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It’s Friday…Look at This Friggin Contemporary Art Gallery

July 9, 2010

I went to Toronto and so should you – here’s one reason why.

ADAPTATION: Between Species at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.

This show comments on relationships between humans and animals, the way that we regard wildlife, our pets. Some pieces also begin to deal with an ambiguous zone between species and between habitats. Yes, friends, the elusive liminal rears its shiny head here in unsuspecting Toronto (Canadians were all, “Whaa?”).

I experienced a healthy dose of giggling (a lot of this – owing to the high number of funny cats on exhibit), cringing and generally getting scared – a mix of emotions I rarely experience in such rapid succession at a show of this size. The following pictures are highlights from those pieces I found particularly delightful and helpful links for further exploration.

Still from John Bock's 'Gast'. Image by John Bock, via Tate Online.

GIGGLE FACTOR) A chubby bunny hops around on the artist’s Southwestern-looking rug and nibbles on things. He is projected at a much-larger-than-life size and slowed down a bit for dramatic effect. Have I mentioned that I love bunnies?

SOURCE: http://www.tate.org.uk/tateetc/issue11/wildthings.htm

Still from 'GIFT/GIFT' by Nina Katchadourian, 1998. Via the artist's website.

LOVE FACTOR) Nina Katchadourian gifts a small, brown spider with the word ‘G-I-F-T’ made out of red thread. The spider worries over his new possession, attempting to fling it from his web even as the artist’s tweezers cruise in to adjust her work. Wonderful, like forcing an unwilling cat to lay in your lap and be petted.

Artist’s WWW: http://www.ninakatchadourian.com/index.php

Still from 'Sunday Afternoon' by Michelle Williams Gamaker, 200. Via the artist's website.

CRINGE? FACTOR) The still pictured above is from an earlier work (‘Sunday Afternoon’) than the one on display in this show (‘Sunday Afternoon II’), but it’s the only still I could find. The artist plays dead in her apartment while her greyhounds circle her motionless body. One watches as they lick her limbs and wonders if the film is about to take a turn for the erotic and uncomfortable. A can’t-take-your-eyes-away work.

Artist’s WWW: http://www.michellewilliamsgamaker.com/Home.html

Also check out Fastwürms, a Toronto-based artist’s group that put together a fabulous video/narrative/painting/photography exhibit that smacks very much of school fairs and stars telepathic cat warriors. Cats vs. Dragons? Yes, please.

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/FASTWURMS

Also, AlSO, ALSO … I am tempted to write about so many other works from this show but will refrain. Get thee to Toronto if you can – otherwise keep an eye out for future posts featuring work from this show and related pieces.

Happy FREITAG!!!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. cwood permalink
    July 12, 2010 11:24 am

    Rivane Neuenschwander! Couldn’t find a link for her video with the ants from the show (Quarta-Feira de Cinzas/Epilogue), but she consistently pokes my brain in the all the right places.

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