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Team Macho
From March 12th 2011 to April 16th 2011
3 out of 5 ain't bad

2010-2011 sees the Toronto group Team Macho returning to the contemporary art scene. After two years working solo, Nicholas Aoki, G. Stephen Appleby-Barr, Christopher Buchan, Lauchie Reid, and Jacob Whibley (who have shared the same studio the last six years) are proposing a playful, subversive body of work : their illustrations, paintings, and collages draw on popular iconography to form a bustling web of eclectic story lines.

In dialogue with Team Macho

Geneviève Bédard : It seems Team Macho cultivates a form of friendly competition, a group dynamic that nourishes a unique creative approach marked by a keen sense of visual repartee. How would you characterize your collective’s process?

Team Macho : When Team Macho was formed, we felt ambivalent towards the classic idea of the artist as a singular voice or point of view; it didn't reflect our learning environment and methods. After a lot of swapping of ideas and prodding each other, what started out as outright sabotage and subversion—an effort to keep us on our collective toes and avoid the trap of single, ego-driven expression—has evolved into a process that allows us all to challenge and play, but also to bring skills and perspectives that have been culled from our individual explorations of media and thematic content.

GB : You now have a fairly recognizable and effective “brand signature”. How did it progress over the years?

TM : Developing a consistent narrative has been a challenge. Working in a very idiomatic way, we've set up a practice which at once alleviates many concerns faced by solo artists and complicates matters by engaging five creative minds. The key to our success so far seems to be our inexhaustible drive to make things exploratory, experimental and exciting for us and for people who follow our work.

GB : This exhibition counts a whopping 140 pieces, mingling new and past works, including numerous loans from collectors. How and why did you make that selection?

TM : It is reflective of our tendency to put our heads down and not come up for air for years at a time, producing a lot of work. We've developed an amazing following of collectors who are familiar with our output and have an instinctual sense of when something is special to us. We don't see the work as being old or new or better or worse; pieces will be hung out of sequence, creating a holistic idea of our world. This exhibit aims to allow both viewers and ourselves a chance to draw conclusions about the practice as a whole, to establish a better understanding of our narrative and motives.


The artists thank their gracious collectors and Narwhal Art Projects.


Team Macho is the subject of a newly published article by Nicolas Mavrikakis, Kent Monkman et Team Macho / Identité sexuelle (Voir, March 31rst, 2011).

"3 out of 5 ain't bad" is briefly mentioned and recommended in Canadian Art's current "A national and international roundup of the season's best exhibitions / Agenda Quebec" section (Spring 2011, p. 29.).