To say the very least Art Gallery of York University, 2009
6.75x8.75 in, 64 pp, 38 col, hardcover
ISBN 978-0-921972-55-6
$24.00/$20.00 with AGYU Membership

Project for a New American Century is a “what if” scenario that in part has its source in a little-known historical event. During the Spanish Civil War, anti-Franco anarchists operated prisons using “psychotechnic” torture in the form of “coloured cells” based on the principles of abstract and surrealist painting. In reference to this history, the Toronto collaborative team of Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins created an installation at the Art Gallery of York University combining architecture, painting, and sculpture, building a monolithic prison-like enclosure but updating it with reference to utopian brutalist architecture from the 1950s and 1960s and op art painting.

In conjunction with their exhibition, the AGYU has published a catalogue documenting this work of Marman and Borins. Elegantly designed by Lisa Kiss, this hardcover book includes “The Prisoner,” an essay by Philip Monk written as if it were a French philosophical treatise on modernist aesthetics from the 1950s. Taking context into context, the text deftly weaves a story of both the prisoner and the viewer as we move through the implications of the exhibition’s pre-history.

Essay by Philip Monk, designed by Lisa Kiss.


Art Gallery of York University | Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street | Toronto ON M3J 1P3 | agyu [at]