AGYU launches new catalogue of artists’ work

What started as an Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) exhibit earlier this year has now become a catalogue of the same name, Project for a New American Century, documenting the work of Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins.

Published by the AGYU, the hardcover book will launch on Nov. 28, from 3 to 5pm, at Georgia Scherman Projects, 133 Tecumseth St. in Toronto.

Project for a New American Century is a “what if” scenario that in part has its source in a little-known historical event. During the Spanish Civil War, anti-Franco anarchists operated prisons using psychotechnic torture in the form of coloured cells based on the principles of abstract and surrealist painting.

In reference to this history, the Toronto collaborative team of Marman and Borins created an installation at the AGYU combining architecture, painting and sculpture, building a monolithic prison-like enclosure, but updating it with reference to utopian brutalist architecture from the 1950s and 1960s and op art painting.

The catalogue, designed by Lisa Kiss of the Toronto-based company Lisa Kiss Design, includes an essay by AGYU director and curator Philip Monk, titled “The Prisoner”, written as if it were a French philosophical treatise on modernist esthetics from the 1950s. Taking context into context, the text deftly weaves a story of both the prisoner and the viewer as we move through the implications of the exhibition’s prehistory.

Project for a New American Century is $24 or $20 with an AGYU membership. For more information, contact Michael Maranda, AGYU assistant curator, at ext. 77636 or

The AGYU’s Artists Book of the Moment (ABotM) competition is heating up. The deadline for submission is Jan. 18, 2010. For more information, submission guidelines and rules, visit the ABotM Web site.

The AGYU is in the Accolade East Building on York’s Keele campus. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, from 10am to 4pm; Wednesday, from 10am to 8pm; and Sunday from noon to 5pm. Admission to everything is free.