Thinking about...

From Reading Toronto...

2005 05 29
Urban Hieroglyphics
The marks that decorate the Toronto landscape are at once intriguing and annoying. On the street, barely aware, we fail to notice their spontaneous energy. Are they telling us something or are they merely vestiges of delinquent nonchalance?

When I look closely at these markings, some of them vigorously beautiful in form, I see them as ancient expressions. They speak of the relationship of the self with the city, of the need to stake territory and claim ownership of a landscape that can be anonymous and remote. They tell a very personal story - of the mark maker and their impulse to claim that surface at that particular moment, in that particular way.

These marks contain the character of urban experience that is at once internal and external. An instance is captured and recorded for collective consumption to fascinate or enrage us. This expressive chronology ties us to the immediacy and history of the city and in doing so, broadens our perceptions of ourselves.

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