Age of You exhibit helps Toronto define individuality

This generation is filled with lots of mysteries, but this exhibit asks what it means to be an individual today.

The outside of the Museum of Contemporary Arts.
The outside of the Museum of Contemporary Arts, with an Age of You theme added to the front doors, taken on Nov. 4, 2019.  Matthew McCarthy/Toronto Observer

Individuality isn’t easy to define. The Age of You art exhibit in Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art has a definition to provide.

The Age of You exhibit’s goal is to explain the oddities of people’s heads. It’s a look into the minds of individuals today and what the definition of being an individual is now.

Part of chapter one of the Age of You Exhibit.
An art piece apart of the Toronto Age of You exhibit on Nov. 21, 2019. Image, titled “self,” provided by Jürgen Klauke, a German photographer, made in 2016.

The exhibit is divided up to 13 chapters tackling different layers and problems of individuality in today’s world, with a prelude to start off the exhibit. The chapters are:

  1. Am I?
  2. Fame and The Face
  3. Intimacy Industrial Complex
  4. Post-Work
  5. The Comments Section is the Real World
  6. The New Crowd
  7. Micro-Culture/Micro-Othering
  8. Virtue Power
  9. Inner Revolution
  10. The 0.001%
  11. The End of Democracy
  12. Wizards and Charismatics
  13. Towards the End

Many topics, such as how democracy has failed, the 0.001 per cent of people that want to escape reality, and so on are brought up and discussed using the panels in the gallery.

The entirety of chapter two of the Age of You exhibit.
Chapter two of the Age of You exhibit with its panels on Nov. 21, 2019. This chapter focuses on fame and how people become their face.

Some more in-depth examples of the contents of these chapters include chapter four, which delves into how humans are easy to replace with automation now and will be easier in the future.

Another example is chapter seven, which tackles the similar extremes of the left and right with cancel culture and outrage culture.

While the art and pictures have related themes to the exhibit, most of them are from other aspects. For example, the Many-Headed Reading photo in the chapter nine is from a performance.

A photo used in Chapter nine of the Toronto Age of You exhibit.
A photo by Jenna Sutela taken during a performance in the Toronto Age of You exhibit. Taken on Nov. 21, 2019.

“The work is an image of Many-Headed Reading, a performance where I ingest Physarum polycephalum, or the single-celled yet “many-headed” species of slime mold as a form of AI.” Jenna Sutela, the creator of the Many-Headed piece said.

Not all of the art in the Age of You exhibit is panels, there are other pieces of art included as well to showcase.

The exhibit also went outside of its walls by installing a giant thinking emoji in multiple areas of Toronto, starting in the Distillery District.

Over 70 artists have their work featured in the exhibit.

The curators of the Age of You exhibit are Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland, and Hans Ulrich Obrist. With graphic design handled by Daly & Lyon, a graphic design office in United Kingdom, London. 

For more stories on art exhibits, check out a story the Toronto Observer covered on the Forbidden Forest exhibit.

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Posted: Nov 23 2019 12:08 pm
Filed under: Arts & Life