lost jewelry, traces of parties and protests and the dust and grime of decades. Marsh's subtle sculptural additions, including provisional fountains, invite the audience to throw their own coins into the hollow infrastructure. Wellspring, both a construction site and a demolition, locates the utopic ideals of the modernist city within the monumental civic architecture and the residues of public life.
Jenine Marsh is an artist who uses sculpture and installation to explore themes of agency, mortality and value. Coins as well as other paraphernalia of exchange and contact, such as casts of hands, purses and flowers, are manipulated through serialized processes of destruction and transformation to cultivate illicit and intimate responses to the shared conditions of end-stage capitalism.