COOPER COLE is pleased to present This City, an exhibition of new collage, sculpture and poetry by Toronto-based artists Jenine Marsh and Alex Turgeon. Populating space with slips of language and material, their works investigate oppression and creation within gendered and monetized urban life. A text by the artists follows.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.
A city is a city is a city is a city. Defined in an instant, a city is bound to its parameters of scale. A city is constantly malleable and monumental in its multiplicity. In self reflection it looks inwards, towards the navel, doing somersaults ad nauseum. A city has a sense memory that is tattooed across boroughs, along boughs, and is captured in the plans and elevations of the night’s vertical watch. It smells of fables formed from delicate gardens, while roots grow out saccharine labyrinths of power. It is a brush that blooms in the corner of mouths, wilting under oppressive domes of perspiration. A city is as vast as the exponential grifts contained within, hoarding tensions and pent up releases. A city is as viscous as mud with an oil slick simmer, parading gasoline rainbows with hallowed pots for feet. It is as stiff as two boots spread wide, like Helios, stretched towards the sun, and from between its colossal statuary, coins will shower as gold. A city is a performance; always a reflection, but never a mirror. A city is a beefcake smile slap to the face, a brawny zone with the touch of concrete elegance. A city is stretched at both ends pulling up opposing directions, until that fateful punctuation of pop puts everything back together again, from whence it fell. A city, by any other creed, reeks of what dreams may come, whence they go, and how the breeze shifts the sky aflutter—all the while casting huge shadows. Wrought with iron fortitudes, a city becomes flora in the distance, where the horizon is as bejeweled and unremarkable as money. A city is a semblance of many, speaking directly to none. A city is invisible, never truly known in completion. A city wraps its musculature around the structures that gave it a name: this city, and by any other name would taste so sweet.
Jenine Marsh (b. 1984, Calgary, Alberta, Canada) 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. Marsh received her BFA from the Alberta University of the Arts (2007) and her MFA from the University of Guelph (2013). Marsh’s work has been exhibited in Canadian galleries such as Franz Kaka, Toronto (2019); Centre Clark, Montreal (2019); Griffin Art Projects, Vancouver (2018); Cooper Cole, Toronto (2017); and Vie d’ange, Montreal (2017). She has also exhibited in international museums and galleries including Night Gallery, Los Angeles (2022); Essex Flowers, New York (2020); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2019); Gianni Manhattan, Vienna (2021), OSL Contemporary, Oslo (2019); Entrée Gallery (2018), and Lulu, Mexico City (2015). She has served as artist in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts (2009, 2010 and 2022), at AiR Bergen at USF Verftet, Bergen (2018); La Datcha, Berlin (2018); SOMA, Mexico City (2018); Rupert, Vilnius (2017); and Vermont Studio Center, Johnson (2011). Marsh lives and works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Alex Turgeon (b. Kjipuktuk/Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) is an interdisciplinary artist concerned with how the poetic space of architecture and the built space of language can embody queer subjectivity through the formal positioning of material and poetic text. His artistic practice finds forms through poetry, sculpture, video, performance, and drawing amongst many other expanded media. Turgeon received his BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design (2010) and his MFA from Rutgers University (2020). His work has been presented at Ashley, Berlin (2021); Or Gallery, Vancouver (2018); San Serriffe, Amsterdam (2018); Franz Kaka and Art Metropole, Toronto (2017); Tate, Liverpool, (2017); Tunnel Tunnel, Lausanne (2017); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2016); Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2015) and as part of ‘Poetry as Practice’ an online exhibition hosted by Rhizome and the New Museum, New York (2015). Love Poems for Ceres, his first collection of poetry was published with Broken Dimanche Press, Berlin (2017). He will participate as the first Canadian artist in residence in the forthcoming Junge Akademie program at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2022-2023). Turgeon lives and works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Memorize (Blue), 2022
IBM Selectric II on paper with magnets affixed to steel
Ontario Beefcake, 2022
IBM Selectric II on paper, wood and brass hanging materials
Bawdy House, 2022
IBM Selectric II on paper
public fountain, 2022
Pennies, tin model train figures, newspaper clippings, crushed leaves, steel, hotplate, flowers, wire, resin, synthetic rubber, acrylic UV varnish, hardware
this type of rupture
this type of rupture, 2022
Found plastic purse, flowers, newspaper, loonies, wire, hardware, polyurethane adhesive, synthetic rubber, acrylic UV varnish
Found plastic purse, loonies, flowers, nails, wire, synthetic rubber, acrylic UV varnish, polyurethane adhesive