Michael M Simon
Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition
Tool-things: The Making of an Apprentice
Ignite Gallery / OCADU
165 Augusta Ave Toronto
March 22-29; Wednesday - Sunday, 1-6pm
Vernissage Thursday March 22, 6-9pm
Tool-things represents the beginning of an apprentice’s toolkit, one that can be read as evolving in parallel to the knowledge gained through its making. This work taps into the human connection to tools by focusing on some of the most familiar ones: the hammer, screwdriver, clamp, and handsaw. Most of these Tool-things have been meticulously crafted to be almost indistinguishable from the everyday objects they sit alongside, and both are seen in an unexpected light. Paused during a process of metamorphosis, somewhere between the familiar and alien, they encourage us to question what comes first: the knowledge, or the tool? Potentially sparking frustration in their apparent uselessness, Tool-things ask us to look a little longer–it could just be that we don't yet recognize their use.
“We shape our tools thereafter our tools shape us.” John M. Culkin
Originally based in Ottawa, Michael M Simon is an interdisciplinary artist, currently completing his MFA at OCAD University. Having previously trained as an architect, fabricator, and designer, Simon’s sculpture and installation-based practice combines a conceptual sensibility with elements of fine craft and the industrial trades to offer a recontextualized understanding of common tools, objects, and materials. Investigating our relationship to these ‘things’ with both reverence and humour, Simon’s work proposes an altered understanding of our built environment and our relationship to the objects within it.