On September 21st, Volkswagen Canada unveiled a unique outdoor art exhibit in partnership with experimental artist Scott Froschauer for the grand opening of Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), which will officially open September 22nd. The installation is a conceptualized version of The Arteon, the brand’s most recent evolution made to push boundaries and challenge the ideals around the Volkswagen brand. We spoke with the Froschauer about the inspiration behind his latest installation.
What is the inspiration behind your installation at MOCA?
“My goal with any of my art is to create something that is out of the ordinary. I strive to create work that operates on multiple levels. The work should keep revealing layers the longer the viewer engages with it. In this case, the first layer is blinking lights. The video screen casts light out into the neighbourhood to grab your attention. The structure of the piece isn’t like what you would expect to be in a grass lot. It’s almost like a fish tank…but then you notice the Volkswagen Arteon inside. If you keep looking, you’ll notice the mirrors are reflecting the car and the dancing lights, and if you are paying close attention you’ll notice that you don’t see yourself in the reflections. Those are the layers I’m offering with this piece. Will everyone who looks at it get all of that? No way. That’s not the point. The point is to give a viewer as much as they want and to keep rewarding their attention.”
How did the VW Arteon inspire your installation?
“I think the Arteon is a great fit with contemporary art. There is the obvious elegance of the lines and the history of engineering, but there’s something about contemporary art that disdains artifice. There’s a desire to keep materials raw and exposed. Volkswagen has a mentality that resonates with that. Their concept of “Smart Luxury,” which is embodied in the Arteon, is exactly that eschewing of artifice. It’s a notion that quality engineering and materials can be put together without unnecessary fanfare. Without the artifact of an expensive badge on the hood.”
What makes MOCA a great location for your installation?
“Toronto’s MOCA is fantastic both for their content and their new building. The artist-centric approach that the team has is apparent in their choices. It’s also important to me that the MOCA is so focused on nurturing artists. Their new building is a cultural touchstone and feels to me like a great foundation for showcasing world class contemporary art, while the environment around the building lends itself to much more raw ideas. It’s in this environment that I have the opportunity to experiment with the public. I feel like the art I’m most interested in is work that knows how to play by the rules and how to break the rules and when to do which.”
Why is MOCA such an important part of Toronto’s art scene?
“The history of MOCA (and before that, the MOCCA) in of itself is fantastic, but this new step they are taking with their new building means that they are certainly going to the next level. They now have a space that not only provides the room to explore bigger themes, but it’s a space that is steeped in history. Walking through the space, you can feel the history, and as you discover what a significant building this is you come to realize what a perfect place it is for MOCA to embark on this next phase.”
The MOCA will open September 22nd at 158 Sterling Road. The Arteon exhibit will be on display until October 21st.