Modern Contemporary Design


The TO DO List: Jade Rude

jade_rude_lead.jpg Our TO DO list continues. Although conceptual visual artist Jade Rude has been bathing her skills in a golden hue over the past little while, her current project sheds a different light on the situation.

Always a player in the offsite events during Toronto design Week, Jade’s background in art, design and social theory informs her wit and her work.


Jade, what’s on your personal TO DO list right now?

I am exhibiting a project entitled Hold Me Close at Made (867 Dundas st W, Toronto) until Saturday July 21st. Hold Me Close is a sculptural installation that responds to the physical and atmospheric space of the gallery (historically a walk-in cooler) while exploring visual art’s ongoing engagement with language.

Hold Me Close consists of oversized illuminated LED letters which overlap one another and spell the phrase H-O-L-D-M-E. The piece engages in a form of wordplay not unlike Symbol Simon, where everyday words and phrases are decoded through picture puzzles. While the type, size and materials mimic retail and advertising signage, this outward aesthetic is recontextualized, thereby playfully disrupting our familiar responses.


In conjunction with the gallery’s historic dark, confined space, the glow of the text aims to envelope the viewer, offering a quiet and contemplative environment. The notion of pairing an expression of desired intimacy within these isolated surroundings is influenced by Pamela M. Lee’s interpretation of the Kantian sublime, which she describes as

“a question of the mind’s struggle to grasp the supersensible – a question of presentation and, hence, representation. It ‘may be regarded as quite formless or devoid of figure’ bringing about ‘a feeling of pain arising from the want of accordance between the aesthetical estimation of magnitude formed by the imagination and the estimation of the same formed by reason.'”

Outward aesthetic is recontextualized, thereby playfully disrupting our familiar responses.

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