THE SCONDI COLLECTION
Presented by Braden Labonte
In collaboration with the Cultural Capital Consortium, the Canada Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and Katzman Contemporary
Discover the world of outsider artist Annabella Scondi (1921-2005). Katzman Contemporary is delighted to present The Scondi Collection, the premiere exhibition of Ms. Scondi’s life’s work for a public audience, curated by Braden Labonte and the Cultural Capital Consortium (CCC). This exhibition explores the impact of fame on identity as experienced by Ms. Scondi, and how this resulted in a self-imposed exile, and an eventual escape via artistic practice. For this exhibition, the gallery space has been transformed into a particular version of reality that seeks to further illuminate her time of isolation in rural Northern Ontario. Visitors are invited into her world to view her experiments, assemblages, collections, and creations. Audio guides that link with an interactive website will be supplied to viewers to amplify the understanding of Ms. Scondi’s influences, artistic creations, and historical reflections
October 16 to November 15, 2014
OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, October 16 from 6 – 9p
Braden Labonte, Creative Director, and other members of the CCC will be present.
Feature Contemporary Art Fair Gallery Tour: Friday, October 24 from 6 – 8p
On the occasion of the Feature Contemporary Art Fair, the Association des galeries d’art contemporain (AGAC) is organizing a Gallery Tour that will include a visit to the The Scondi Collection. Braden Labonte, Creative Director, and other members of the CCC will be present.
Born in Montefollonico, Italy, Annabella Scondi immigrated to Canada in 1923 at the age of two. She won fame at a young age for the breadth and equanimity of her observations, which she diligently transcribed in her childhood diaries that her mother published after the Second World War. Meticulously chronicling the activities of her family and neighbours during her father’s incarceration at the Petawawa internment camp, Ms. Scondi astonished readers with her intuitive grasp of the vast social forces that influenced the day-to-day life of those closest to her.
Reading the reviews of her journals as a teenager, Ms. Scondi quickly identified the popular efforts to mythologize her, and already too well acquainted with the blind force of cultural narratives, she began cultivating the methods of deflection that would characterize her life’s work. After refusing offers by newspapers and universities, she took a position as a ticket clerk at the Sudbury train station, and retreated into the obscurity that would envelop the rest of her life.
The period of Ms. Scondi’s formal employment passed without comment, as she suspended her usual practice of keeping detailed journals, and neglected to revisit any of her memories in her subsequent diaries. Consequently, almost nothing is known of her way of life for more than 30 years, although private records indicate that she subscribed to several art periodicals and was an avid reader of criticism. There is some indication that she began developing her unique collections during this time of prolonged quietude.
Ultimately, it was not until she retired from her post at the station and retreated to her cabin in the woods that she was able to embark upon the many artistic investigations that would occupy her remaining days and years. Although never formally educated in the arts, Ms. Scondi had a passion for and persistence in exploring life and culture that rivaled many of her contemporaries. The works displayed here formed the constituent parts of a totalizing environment that was both intricately personal and essentially human. Though she rejected public validation of her efforts, the alertness and candor of her many experiments, assemblages, and collections continue to reverberate beyond her small community to the wider world.
Ms. Scondi passed away in 2005 of natural causes in her cabin in Northern Ontario, where she appears to have lived and made most of her artwork after retiring and moving there in 1979. To access the audio guides that accompany this exhibition, please visit: http://thescondicollection.com/
The Cultural Capital Consortium (CCC) acquired The Scondi Collection in the early months of 2010. Since that time, the CCC has been collecting, researching, and restoring Ms. Scondi’s work. Katzman Contemporary in Toronto, Canada is hosting premiere exhibition of The Scondi Collection. The exhibition subsequently will be touring other parts of Canada, Italy, Scotland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
Braden Labonte: Born in Vancouver, British Colombia in 1982, Braden Labonte earned his BFA from OCAD University in 2006, and his MFA from York University in 2012. After his formal studies, Labonte took the position of Creative Director for the Cultural Capital Consortium, an art collective that works to fund and promote artistic research and independent art projects on an international level. In 2013, Labonte and the Cultural Capital Consortium created the audience interactive, site specific, temporal public installation HOLD ON HOLD ON, SOME THINGS LAST FOREVER in the old BBC London headquarters in England that was slated for demolition. Labonte’s artistic output spans across a diverse field of media from painting and photography, to Internet based projects, as well as immersive installations. His artwork playfully considers the historical moorings and confused identity of contemporary artistic institutions and creative practices. His work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Labonte currently is based in Toronto, Canada and is represented by Katzman Contemporary.
Cultural Capital Consortium (CCC): The Cultural Capital Consortium is an association of two or more individuals with the objective of financing independent cultural undertakings. The mission of the CCC is to serve the public in an international role by preserving, collecting, exhibiting, and fostering the understanding of Cultural Capital at the highest possible standards. Policies and procedures toward these goals are cumulatively set forth in the Consortium’s legislation, bylaws, trustee action, and members guidelines. Throughout the past 5 years, the CCC has been able to invest in a wide variety of projects ranging from: public institution funding, product design, digital archiving, collecting, researching, and social involvement. For more information, please visit: http://www.culturalcapitalconsortium.com.
Katzman Contemporary: Katzman Contemporary is a commercial gallery in Toronto, Ontario and is the new iteration of the former Katzman Kamen Gallery and the original Leo Kamen Gallery. With a critical directorial vision, refined mandate, and new location, Katzman Contemporary is growing and progressing from its original ethos and roster of artists to include new visions and cultural exchanges. Through our diverse and engaging programming, we are interested in re-imagining traditional commercial exhibitions with curatorial interventions and discursive events. At this site, new connections among art, artists, discourse, curatorship, and community emerge.
For additional information, or to inquire about this exhibition, preview opportunities, and/or general gallery questions, please contact email@example.com.
This exhibition is presented with the generous support of: