Iain Baxter& N.E. Thing Co.
2005.09.10 - 10.22
This exhibition offers a rereading of the practice of Iain Baxter&, from the production of his early Bagged Place in 1966 to his most recent works, with a particular focus on the aesthetic agenda of the N.E. Thing Co., a conceptual enterprise founded by Baxter& in 1966, officially incorporated in 1969, and run jointly with Ingrid Baxter from 1970 until 1978. Conceived around the corporate persona and collaborative work of Iain Baxter&, the exhibition presents and documents a range of audacious works and ideas that, over forty years of uninterrupted activity, have enabled him to diversify his involvement in the fields of art, environment, technology, commerce (e.g., N.E. Thing Co. actually operated a restaurant and photo lab in Vancouver, 1974 to 1978), and marketing (Baxter& was a creative consultant to the President of the Labatt brewery in Toronto, 1983–1984). The exhibition elaborates on several recurring themes in his practice: the role of the artist and the function of art, the effects of globalization on the perception of time and space, the consumer society and the system of objects, and the production of “sensitivity information.” An artist of the information age strongly influenced by the theories of Marshall McLuhan, Baxter& pays sustained attention to the image and to technological transformations capable of creating new perceptual habits. The exhibition examines this aspect of his work through significant works as well as complementary documentation that testify to a singular practice and a persona voluntarily engaged in capturing the changes that have marked contemporary society.