Instant Coffee

April 18, 2009 § Leave a comment

To enter into the world of Instant Coffee is like experiencing a hallucinogenic flash back. You know that you’ve been there before or have taken part in some respect, but you are quite willing to experience the trip again. Such is the show on currently at MKG 127 titled “Say Nothing in Bright Colours”. However the six member Canadian based collective have a lot to say, and definitely with their acid based bright colour installations on display.

I am not one really for anything too jarring in the colour realm when it comes to contemporary art but the hand painted and shrouded Sandwich Boards they have crafted stop you dead in your tracks. If not with the psychedelic hues then with such catchy slogans as “Nothing Happens in Good Weather” or “Pleasure Will Keep Us Together”. OK…feel free to stop and think here, because that is the intended purpose of these socially suggestive catchphrases. The happy colours are also carried over to their “Stuffed Violators” which are whimsical packed felt forms shaped like the comic book character balloons. Whereas “Precious Painted Objects” offers us found objects such as a coffee cup and basket painted a bright red echoing the colours of the sandwich boards. Perhaps the most conspicuous piece in the show is the “Violator” wallpaper in black and white and which depicts an updated version of dingbats, a typographical device used to replace letters or to signal divisions in text. This is humorous at best and a great design tool for the more daring decorator.

Instant Coffee utilizes architectural spaces and objects and re-crafts them to investigate the social world around them in an ironic fashion. Such was the case for example in their “Disco Yurt” sauna that they had constructed for the first Nuit Blanche installation at Hart House. Sharing common space inside the yurt, inhabitants were taking part in an on-going performance piece in which the participant was acting out “outdated forms of work and leisure.”

This collective manages, with tongue in cheek, to provide us with a bit of escapism and brightness in advance of the upcoming drab season.

Chris Le Page

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