Adrian Norvid, Hermit Hamlet (detail), 2008, Flashe paint on paper, 10' 1/8“ × 16' 8”.

LIKE A SCARECROW, Adrian Norvid abhors a match. That’s because everything the British Canadian artist creates is made of paper. But if you are thinking Thomas Demand, think again: Norvid indulges his material of choice to celebrate the lowbrow history of everyday detritus with operatic gusto. From his dilapidated “knocking shop” to his shit-splattered outhouse, Norvid’s 3-D installations evince his faith in minimal means of production; these homely structures are supported by little more than handmade paper tabs and interlocking beams. With the exception of the biscuit tins, rubber chickens, squeaky hammers, and other sonorous trinkets that Norvid employs in the cacophonous, percussive performances that accompany his exhibitions, everything the artist wields can be set aflame in an instant.

Adrian Norvid, Shit House, 2013, Flashe paint on paper. Installation view, Galerie Clarke, Montreal, 2017. Photo: Paul Litherland.

Imminent catastrophe is integral to Norvid’s worldview, but the calamities he evokes

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