Artist in Residence, Summer 2019, Ryerson University
Keith Cole is an interdisciplinary artist working in performance, dance, film/video, photography, collage, painting, and installation. For over 29 years he has worked in Toronto's artistic and gay communities. His work has focused on repetition, duration, gayness, humour, analogue technologies, and absence.
The Project: Nothing Is Ever Perfect
Keith Cole's artwork comes from his distrust and resistance to official discourses as well as his need to honour and work through alternative histories and futures. Nothing is Ever Perfect is based on revealing that which is out of focus from many of us on a day-to-day basis. The German's have a word for it - Alltagsgeschichte or "history from below." The work in the residency and eventual exhibition centres on what is not seen even though it is right in front of our eyes. Are we avoiding it? Is what we do not see too precious or too imperfect?
Based on this interest of alternative discourse and histories, Keith Cole's works show how mistakes were made. His finished art pieces often are the result of responding to those mistakes. Cole is intentional in avoiding consistency or working to a singular standard of perfection. A central question for Keith Cole is how are things made in the spirit of something? A key focus of Nothing is Ever Perfect is absence. The beauty of this artwork is found in its abstract nature and its willingness to be ephemeral and illusive as opposed to solid or concrete.
Keith Cole's work is made in a rapid-fire method. Each artwork is provisional and could break down or fall apart at any second. Nothing is Ever Perfect embraces variations and inconsistencies to recognize the range of style and intentions in his body of work. He continues to create in the spirit that nothing is ever perfect.
This artist in residence elaborates a thread in the artist in residence program focused on the everyday object, its meaning, and its history. The focus of the residency is on Keith Cole's collage, installation, performance, and painting. It will result in an art show in the fall of 2019 and a work commissioned for Ryerson University.