Scotiabank Nuit Blanche

Off to a flying start curated by Ami Barak

Hysteria Coordinating, 2013

Suitable for all ages

Hysteria Coordinating, 2013

Sherri Hay - Toronto, Canada


We live in cities full of objects mostly made from domesticated materials like plastic and concrete. Without thinking about it much we often regard these things as here only in order for us to use them, but consider for a moment the possibility that these objects around you are not simply still and senseless. Imagine that in some way they shape you as much as you shape them - shaping your habits, hopes and thoughts.

The idea of a reciprocal relationship between objects and humans has become much easier to understand since computers began influencing our lives. Marcel Duchamp was a prescient character - his work claimed that anything could be art. From then on the art world, at least, was full of objects proclaiming their object-hood, claiming the right to make you think and feel.

This piece is titled in homage to Duchamp, after the cubist painting Tulip Hysteria Coordinating that he promised but never delivered to the Independents Show. Instead he exhibited the now (in)famous Fountain, a store-bought urinal.

Imagine for a moment, all of the objects around you have ideas of their own. Hysteria Coordinating is a freeform performance of simple white shopping bags which have taken over the basement under Toronto City Hall. They invite you to come and hang out with them a while.

Sherri Hay divides her time between Toronto and New York. Her work is theatrical and often intricate, with careful attention to the materials she uses. In her work there is a latent story, a narrative that has to do with present and reciprocal relations between people and objects, and sometimes the way the piece itself moves or changes.


Toronto City Hall basement, 100 Queen Street West (Enter from Bay Street door. Access involves multiple flights of stairs. For elevator access, see attendants inside City Hall.)

This project is indoors.