José Luis Torres’ sculptural work focuses on materiality and the ways in which readymade items can be manipulated to create visually dense immersive environments. Material Culture is a site-specific installation featuring an accumulation of over 300 colourful items alternately sourced on campus, thrifted, donated, purchased on Kijiji, and from retailers such as Princess Auto and Dollarama. Suspended in the gallery, the disparate rainbow of objects functions as a kaleidoscopic canopy that celebrates and critiques consumerism in equal measure. Torres’ work uses our familiarity with these domestic, institutional, and recreational items as a way of elevating our appreciation of the everyday, while also inviting us to consider the problematic status of consumer culture: our knack for accumulating stuff, and the growing complexities surrounding the storage, recycling, and disposal of the surplus goods we accumulate.
Photography: Scott Lee
Born in Argentina, José Luis Torres has lived and worked in Quebec since 2003. He has exhibited site-specific installations and sculpture across Quebec, Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia. His work has recently been featured in major festivals including the Festival international de jardins of the Jardins de Métis, the Biennale nationale de sculpture contemporaine in Trois-Rivières, CAFKA.14–Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener + Area, the Symposium d’art contemporain in Baie-Saint-Paul, Art in the Open Festival in Charlottetown, and Festival des Architectures Vives in Montpellier, France. In 2021, he was awarded the title of Personnalité Arts et Culture by the organization Culture Capitale-Nationale et Chaudière-Appalaches.