Have you ever walked along the Galleria of the Enercare Centre and found your name dangling from the rafters? It’s possible that your name is one of 1,000 names suspended from the ceiling of the Enercare Centre. Next time you’re in there tilt your head back and take a look.
In 1996 Micah Lexier was commissioned by Exhibition Place to create an art installation for a new exhibition hall that later came to be known as the National Trade Centre and today is known as the Enercare Centre.
The installation titled Hall of Names, consists of 1,000 laser-cut stainless steel names that hang in a series of chains in the 245 meter-long Galleria of the Enercare Centre in Toronto.
The art advisory committee for the National Trade Centre included an art mentoring program as part of this public art commission. Micah selected an apprentice from the Ontario College of Art and Design named Panya Clark Espinal to assist him in all aspects of the commission, including the “Call for Names” campaign and the fabrication and assembly process of the names.
Micah Lexier explains the concept behind his installation: "During the month of June 1996, I put out a call for names through the local media. From the thousands of names submitted, I randomly drew 1,000 names to be included in the work. The names were then typeset, laser-cut from 1/8" stainless steel and joined together in chains of up to 6 names long."
Micah Lexier was born in 1960 in Winnipeg. Micah graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1984. He currently lives and works in Toronto. Micah is a multimedia artist whose many-tiered practice includes sculpture, installation, photography and text-based work, as well as curation. A well-known photographic work of Lexier’s, David: Then and Now (2005), reworks his Portrait of David (2004), spanning 10 years, and showing the effects of aging on 75 men named David, each a different age from one to 75.
A sculpture by Micah Lexier Selections from the Synopsis of Categories, was installed at Metro Hall in 1992 and consists of 26 custom-made aluminum ladders of various heights, mounted against the walls of Metro Hall lobby on which 400 words signifying aspects of civic life and government are listed. The words were randomly selected from the "Synopsis of Categories" section of a thesaurus. Micah’s combination of ladders with words symbolizes the physical effort and ideas required to create a city. The ladders represent the many services offered by a municipal government and the words represent the policies.
Excerpt from Creating Memory: A Guide to Outdoor Public Sculpture in Toronto by John Warkentin
Micah has had more than 100 solo exhibitions, participated in some 200 group exhibitions and produced several public commissions. Micah’s work is found in various collections all over the world, including the British Museum in London, the Contemporary Art Gallery in Sydney, Australia, The National Gallery of Canada and The Art Gallery of Ontario.
Micah recently received the 2015 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. He was one of eight Canadian artists honored.
Micah Lexier is currently represented by the gallery Birch Contemporary in Toronto. For more information on Micah and his work please visit: www.birchcontemporary.com/artist/micah-lexier
Close up of the Hall of Names