In response, the cabin contains all the necessities for survival in a world construed as hazardous and full of the nefarious, obfuscating intentions of others. Ammunition boxes share storage space with basic supplies such as flour and sugar. A battle axe from the brave hearts of Scotland, pineapple hand grenades, a Teutonic sallet with full visor, camouflage uniforms from the Vietnam War, helmets, medieval gauntlets, studded arm braces, and a computer have been assembled by the cabin’s absent inhabitant. Travelling in reverse, in a humour of hostility and distrust, this new outsider careens through the faux towns of museums and movie sets, pilfering a pan-historical arsenal of personal protection. Though packed into one room, his stock pile doesn’t cleave to one time line but is held together in a warp of warrior culture. We go along with this hyperbole as a true-to-life fiction, agreeing that what we see is simultaneously impossible and hyper-real. Besides, we are predisposed to accept this knot of anachronisms because the old cabin has already begun the collapse of time and space.

Liz Magor, Messenger, Toronto, Toronto Sculpture Garden, 1996, n. p.

Wood, plaster, textile, found objects
305 × 305 × 427 cm

Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery
Gift of the artist
Photos: Richard-Max Tremblay