The title, Mr. Remember is a play on the word misremember. As such, the exhibition explores the idea of memory, and how the past and present connect to influence the future. Da Corte’s colourful works fill the museum with life, inviting the viewer to come take a closer look. His pieces depict identity as ever-changing, shaped by the things we consume. This collection features a diverse range of art mediums, materials and references – there’s something that everyone can appreciate.
On Calder Terrace, you can see the larger-than-life sculpture that is As Long as the Sun Lasts. This work adapts popular references, giving them a darker, more solemn undertone. The red base is reminiscent of the Little Tikes Activity Gym, a mass-produced toy that can be reassembled in various ways. Perched at the top is Sesame Street’s Big Bird – however, instead of his bright yellow coat, Da Corte paints him blue, referring to a 1985 Sesame Street film in which Big Bird is captured by bandits and forced to perform I’m So Blue. Here is a prime example of how Da Corte takes familiar concepts and characters, then spins them into something much more introspective.
The collection also features art that was made especially for this exhibition, including Da Corte’s rendition of Mouse Museum (Van Gogh Ear). This piece references Claes Oldenburg’s Mouse Museum, which was modelled after Mickey Mouse. It consisted of a black square building attached to two circular rooms and an entryway that was structured like a tongue. Da Corte’s version is edgier – this time, one ear has been cut off and inside you can find 146 items, such as props from films, models, and sculptures. By showcasing his extensive work in the ear, Da Corte puts a fun spin on the saying, “if you look in someone’s ear, you’ll see their brain.”
Mr. Remember is the culmination of Da Corte’s artistic journey throughout the past decade. It is experimental, bright and unapologetically sincere. Blurring the line between light-hearted and dark, his work continuously invites us to look deeper into familiar characters and concepts. Certainly, this exhibition is one to remember.