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Made In Canada: Marc Adornato has much to report

By Diane Bond on June 7, 2012

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Marc Adornato has an uncanny ability to be in three places at once.

Over the last two years, the Ottawa-based artist has been working towards Made In Canada, a series of artworks set to be unveiled this Friday at The Daily Grind , Shanghai, and the Hintonburg Public House. Drawing on elements and objects from his vast collection of antiques, Adornato’s artistic practice speaks to larger themes of politics, consumerism, and sustainability.

“It started with video work from a few years ago,” explains Adornato. “I spent weeks at Library and Archives, looking through all their stuff. It’s fascinating. I had gotten a few pictures from them, cleaned them up, and put them on my walls. Then I got into the film footage, digging up Pierre Tudeau’s videos from when he was a kid, or trains going down the canal. I sampled a bunch of that stuff — remixed and mashed it up. That was the beginning of my fascination with the history of Ottawa.”

What began with archival material evolved into a fascination with refinishing and refurbishing antique furniture – mainly radios – as well as a serious (but healthy) obsession with collecting and salvaging “stuff” from garage and estate sales. “I’ve got everything in drawers and compartments,” he says, when describing his studio. “I’ve got a room full of old gilded picture frames and back boarding, film projectors – 16mm, 8mm, Super 8. I’ve got one of everything. I’ve got toy piles, an animal section with horns and fur pelts. It’s kind of creepy-weird. It’s all sorted. It seems a little mad, really.”

Adornato’s attraction to the mashing and assembling of historic objects has culminated into more than 75 pieces – a collection in and of itself – and the creation of new work continues. From the archives, to estate sales, to the studio, what is it about older technologies and objects that hold so much value for Adornato? “There’s something about the process of it. There’s the nostalgia of it, as well, because you don’t want to let that part of history disappear.”

Join Marc Adornato (or one of his clones) after 5pm at The Daily Grind and Shanghai on Friday, June 8. After 9pm he’ll be at the Hintonburg Public House.

*He’ll also be handing out limited edition, signed original prints FREE to the first 20 people to arrive at The Daily Grind (1 per person max).

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