The impetus for Dung Beetle was Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Not only for the image of the struggling beetle but also for the spirit of the story; the tension Kafka creates between a horrific event and the mundane facts of Gregor Samsa’s domestic existence.
My work with the inflatable medium shares a similar tension. Generally inflatables are an expression of naive optimism. In an art context they signal popular culture, anti-art and irony. I play with and against these expectations. I am interested in creating a tension between the playfulness of the medium and an experience that is physical and empathetic. This, I feel, is achieved through a combination of the detailed rendering of my forms, the dynamics of particular installations (in the case of Dung Beetle, its overwhelming size and it positioning on its back) and my particular use of movement. The movement of air within a pliable form provides a tangible naturalism; it not only looks right, it feels right. It recalls our own sensation of breath, of breathlessness, of holding our breath etc. In this awareness of a shared medium is the possibility of connectedness— the bodily recognition of the elemental—powerful and tenuous—forces that animate us all.
Max Streicher is a sculptor and installation artist from Alberta, now residing in Toronto. Since 1989 he has worked extensively with inflatable technology in kinetic sculptures and installation works. He has shown widely across Canada in solo exhibitions in museums such as The Art Gallery of Ontario, Edmonton Art Gallery and the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon. He was a founding member of the Nethermind collective of artists who organized four large exhibitions in alternative spaces in Toronto between 1991 and 1995. Max Streicher is currently represented by Ponce+Robles Galeria de arte, Madrid, Galerie Eric Mircher, Paris, Gallery Maskara in Mumbai, India, Felix Ringle Galerie in Düsseldorf and Ricco/Maresca Gallery in New York.
Art Spin is a bicycle tour of art in Toronto. The tour features commissioned multi-disciplinary works, ranging from art performances to site-specific installations, as well as visits to galleries (commercial, artist run & public) and to artists’ studios. As well as monthly bike tours, Art Spin curates and mounts an annual group exhibition at the end of each season taking place in an alternative industrial space.
Each Art Spin tour features a new itinerary, visiting different neighbourhoods in the city and a variety of works in unconventional locations. Art Spin works closely with both emerging and established artists to create unique programming specific to the event, and with different community partners to help capture and share the pulse of the city’s vibrant art scene. These works are placed in alternative and often under-utilized spaces in the city, from industrial warehouse spaces to parks, school yards, back alleyways etc. The events are multi-disciplinary, showing works of all mediums including sculpture, installation, new media, video, performance, music, theatre, dance and more.