Rediscovering the beauty of everyday objects
Artist Alejandro Tamayo’s exhibition Album reminds us that beauty can be found everywhere
In these trying times, it can be difficult to see the good, let alone the beauty, of the world. Alejandro Tamayo’s newest exhibition, Album, explores the relationship between time and space and works to remind us of the beauty of everyday objects.
Born and raised in Colombia, Tamayo initially came to Canada to study. After completing his studies, he returned to Colombia where he taught in art and design schools and began his career as an artist. He returned to Canada, again to study, this time at York University where he got his Ph.D. in Visual Art. He currently lives in Hamilton.
Now on display at Centre for Artistic + Social Practice, Album is the culmination of five years of Tamayo’s artistic practice, questions and thoughts regarding minimalism, sculpture, sound and space. The exhibition also explores the interaction between the viewer and artwork.
Album consists of nine pieces known as “tracks,” that involve music scores and installation pieces. The objects included in the installation range from oranges to steel rods and were chosen very deliberately. For example, Track Three features three oranges bought from the same street where Centre is located and three three-inch wide cast-iron balls as a nod to the location of the exhibition.
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We are excited to share Album, an exhibition by Alejandro Tamayo, on display in our Main Gallery until November 28th! A nine-track exhibition playing at the same time and at different speeds. In a 1967 interview in which he was responding to a query about the role of sound in music George Brecht stated: “I don’t think we know now whether or not music has to have sound —whether or not music necessarily involves sound. And if it doesn’t, a possible direction of research is to see what it can be.” (Interview with Henry Martin for Art International, p.81) In the exhibition Album Alejandro Tamayo ponders the scope of music’s existence beyond sound. Through a series of works that focus on and examine time and its intrinsic relationship to space Tamayo explores different avenues throughwhich time can become something concrete that produces an experience that is encountered by the viewers. George Brecht understood music as anything that takes place in time or anything that endures – to Tamayo, it is an inspirational point through which its connection with the material language of physical objects can be examined. Link in bio for more information! Album is an exhibition that changes daily. If you would like to participate by activating Track One please fill out the poll in our bio to indicating the day when you plan to visit Album is currently on display in our Main Gallery, to book a viewing please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905.524.5084 Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday from 10 AM - 5 PM. A full list of our gallery protocols can be found by visiting the link in our bio
“Since Centre has this number three [that’s] so important in its own name, I began to think that track three . . . is a kind of a game or a play about the number three or three objects that exist,” explained Tamayo.
Much of the inspiration for the pieces comes from everyday objects Tamayo encountered during walks he would take around the various cities he has lived in throughout his life.
“I get a lot of inspiration from situations I encounter on the streets . . . [W]hen I am walking on the street, mostly in the cities where I’ve been living before – that is Hamilton and Toronto . . . I encounter situations, find materials [and] objects that are not meant to be seen as art,” said Tamayo.
"... [W]hen I am walking on the street, mostly in the cities where I’ve been living before – that is Hamilton and Toronto . . . I encounter situations, find materials [and] objects that are not meant to be seen as art,” said Tamayo.
For example, Track Two involves two steel rods arranged similarly to rods Tamayo saw leaning against a work bench Tamayo takes inspiration from these objects and situations, then incorporates them into his pieces to allow his audience to see the beauty that he saw.
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Album, which runs until Nov. 28, changes slightly everyday. These daily changes are largely due to the interactive components of the exhibition. Visitors are encouraged to interact and engage with the exhibition in this way and can also choose to participate in the activation of Track One, which happens once a day.
The changes in the exhibition are an example of how Album explores the ideas of time and space. As a result of the pandemic restrictions though, the exhibition is only open a few days a week.
To further explore these ideas and to offer an opportunity for engagement, Tamayo and the exhibition’s curators photograph the tracks at the same time each week and post the photographs on their website so viewers can observe the changes in the exhibition and continue to interact with it.
“I think [the exhibition] activates a particular awareness of everyday experience . . . We are used to thinking that aesthetic experiences are coming from art and [it] is only art or what we call art shows that produce an aesthetic experience. And part of what I'm interested in is to challenge that notion and the fact that everything we encountered in life, either inside or outside a gallery space, can also be seen as an aesthetic experience if we are sensitized enough to see it,” explained Tamayo.
“I think [the exhibition] activates a particular awareness of everyday experience . . . We are used to thinking that aesthetic experiences are coming from art and [it] is only art or what we call art shows that produce an aesthetic experience," explained Tamayo.
During these difficult times, it is arguably even more important to slow down and be able to appreciate and see the beauty in everyday aspects of our lives. By encouraging awareness of ordinary beauty, exhibitions like Tamayo’s Album are fitting for this time.