Friday, April 9, 2010

TTC Tiara: Another one for the Torontonians!

I smiled when I saw this TTC-themed tiara at Harbourfront last month. It's by goldsmith and designer Adriana McNeely, and is titled "Super Commuter". McNeely also provided crowns on a variety of other subjects, like Starbucks and video games. Here's some of her commentary on them, provided by the Harbourfront Centre blog:

I was inspired to make this work after realizing that there’s not enough celebrations in our lives. We make big celebrations and parties for things like birthdays, holidays, graduations, but these are not an everyday occurrence. Everyday we wake up and perform a series of tasks, big or small. Some of us go to our jobs, make our art, choose outfits and accessories to present ourselves to the world in, see our friends, go out for coffee etc. I thought it would be nice to create a series of work that focuses on congratulating and making a big deal of usually overlooked activities. The Everyday Pageant Crowns are awarded for these little everyday things. There’s a crown for beating a nintendo game, going for a coffee, owning a modest home, caring about fashion, taking the subway, and going to an office job. It’s important to take some time everyday and remember that no matter how insignificant you think the activity you are doing, or the task you are completing is, right now is currently your life, and it’s important to celebrate and feel special.

Nice thought.

(Photo of Adriana McNeely's "Super Commuter" by Tom Bilenkey from Upfront)


Lea said...

Would love to see someone wearing one of these on the morning commute.

Although I have to say, there's something a little depressing about an artist being inspired to create something because it would be "nice". Yes, I'm being a romantic idealist, but I just want some more oomph dammit!

Leah Sandals said...

Hi Lea,

You've got a very valid gripe there.
We often do want more from art than
just alrightness.

One could also criticize this work
as aiming a bit to the bougie side.

I guess as someone who struggles to
appreciate the pleasures of everyday
life, though, I appreciate some of
this yay-for-the-everyday stuff more
than some others might. It helps me
see the quotidian in a fresh and less
anxious way.

Lea said...

Very true. I think it's just the word nice that leaves a slightly cynical, bad taste in my mouth. It always seems like such a nothing word to me.

On the other hand, especially with art that celebrates the everyday, there's often a tendency to veer into too much explaining and semi-academic justifications/theorizing.

Leah Sandals said...

Hi Lea,

Yeah, I appreciate that "nice" can be a bit of a mean-nothing word... something that may usually get edited out or refined along the way... so perhaps part of the issue is the extreme "unediting"/nonediting of this blog!

Also, the point you've raised reminds me of the unhelpful history that the word "nice" has as a descriptor for supposedly appropriate femininity. As in, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all," etc. "Nice" as a sole measure of worth is certainly not something I'm interested in.

Nonetheless, I guess in the context of this blog I enjoy the freedom to just call something "nice," which can also mean "I like it, it gave me a good, appreciative (and appreciated) feeling" as opposed to dealing with theory/jargon/associated rationalizations--all of which can be fun to delve into in their own way, but aren't the only way of experiencing art.

Thanks for taking me down this path of considering word meanings -- as I writer it's something I should do more often, of course, but don't!