William Brown

30 June 1982 - 17 July 1982
Opening Reception 30 June 1982 8pm

East & West Galleries:


Steeplechase: An Obstacle Course for One Racer

A Toronto premiere of William Brown’s first performance “Steeplechase” will mark the opening of a large installation on this theme. The piece will occupy both galleries.

In “Steeplechase,” the artist manipulates art within the context of sport; this work illustrates the artist’s struggle using a fusion between sculpture and the body.

By means of a sculptural and photographic investigation, the artist works with and against obstacles towards a desired goal.

William Brown is a Toronto artist and has shown at various parallel galleries in Montreal and Toronto.

The Steeplechase, a tailor-made event for Mercer’s new space, is an illustration of the working with and against obstacles towards a desired goal. It is a fusion of sculpture and the body, with the objects dictating body movements. It is also the discussion of an idea. Seen as a representation of the human journey, the obstacles bear resemblance to physical, emotional, and spiritual hurdles in real life. It is for this reason that it is important the environment remains after the performance.

The excitement of the race and its energy are important to enlisting the audience support. With its cheers and support it becomes involved in a celebration of the artist’s struggle. But with the sculpture remaining they are allowed time to decipher the depth of this piece and explore some of its investigations.

I am dealing with a type of sculpture where performance plays an important role but is only part of the unfolding process necessary to understanding my work. Therefore I am applying for a three week show. The performance would be on opening night which would be two days into the show. This time would be used to install the environment. The understanding of this piece would be assisted through

– the inclusion of an enlarged version of the script
– three rectangular shapes of material collaged right on to the wall, illustrating the formation of the idea.
– a number of stills taken in the studio illustrating the costumes – and the workings of the sculpture during that stage of development.
– and a number of action shots taken during a performance at the gallery Articule, Montreal this spring.

All to be covered during the performance.

This application is for a Fall show which demands the use of the whole Mercer Union space. The environment would occupy the east gallery and part of the west, with the descriptive material completing the full use of the space.