Concert Air

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The second exhibition at The Bookcase will open Wednesday, November 26, at 12pm.

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Concert Air

What is the point at which fandom becomes obsession? Music fandom is often portrayed as a relatively acceptable form of passionate addiction, although such fixation tends to be more surprising when the bands in question are pop acts like Hanson, the Moffatts and Hilary Duff. Concert Air documents Londoner Laura Mundinger’s obsession with sugar pop bands and the alternate reality they offered: one where the difficulties of daily existence, bullying and disaffection could be actively avoided. The Concert Air exhibition includes water bottles used to capture the air at concerts (a literal attempt to collect atmosphere), key chains and knick knacks with the name “Bob” (for Bob Moffatt), dozens of movie tickets for Hilary Duff movies (with dates on the tickets clearly showing that films were often viewed numerous times in a single day), and Greyhound tickets for concerts in London, Guelph, Toronto and elsewhere. When Southwest Ontario tours for these bands took place, Mundinger would attend every show within a 5-hour radius, experiencing the identical set list, often multiple times in the same week. “Her every movement was choreographed,” Mundinger says of Hilary Duff. “Near the end of each tour I could mirror her [movements] from the audience.” The centerpiece of the exhibition is a mouth retainer, into the resin of which Mundinger convinced her dentist to incorporate a picture of Bob Moffatt, such that fandom could be literally taken into the body. In Concert Air, fandom is innocent and active, obsessive and taxonomic. From collecting the air of fantasy moments to the flesh-on-plastic integration of the singer of a boy band, this exhibition documents the extents of fandom, and the archiving impulse to hang on to those souvenirs and memories years after the actual events.

Concert Air will be on view at The Bookcase Micro Museum and Library until January 15, 2015. The Bookcase is located in Office 221 in the JLVAC. It is open Wednesdays 12-4.

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photos by Jennifer Martin, 2014

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The Author

Kirsty Robertson is an Associate Professor of contemporary art and museum studies at the University of Western Ontario.

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