The North End is an archive of posters that celebrate the abundance of cultural activity emerging from this small Halifax neighbourhood. Artist Cathy Busby presents them as a floor-to-ceiling installation at Art Metropole, papering the walls with hundreds of scavenged posters from music, political and art events. Collecting, archiving and re-contextualizing transforms the posters from the left-behind remnants of events to a massive array of socially and graphically rich cultural artifacts. The posters, from various subcultures and poster-makers, collectively make an energetic and hopeful statement in contrast to corporate branding efforts. With modest means, the DIY posters, make big business advertising seem like a tired formula.
The North End book is a 276-page limited edition of 10 with full-colour bleed images arranged in chronological order filling each page. The occasion for this installation is the launch of its sequel, The North End: Volume II, a 300-page limited edition, picks up where the first book left off. Together these publications are a consolidated statement bursting with energy, hope, and graphic sensibilities – a compilation that shows just how varied a poster can be.
The North End project also includes a third component: t-shirts. Cathy Busby first made The North End t-shirts (in gold-on-red and silver-on-blue colorways) in conjunction with an exhibition of the posters at the Emerson Gallery in Berlin in summer, 2006 – in recognition of the neighbourhood and of all “North Ends.” They were best-sellers and were re-issued for the “Go North” community festival in north-end Halifax in fall, 2006. The new North End t-shirts will mark the new exhibit and, out-of-context, be a free-floating signifier in the heat of a Toronto summer.
Please join us on August 18, 2007, 2-5 pm to open this exhibition. The artist will be in attendance.
About the artist
Before collecting posters, Cathy Busby assembled a collection of public apologies which was compiled into the related best-selling publication Sorry. Exhibitions of this work took place at McMaster University, Hamilton and Saint Mary?s University, Halifax. She has a long-standing interest in the emotional pushes and pulls of consumer culture and early on she assembled and worked with a large collection of self-help books and was contributing co-editor to an anthology about pain When Pain Strikes. More recently this interest lead her to look at the spillover of corporate workplace language into popular culture and she assembled a collection of management jargon (“kiss up and kick down;” “ramp up,” “swap out;” “turn the page”) which was a key element in her installation 24/7 at Work (Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, 2005). Busby’s artwork derives from her background as a conceptual artist (BFA, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) and her interests in Media Studies and Communication (Phd, Communication, Concordia University).
2: The North End installation at Art Metropole.
3: The North End tshirt as worn by Art Metropole staff, and Cathy Busby's family members and friends.