The Institutional Stabilizer series is the result of a yearlong investigative project on the genealogy of the Greco-Roman column as an imperial signifier of political will and social power on two locations including the Canadian Heritage site, the Grange, and the art deco façade of Bank of Nova Scotia’s former headquarters in Toronto’s financial district.
The material reification of this project is the documented transformation of 29 abandoned shipping skids into an additional pillar for the decommissioned portico of the Art Gallery of Ontario. To explain the project quite literally, it is an additional and wholly unnecessary structural support for a decorative architectural component (the portico) that is solely meant to uphold an ‘image’ of stability and colonial power on the façade of the building.
The second half of the project exists as a continuation of the first stabilizer and materially originates from the same shipping skids that made up the pillar at the Grange. After another labour-intensive process of disassembly and reassembly, the column was transformed back into a shipping pallet that visually embodies the amalgamation of twenty-nine skids into a singular structure. The new pallet was left at the base of a decorative relief of an ionic capital on the façade of Nova Scotia’s bank. These objects respond to a similar treatment of the Grego-Roman column as a signifier of capital within a hyper colonial and continually global context.