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Jen Mann Presents ‘Other Sister’ at Arsenal Contemporary

On view in Toronto until September 3.

Humans have used art as a way to explore the idea of self since the beginning. From the earliest cave paintings, the first civilizations in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, the birth of Modern Art through the likes of Rembrandt and Vincent Van Gogh, to a commodification of self first championed by Andy Warhol.

In the present day, social media, selfie culture and corporate interests have added a new lens in which we see ourselves and the world. Canadian artist Jen Mann uses this notion as the starting point for a new solo exhibition at the Arsenal Contemporary in Toronto. Other Sister is the title of the show and the name of a fictional girl-pop band that Mann and several friends created to comment on the mixed vocabulary of fact and fiction.

On display is an immersive series of paintings, sculptures, merchandise and video installations that represents the band in various faux-settings. Barbie dolls, magazine covers for real publications, such as FADER and i-D, to paintings that glamorize the sisters fabricated lives. Identity is no longer reserved for intimate relationships to family members and friends, but rather a product in itself. A product that is to be commodified and sold en masse within this paradigm. “Our value,” according to a press release on the show, “is determined by our ability to produce and consume.”

Other Sister is a complex narrative that invites us to question our role in perceiving ourselves and collective identities. The exhibition is on view at the Arsenal Contemporary in Toronto until September 3.

More on art, 180 The Strand presents an immersive “Future Shock” exhibition in London.

Arsenal Contemporary
45 Ernest Ave,
Toronto, Canada
ON M6P 3M7

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