Vapour trails

David K. Ross is the latest artist featured at Bulthaup Toronto showroom. His photographic series, titled HVACUUS, documents the expelled vapor that is released by museum and gallery HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) systems. Focussing on the cloudy mass of vapour that escapes from the rooftops of numerous art institutions, HVACUUS suggests that something more is at work in this unnoticed process of expulsion.

If, indeed, microscopic particles from a given collection are shed and breathed out of galleries on a daily basis, these images point to the evanescent and ultimately unstable nature of all art. The particulate residue of art works is, paradoxically, evacuated by the very buildings that are built to protect those works.

HVACUUS obliquely references the interest that artists have long had in “visible air” as subject matter for their works. Representing one of the most fugitive, dynamic, and potentially destructive of substances, the depiction of airborne moisture and smoke in past centuries has moved along a symbolic trajectory that connects the picturesque to the sublime and the tragic‚ from Ruskin to Turner to the Twin Towers.

Bulthaup’s Toronto showroom is located at 280 King. St. E.