White Columns

The Bulletin Board Derek Sullivan

The seventeenth presentation in White Columns’ project space The Bulletin Board – a 6’ x 4’ glazed aluminum bulletin board installed in our entrance lobby – is by the Toronto-based artist Derek Sullivan.

Ostensibly a presentation of nine publications Sullivan’s project is consistent with his ongoing investigations into the entangled histories – and legacies – of modernism, design, art history (in particular conceptual art), and various manifestations and forms of popular culture.

Dan Adler, a Toronto-based writer, recently observed: “As with much of Sullivan’s oeuvre to date, the viewer can derive satisfaction from the process of striving to detect the multitudes of subtle allusions to graphic art-history present in the work, as well as its faint suggestions of high-modernist design, slight invocations of pioneering abstraction and indirect references to the history of conceptual art, among other themes.”

The group of nine publications on display at White Columns were produced using revolutionary ‘print on demand’ technology. Created by Sullivan these titles are presented as if academic specimens on display in the faculty lounge of a college or university. Denied access to their contents we can only make connections based on what is visible. Ranging from a Toronto-area record store’s recreation of Jeff Wall’s ‘Destroyed Room’, as it appeared on a Sonic Youth album sleeve; to images of the original rainbow-painted entrance to a Toronto-area tunnel immortalized in paintings by Peter Doig; to an unlikely alliance between Robert Smithson and The Cure’s Robert Smith; and much more besides, Sullivan’s installation establishes a scenario whereby we have no choice but to “judge a book by its cover.”

Over time the books will become available via the ‘print on demand’ site www.lulu.com. The technology allows for the content of the titles to be under continual revision, creating an unlimited edition publication that is in perpetual development.

Derek Sullivan (b. 1976) lives and works in Toronto. He studied at York University, Toronto (BFA 1999), and the University of Guelph (MFA 2002). Solo exhibitions include Galerie Florence Loewy, Paris (2008); Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Canada (2008); Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto (2007); amongst others. Group exhibitions include: “Citizen, Denizen, Resident”, Tatjana Pieters/One Twenty Gallery, Ghent, Belgium (2008); P2P, Casino Luxembourg (2008); Gasoline Rainbows, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver (2007); “We Can Do This Now”, The Power Plant, Toronto (2007); amongst others.

The Bulletin Board series is generously supported by Corrie Sandelman.

Derek Sullivan
9 New Titles, 2008-
Print-on-demand books
Courtesy of the artist and Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto