Jon Sasaki: A Vague Sense of an Impending Something

JON SASAKI | A VAGUE SENSE OF AN IMPENDING SOMETHING
SATURDAY 16 JANUARY SATURDAY 12 MARCH 2016

OPENING RECEPTION
FRIDAY 15 JANUARY, 6:00PM-9:00PM

Production Still-Dead End Eastern Market Detroit 2015-image credit Jon Sasaki

JON SASAKI | A VAGUE SENSE OF AN IMPENDING SOMETHING
For his exhibition A Vague Sense of an Impending Something, Jon Sasaki presents a new large-scale light installation in the form of a functioning but fragmented and indecipherable digital clock, counting steadily from 9999 down to zero. Although it will not be apparent at what point in the process viewers have walked in, they will nevertheless be aware that something inevitably is about to begin or something is about to come to an end. Ambiguous and possibly unsettling, the piece is intended to invite free associations ranging from the apocalyptic to the microwave popcorn is almost ready.

JON SASAKI is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist and holds a BFA from Mount Allison University (Sackville, NB). Sasaki’s work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at galleries including the Ottawa Art Gallery, (Ottawa, ON); the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, (Lethbridge, AB); and the Art Gallery of Ontario, as well as a recent performance project at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. In fall of 2014 he completed an outdoor public installation at Sheridan College, (Oakville, ON) as part of their Temporary Contemporary commissioning program. Selected group exhibitions include Platform Art Spaces (Melbourne Australia); Nihonbashi Institute of Contemporary Art, (Tokyo, Japan); and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto, ON). He is the recipient of the 2015 Canadian Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize (Dufftown, Scotland.) Sasaki is represented by Clint Roenisch Gallery in Toronto. www.jonsasaki.com

Jon Sasaki would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Toronto Arts Council, Clint Roenisch Gallery, Lee Henderson, Alex Bowron, The Canadian Residency, Peter Rozek, and Sheridan College.

Read Some Things That May Or May Not Relate by ALEX BOWRON, an essay published alongside JON SASAKIS exhibition.

 

Office of Creative Direction Toronto (CDTO) and YYZ to reanimate Canada Post’s community mailboxes

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OPEN OFFICE WEEK: JUNE 22-26, 2015
UPDATE: Change of date for CDTO+YYZ events:
Due to growing interest for participation in this project, the Panel Discussion and Presentation have been combined into a single event.
June 25, 7:00pm-10:00pm RSVP
Panel discussion will begin at 7:30pm.

This event is 19+ and RSVP only.

The Problem
Canada Post’s big grey super-mailboxes have become a sad symbol of fiscal rationalization brought on by the demise of the tactile personal letter. In major cities there has been pushback from citizens, unions, and city councilors about why door-to-door service needs to end, where exactly these boxes will sit, and how they will affect their neighborhoods.

The Proposal
The Office of Creative Direction Toronto (CDTO) proposes to tackle this problem like a creative director would, by seeing it as an opportunity for reinvention: offering prototypes, evolutionary sketches and models for further research. To investigate the design of these boxes and the spaces around them is to discover how they could work better for people. We feel the best way to do this is not by online survey but by gathering a select group together to form a test office of creative direction. The group would include design thinking professionals representing the fields of theatre, technology, engineering, accessibility, alternative energy, small business and storytelling.

Form meets function
Design pushes us to consider super-mailboxes not just as deposit and retrieval objects, but further as animated spaces for shared communication, business, innovation, and community. Imagine that one of the compartments included a seed exchange. Another, a compartment that plays CBC radio podcasts. Another simply marked, ideas. Could the structure be retrofitted to include solar panels that powered a small espresso machine run by a local entrepreneur? Could the super-mailbox glow in the dark? What if there was a digital community board for micro-exchange between neighbors? What if the site of super-mailboxes became a forum for revitalized communication between residents and government? We feel the possibilities are endless and deserve more than an online survey they need to be sketched out.

When we will solve it
June 22 26 CDTO is setting up a test office at YYZ gallery in the 401 Richmond building (itself a successful cultural hub of city building and community innovation). Opening night will include a panel discussion. The workweek will be open to the general public who can observe focused design, rapid prototyping and ideation. Closing night will include a presentation of our findings and along with a comprehensive design proposal for Canada Post.

Who will solve it
We are in the process now of gathering together a team of specialists, thinkers and makers to work during the last week of June with the support of YYZ gallery as well implementing a 3D printer, and other presentation and prototyping hardware.

SOME BACKGROUND

The Super or (community) mailboxes

By 2019 door-to-door mail delivery will be phased out throughout Canada. Because of population density and complexity the last areas affected will be the downtown core of large cities such as Montreal and Toronto. The community mailbox initiative is a five-year project with Canada Post beginning the conversion in every province, consulting with communities through online survey.

Office of Creative Direction (CDTO)

In the last ten years, Toronto has undergone a swift but surefooted cultural, artistic, and technological renaissance that has not always been met by a blossoming of innovation at City Hall. Following the lead of Mexico City, Manchester, New York, and Boston, CDTO proposes an Office of Creative Direction for the City of Toronto to help mobilize and facilitate cultural innovation while prioritizing design thinking and the way Toronto tells its story visually. Prominent early supporters of the initiative include Leslie Feist, Ken Finkleman, Shary Boyle, Shauna Levy, Sarah Diamond, Sarah Fulford, Richard Florida, John Macfarlane, Rotman CEO Jamison Steeve, and David Mirvish.

Jason Logan is a design strategist, creative director, author and educator. He was founding art director at the Walrus, creative director at Roger’s Publishing, a regular contributor to the New York Times and the founder of the Toronto Ink Company. He was chosen out of hundreds of applicants as a 2015 Agent of Change by The Centre for Social Innovation for his CDTO campaign.

YYZ is an internationally acclaimed gallery supporting artists since 1979 in Toronto. With a mandate to lead the advancement of Canadian culture through presenting and initiating critical and engaging projects YYZ is a publisher, enabler and space for contemporary cultural conversation.

Special thanks to our new sponsor Junction Craft Brewing.

Steffi Lindner: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out

Images Festival
STEFFI LINDNER | AND THEN NOTHING TURNED ITSELF INSIDE-OUT
THURSDAY 09 APRIL – THURSDAY 30 APRIL, 2015

OPENING RECEPTION
FRIDAY 10 APRIL, 4:00PM-7:00PM

AndThen_videostill02

And then nothing turned itself inside-out is a multichannel video installation which examines the idiosyncratic and inaccessible nature of the changing processes that are inherent in material things. Therefore it questions familiar functions and appearances of everyday objects and our supposed control over them.

Our sense of life is crucially influenced by the experience of materiality. It is reliable and precarious at the same time: things seem reliable as long as they are still, available and function according to our expectations. Whereas if they don’t, by denying the natural access of prognostication, they appear to resist and irritate us.

Material things appear to be possessed with some sort of urge that eludes us with unregulated transitions. It seems as if they are actually waiting to fall, burn, gather mold, rust or turn yellow, etc. Such processes of change always require an exterior impulse. But if once given may it be intended or just by chance the thing chooses its own way of proceeding. It then reveals its idiosyncratic character of alteration which denies any external access. Even though we are intuitively inclined to prevent these precarious situations and processes, the things cant be hindered, sooner or later they will materialize their urge to change.

The video installation And then nothing turned itself inside-out shows a number of experiments, in which Steffi Lindner tries to approach these processualities and “autonomous” tendencies of things. Everyday objects are exposed to a simple setup of dynamics, time and chance, as well as interferences by the artist herself: two green cups of jelly with their lids removed are hung upside down from an approximate height of one meter while two white paper plates underneath each cup wait to receive the jelly; a white Styrofoam board dances and balances between the gusts of two wind machines; a red gymnastic ball, which imperceptibly looses air, sinks down between two wooden trestles in slow motion …

The law of nature and the intended movement of the objects, such as standing, turning, rotating, falling, dropping, sinking, etc. can easily and intuitively be anticipated. But where is the so called tipping point which unavoidably transfers the objects into a new state? When do things collapse and lose balance? When does gravity abandon them? And is IT perceptible?

In trying to catch the moment or impulse just before the tipping point, the eyes as well as the camera seem to be doomed to fail. Therefore Steffi Lindner also tries to get hold of this moment with her body for example by exposing herself to chance and trying to turn off the natural sense of balance. Nonetheless, the selective moments seem to remain unpredictable, which may occasionally raise the question of who is in control of whom.

And then nothing turned itself inside-out does not intend to prove something nor is it about the question of succeeding or failing. The work is rather driven by the pleasure in tracing the different dynamics and temporality of things while they remain elusive which doesn’t leave the work completely void of humor.

Steffi Lindner would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Academy of Media Arts Cologne in the production of this work.

STEFFI LINDNER grew up in Berlin, Germany, she finished her postgraduate studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (Germany) in 2012. She has participated in exhibitions, festivals and live video performances at home and abroad, including Eden Was Never So Close, Art Cologne, Cologne and Under Cover, Neue Heimat Berlin, Berlin (2014); Erarta Motion Pictures, Erarta Museum and gallerys of contemporary art, St. Petersburg (2013); Transformationen, ECHORAUM of The Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn (2012); People Tell Me Im White and I Believe them, Art Cologne and Ein Kind ohne Kopf ist ein Mann ohne Hut, Neonchocolate Gallery, Berlin (2011); NADA Art Fair Miami, Miami Beach (2010); Anonyme Zeichner / Selection, Liste Art Fair Basel, Basel and Photography vs. Drawings, Shadow’s Space, Philadelphia and SXSW, Austin/Texas (2009); Facelift, Capla Kesting Fine Art Gallery, New York and Super3, Festival International Exit #15, Maison des Arts, Creteil/Paris (2008). Lindner currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany creating video, drawings, and installations.

This exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Images Festival, April 9 – April 18, 2015. For more information visit
imagesfestival.com

Lisa Neighbour: Smithereens

YYreZidency
LISA NEIGHBOUR | SMITHEREENS
SATURDAY 21 MARCH – SATURDAY 02 MAY, 2015

OPENING RECEPTION
FRIDAY 10 APRIL, 4:00PM-7:00PM

1.ComingApart

Smithereens is an on-going series of screen prints and drawings that examine what’s left after catastrophic events have passed. Lisa Neighbour is a cyclist and a runner and often notices the shards of glass and car-parts that are scattered everywhere – they are evidence of the frequent collisions that happen in the city. Neighbour has been collecting the pieces, drawing them, and then making prints about the damaged vehicles and their scattered parts.

During her YYreZidency, she is setting up a drawing generator consisting of a 4’X8′ white-board platform, a selection of found car-parts, and a supply of black dry-erase markers. Visitors to the gallery will be invited to use the car-parts and markers to create drawings that she will document and then erase. The surface of the platform will be projected onto the gallery wall, and then photographed. During and after the residency, Neighbour will incorporate the resulting imagery into her screen prints and drawings.

Neighbour’s goal is to develop a visual language that can examine traumatic experience in a way that she (and other people as well) will understand and perhaps benefit from. This process involves becoming conscious of, accepting, and then being at peace with the traumatic events that are part of human experience.

LISA NEIGHBOUR was born in Montreal, Quebec. She graduated from OCADU in 1982 and received an MFA from York University in 2009. Neighbour is represented by Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects, in Toronto. Her recent exhibitions include: This is My Punishment, (solo) G Gallery, Toronto, Micah Lexier: One, and Two, and More than Two, (group) The Power Plant, Toronto, Pilot X: Death in the City, (group) LE Gallery, Toronto, Beyond in Western New York, (solo) at The Carnegie Art Center in Tonawanda, N.Y. and Bite the Dust, (solo) at Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects. Neighbour currently lives in Toronto and is a member of the faculty of the Art and Art History Program, a joint program between Sheridan College and University of Toronto, Mississauga.

Lisa Neighbour would like to thank Carlo Cesta, Jennifer McMackon, Lee Goreas, Katharine Mulherin, Ana Barajas, and the YYZ Board Members.

YYZ would like to acknowledge the support of the talented members of the Sid Lee Collective without whom this exhibition could not be possible.

Jade Rude: The Golden Solid

JADE RUDE | THE GOLDEN SOLID
SATURDAY 10 JANUARY SATURDAY 07 MARCH 2015

OPENING RECEPTION & TALK | FRIDAY 09 JANUARY
DOORS 6:00PM TALK 6:15PM-7:00PM RECEPTION 7:00PM-9:00PM

Jade Rude_Durer Solid Portrait_YYZ

JADE RUDE | THE GOLDEN SOLID
Jade Rude is interested in testing in her work the boundaries between visual perception and physical presence, creating sculptures, installations, and videos that offer spaces of heightened engagement between the viewer and the artwork. Much of her practice draws from theories and statistics related to popular culture, resulting in work that acts out these notions while exploring aspects of how we perceive and process our immediate environment.

For YYZ Artists’ Outlet, Rude will create an installation where the viewer becomes integrated into a theatre of art through a formalist exploration of Drer’s solid. The installation will respond to the architecture of the gallery space on aesthetic, conceptual, and practical grounds, incorporating multiple forms made from gold aluminum mirror, arranged in stacked configurations of pyramids and totems that are positioned to lead the viewer on a circuitous path throughout the space.

Drer’s solid refers to a truncated rhombohedron depicted in the engraving Melancholia(1514) by the German Renaissance artist Albrecht Drer (14711528). Many historians and mathematicians have studied the form, but its presence in the image retains some mystery. However, an analysis of its cross ratio connects it to the golden meanthe organizing principle famously used throughout the Renaissance for creating balanced, harmonious two-dimensional compositions (also known as the golden section, divine proportion or golden ratio). Drer’s solid, therefore, can be seen as representing the golden mean in a three-dimensional form. Further, German psychologist Adolf Zeising (18101876) wrote in 1854 of a universal law regarding the golden ratio in which is contained the ground-principle of all formative striving for beauty and completeness in the realms of both nature and art, and which permeates, as a paramount spiritual ideal, all structures, forms and proportions, whether cosmic or individual, organic or inorganic; which finds its fullest realization, however, in the human form.

Considering these two notionsthat of the connection of the golden ratio to Drer’s solid and to the human body this installation creates a space for exploring this concept in a three-dimensional space through gold-mirror sculptures not unlike the shape depicted in Drer’s engraving. By interpreting the forms in a reflective surface, the viewer’s body becomes integrated into the environment. In the space of The Golden Solid, the physical body and surrounding architecture become enmeshed. Strong lighting will heighten the drama of the encounter, creating a theatrical space intended to captivate viewers and allow them to become immersed in the confusing perspectival spaces of the gallery.

JADE RUDE studied social theory in Norway, Art and Design in England, and graduated from the Alberta College of Art. She works in a variety of media including sculpture, installation, photography, and video. Through a variety of perception-shifting tactics, Rude aims to disrupt our familiar responses to certain objects and in doing so, force a re-consideration of our relationship to the material world. Her strategies are deliberately playful even though they test the very boundaries between visual perception and physical presence. In addition Canada, including a group show at MOCCA, Rude has exhibited in the US, England, Japan, Australia, Columbia, and at MAMBA in Buenos Aires. Most recently she participated in a residency at SVA, New York. Rude currently lives and works in Toronto.

Read It’s all in the numbers by SARAH ROBAYO SHERIDAN, an essay published alongside JADE RUDE‘S exhibition.

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Jade Rude would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council.

 

 

 

Scott Rogers: ALPTRUTH

SCOTT ROGERS | ALPTRUTH
SATURDAY 10 JANUARY SATURDAY 07 MARCH 2015

OPENING RECEPTION & TALK | FRIDAY 09 JANUARY
DOORS 6:00PM TALK 6:15PM-7:00PM RECEPTION 7:00PM-9:00PM

01RogersYYZALPTRUTHimage_web

ALPTRUTH is an exhibition about the intricacies and intimacies of backcountry skiing. Dealing with the relationship between risk management, heuristics, marketing and outdoor adventure, the exhibition documents an ill-fated solo ski trip made by Rogers in January 2013. A new eponymously titled video shot using a Go-Pro camera, with a soundtrack produced by Samuel Forsythe and Brian Rogers will be premiered for the show. Alongside the video is a collection of damaged, broken, or repaired outdoor equipment, as well as custom furniture resembling that found in backcountry huts in the Canadian Rockies.

SCOTT ROGERS was born in Calgary in1981. He has an MFA from the Glasgow School of Art and participated in an exchange at the Staedelschule in Frankfurt (DE). Recent solo exhibitions include the Glasgow Sculpture Studios (UK), Artspace (with Sarah Rose), Auckland (NZ), One Night Only, Oslo (NO), and the Odd Gallery, Dawson City (CA). Group exhibitions have been at Platform Art Spaces, Melbourne (AU), Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo (CA), Market Gallery, Glasgow (UK), Center, Berlin (DE), Dog Park, Christchurch (NZ), St Paul St Gallery, Auckland (NZ) and Falsefront, Portland (US). Upcoming solo exhibitions will take place at Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge (CA) and Collective Gallery, Edinburgh (UK). Goosebumps, Rogers’ publication with Mark Von Schlegell is available from Printed Matter Inc., New York (US). Rogers currently and lives in Glasgow, UK.

Scott Rogers would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts in the production of this exhibition. He also would like to thank Samuel Forsythe, Sarah Jane Gorlitz, Wojciech Olejnik, Brian Rogers, Sarah Rose, and his skiing and climbing partners for their contributions to this work. Thanks especially to his parents and sister who have made so many things possible for him.

Read Interior Borders by SAMUEL FORSYTHE, an essay published alongside SCOTT ROGERS‘ exhibition.

YYZLAB Touring Exhibition: Default Programming

YYZLAB_red

North York Arts
January 16 to February 05, 2015
Opening Reception
January 15, 5:30pm-7:30pm

Arts Etobicoke
March 30 to May 07, 2015

Lakeshore Arts
June 01 to July 02, 2015

This text by OANA TANASE was published alongside the 2014 YYZLAB touring exhibition, Default Programming.

Default Programming features a selection of recent works and ongoing projects developed by emerging artists with diverse backgrounds, passions and practices, revealing surprising affinities when they are encouraged to approach, and reflect upon, the blurred borders between art and work. The exhibition presents works reflective of the studio environment and its varied conditions and connotations within the larger fabric of social reality, and thus it aims to cause a debate around the current conditions of artistic production. At first sight, one can easily approach these artworks as if they stage no precise critique, so do their young creators love to trick the viewer by manifesting a rather contemplative attitude towards life, bending their ideas into small and rather quiet gestures. However, none of this means they lack a sense of urgency in shaking the spatialized power relations and governing rules of economics.

Look around, listen to them and discover their effort to deal with the massive shifts that trouble today’s world and a deep understanding of the irreversible changes they force. Here as elsewhere, one finds that the thirty-something generation is harshly confined to insecurity and fear, unemployment fatigue, social tensions, and economic breakdown. They are uneasy about both, equity of distribution of resources, and eccentricities in the judging of their professional contribution as visual artists. If we agree with Lars Bang Larsen that work hours and workspace are no longer fixed entities, that art and work are, in principle, no longer distinguishable

then we should probably ask ourselves what does it mean for an artist to be at work beyond the contract of employment? How is the logic of the artists’ daily life structured? Do artists really privilege one term over the other or are they ready to absorb the challenges encountered at their part-time precarious job place, and translate them later into creative impulses and strategies of production?

There is a general consensus defining this new generation of artists as hyper-vigilant, unsentimental, and persistent; these are the ones expected not to complain about the uncertainty of the future, but to imagine new possibilities, such as stepping into the public sphere as active agents ready to bring in social change. They are the ungovernables: according to the curators of the New Museum Triennial in New York (2012), Eungie Joo and Ryan Inouye, the ungovernables are those faced with a bleak inheritance,’ ready to embrace their complex relationship to history and assert a remarkable resourcefulness, pragmatism, and hopefulness in their work’.

Unsurprisingly, the issue of artistic labour sits at the core of the present selection of works. I’m Ambitious When Giving Up is the title of a performance piece by Carrie Perreault. In 2013, the artist spent seven months in Cambodia, witnessing the volatile political environment and the country’s struggle with a recent history of violence and genocide. It was a time not only of prolific work for Perreault, creating installations, audio and video pieces, and public performances, but more so an opportunity to articulate new questions about the everyday role of the artist, especially when working in or speaking about a vulnerable sociopolitical context. The experience provided Perreault with an important awareness of how artistic labour can reflect parallel modes of working and production in contemporary society.

The need to rethink the processes of making art or art-making and to develop new, flexible, nomadic, and collaborative strategies of working is also addressed by YoonJin Jung: accessible for all, her participatory performance pieces engage others to complete the artwork. Although employing a somewhat different strategy to Perreault’s, Jung favours the same precarious modes of working collectively. Even when temporarily abandoning the Internet and web-based social networks, she uses the tools of digital culture: focusing, magnifying, disassembling or reassembling. All these gestures are relevant both at the moment she is asked to position her own practice and when she strives to disrupt the viewer’s expectations.

Thus, erasing the aura of authorship and craftsmanship, and constantly questioning skill and de-skilling in performance and participatory art, these artists invite us to reflect on politics andwhy not?the economics of cultural production. Such practices create a space for experimentation and dialogue, negotiation, and engagement.

Other possibilities open when we analyze the conditions of performance art in a post-Fordist era. Let’s follow the contributions of Bojana Kunst: evaluating recent reductive trends that define artistic significance by commodity metrics, this art scholar proposes to reclaim political and social value in the arts by re-establishing the association between art and what we have in common as a society. In particular, in relation to performance art, Kunst provokes us to see that its core it is a sensual and aesthetic diversion of commonality, a distribution of affective intensities and a temporal modulation of the shared perception.

The work of Alicia Kuntze attempts to reframe this kind of common reality. Interested in the processes and functions of the human body, the artist chooses to divert and translate them into something tangible. Elusive and sometimes visceral experiences, bittersweet or even melodramatic stories of her private life, are embodied in a collection of uncanny objects. Take for example the exact replica of a tissue box on her own nightstand, displayed in the gallery space, where on all the little tissues one reads the same typed statement: . . . because it really is just one God damn thing after another. Or the tiny, shiny pins she made out of empty beer cans, or the fragile little pouches shaped like the bags under her eyes, handmade using old pillowcasesall these works speak about the conditions of art and life being both familiar and strange, nurtured equally by hope and fear, smoothing events and igniting experiences, private memories and collective narratives.

Kuntze’s practice is deeply informed by intensive labour, and the same goes for all the artists present in this exhibition. The production process became as meaningful as final product. Not only do they incessantly explore, excavate, and rethink the conceptual frameworks of the contemporary, but they also probe, rehearse, and exhaust their physical possibilities.

For Brynn Higgins-Stirrup, the untiring commitment to repetition, accumulation, and other mechanisms of art-making shape not only her personal style but also her identity as an artist. Repetitive stabs embossing and colouring paper record and parallel the artist’s mental choreography as she seeks that productive void where chance encounters existence itself. Re-enacting a complex set of processes and circumstances involved in the production of old manuscripts, Higgins-Stirrup becomes a contemporary illuminator, navigating ritual and mystery waves. Elegant, seductive, and ceremonial, her interventions on paper are infused with a striking sense of pulsating detail, and geometrical structure.

References to the working status of the artists can be also found in projects developed by Hazel Eckert and Bailey Govier. Eckert spends her days in a commercial letterpress print shop working with analogue technology, and her collection of scavenged off of the floor and out of recycling bins materials triggers her archival impulse. Her body of work revolves around intuitive responses to these found materials, pieces cut away from a bigger picture that she appropriates, documents, and even curates. Eckert’s recent Glass Slide Compositions, collages made from salvaged debris suspended between sheets of glass, show a tireless curiosity and reverence for these artifacts: the result is both a self-referential image and an ironic comment on the transformations of the context in which she lives and works.

Making use of different mediadrawing and paintingGovier exploits the architecture and detritus of the personal studio space. In her latest series, Working Space, she not only incorporates new techniques, but also refers to interior design trends and condo architecture, from which she derives a distinctive hue spectrum, both fashionable and critical. Her interests in flattening the traditional static and harmonious representation of a habitable space stand for a constant investigation of the functions and conditions of the medium of painting, and the mechanisms of seeing.

The highly staged image of our daily life and its often-freezing architecture takes a different turn in the vast collection of drawings made by Daphne Vlassis. Unlike Govier, she liberates the picture frame, and sometimes intervenes on the existing walls of real environments, derailing the perspectives, suggesting new entrances, exits, and secret paths. It is the lack of permanence and the constantly changing point of view that keep her awake to the built environment, her dismissal of security boundaries in the workplace that leads her to a poetic reframing of palpable life.

The desire to conflate different receptive states tuned to constructed space in order to advance a new understanding of the world we live in has a long history in the visual arts. But what these artists import alongside their research is an expression of critique into the system being scrutinized. Deriving a practice from her immediate surroundings, Monica Haucklike the other artists in this exhibitionengages herself in serial explorations of an idea: she walks through systematic exploration, documentation, trial, error, and action, as she puts it. For her, the task is to explore the levels and consequences of engagement with a specific place, governed by dominant powers. Unsurprisingly, her attention is drawn to urban growth, living conditions, gentrification, and public space. Running through undeveloped fields and fixing their ruin-before-existence status is a productive choice for Hauck to generate mnemonic devices for saving the sense of belonging to a place. There is no chase of the spectacular or the beautiful, but instead of the unnoticed, neglected, and so often invisible precarious conditions of life nowadays.

Take a moment and ask yourself what it means to collapse the memories of all the places where you used to live: you might experience them merging one into another, appropriating each other’s smells and colours, and colonizing your own long forgotten structures. And you’ll find out why Caudia Zloteanu’s artistic discourse focuses on the disruptive realities and parasitic forces within our urban environment. It’s a hiatus perceived within the predetermined picture of life, the clash between the constructed reality and the organic, sometimes wild appearances we have to face. Can you still identify a healing-on guard nurse? Is there a presence you can invoke?

Or you play in turn the existing roles of the Guide or Coach, the Merciful One, the Soldier, and the Bride-to-Be, as Raz Rotem suggests to us, and by appropriating each other’s voices, you position yourself in the realm of social life. Can we really imagine a future archive of unsettling lives? How can we deal with a raw material of a not yet imagined life? Are we ready to embark on a quest for potential systems of economy?

Samuel de Lange’s work persuades us by talking about the changing ecology of our relationship with the social reality of here-and-now. Like Rotem directing a real drama of the times to come, de Lange is collecting the metadata of individual realities and the vernacular production of digital imagery to stimulate a dialogue about identity politics in everyday life. As Rotem is playing his video documentation piece on a loop to point out that there is no ending for rehearsing of the self, de Lange arrests the continuous developing of old film stock to bring in a specific picture that speaks about growth and decay. And again, one can find a dialogue between his large, monochromatic series of abstract prints and Zloteanu’s sculptural works, for instance.

In his irritating essay cited above, Lars Bang Larsen addresses the ambiguous relationship between art and work, and articulates a series of arguments in order to favor both the alignment of art with labour, in which the later is seen as a kind of eternal internship, as well as the treatment of art as non-work, since aesthetic problems cannot be solved in social space. In his attempt to look at art beyond this dialectical approach, as a field capable of producing a multitude of reflections upon the social fabric of reality, he states that art must be re-worked and un-worked in a thinking and acting that moves in two (or more) directions at the same time. Default Programming brings yet another bit to the music that enables the articulation of things that have grown together, such as art and work, state and economy, left and right, politics and media, artist and entrepreneur, citizen and consumer, affect and production.

Thematically free, this exhibition looks at artists’ workspaces as sites of knowledge and labour: mobile, temporary, and most times fortuitous, their studios became particular settings for reflection upon all these fluid and complicated relationships.

Acknowledgements:

These exhibitions present the work of participants in the YYZLAB, a summer educational and mentoring residency at YYZ Artists’ Outlet, which was intended to catalyze the development of new methodologies and to expand networks of intellectual and artistic dialogue. We would like to acknowledge the professional support received from the entire team at YYZ and the contributions of all the volunteers who engaged with this project. We thank our YYZLAB facilitator Sara MacLean and all the mentors, guest artists, curators, and cultural workers we had the chance to meet.

YYZ acknowledges the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

Check out images of the 2014 YYZLAB in our YYZWINDOW here.

SAMUEL DE LANGE graduated from the University of Guelph with a BA (Honours) in Studio Art and a minor in Art History (2014). His research-based practice results in photographic images, films, videos, and installations. He recently returned from a two-month residency at the Hochschule fur Kunst in Bremen, Germany. Recent solo exhibitions include One Night Stand (with Sam de Lange), at Immigration Office in Bremen, Germany and The Lamp and the Laboratory at Zavitz Gallery, Guelph, Ontario. In October 2014, his work was featured at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto as the national winner of the BMO 1st Art! annual invitational student art competition.

HAZEL ECKERT holds a BFA from OCAD University and is a multi-disciplinary artist and printer based in Toronto. Having worked for 8 years as a letterpress printer, she uses the skills and materials from commercial work both to fund and to produce her own projects. Her work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions, including If Walls Could Talk at the Gladstone Hotel, Toronto (2014). In 2010, Eckert received The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition’s Best in Printmaking award and participated in Atelier Graff’s Insertion Project in Montreal, Quebec, funded in part by an Ontario-Quebec Residency Grant from the Ontario Arts Council. In 2013, she received the Nick Novak Fellowship from Open Studio, where she opened a solo exhibition in October 2014.

BAILEY GOVIER holds a BA with Honours in Studio Art from the University of Guelph (2011). With close attention to space and colour, her abstract paintings challenge the viewer to perceive shifts between form and space. Exhibitions include Sincerely Yours, Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, Toronto (2012), Abstraction in Canada, an Online Exhibition, hosted by Little Paper Planes (2012) and stArt: Young Painters of Great Promise, Studio 21, Halifax (2011). Govier lives and works in Toronto.

MONIKA HAUCK holds a BA in Studio Art from the University of Guelph (2012). Her Interdisciplinary practice is currently focused on documentary photography, public installation, and experimental exploratory practices. She is currently an inaugural participant and resident artist in the Arts Incubator Program at Boarding House Arts in Guelph, Ontario where she also lives and works.

BRYNN HIGGINS-STIRRUP holds a BFA in painting and sculpture from Queen’s University (2013). During which, she studied painting at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and art history and philosophy at Herstmonceux Castle in the United Kingdom. Her current work focuses on labour-based drawing and sculpture practices. Recent exhibitions include Tell Me What You’re Made Of, Forest City Gallery, London (2014), Drawing 2014, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto (2014), and The Last Swim, Union Gallery, Kingston (2013). In 2014, she was in the emerging artist sector of The Artist Project. Higgins-Stirrup lives and works in Toronto.

YOONJIN JUNG holds a BFA from York University (2011), and is currently a MFA candidate at York University. Jung creates visual exercises with varying mediums and methods including installation, video, sound, photography, and drawing. Recent exhibitions include Discerning What It Is, Gales Gallery, Toronto (2012), and Gaze Into the Moment, Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto (2011).

ALICIA KUNTZE holds a BA with Honours from Brock University, St. Catharines. Her artworks are often inspired by the human body and come to fruition through various forms and mediums such as installation, sculpture, drawing, audio, and video art. Exhibitions include Perth Huron Exhibition, Gallery Stratford (2011), and Said the Attic, Rodman Hall Art Centre, St. Catharines (2010). Kuntze currently lives and works in Toronto.

CARRIE PERREAULT holds a BA from Brock University, St. Catharines. Her varying social and political environments influence her work. She is an advocate for human witnessing, which translates into research in meditative gestural acts that counter and speak to discrimination and hardship. Her multidisciplinary work includes video, installation, sculpture, performance, and audio works.

RAZ ROTEM holds a BFA from UOCAD, Toronto (2009). Rotem’s interdisciplinary work includes video, sculpture, fibre and textile, drawing and painting, performance and participatory pieces. He acted as the lead artist for FibreWebs Collective on Weave We Are a Part of the Fabric (2014), a fibre-art community project in collaboration with SOY/Sherbourne Health Centre, SKETCH Working Arts, and was funded by the Toronto and Ontario Arts Council. Other exhibitions include Travel an Inch; Erode a Day, a duo show with Christina Kostoff, Interaccess, Toronto. (2009), Emerging Artists of the Americas, Albequerque, New Mexico (2009), Meditation’s on the Curse of Macha, Board of Directors, Toronto (2009). The SCIN Show, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto (2008). Rotem lives and works in Toronto.

OANA TANASE holds a MA in Art History and Theory from the National University of Arts in Bucharest, Romania. She is currently completing her PhD thesis that aims at discussing documentary practices in contemporary art. Previously, she worked as a curator at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest and has since continued her practice as an independent curator in Toronto.

DAPHNE VLASSIS holds a BA in Spanish and Philosophy from the University of Toronto and studied Visual Art at York University. Her artistic practice consists of painting and drawing. Her recent work was exhibited in International Painting III, The Jeffrey Leder Gallery, New York (2014), published in the Hart House Review, Issue 23, University of Toronto (2014), and cover art for Rethinking Heritage Language Education, Cambridge University Press (2014). Vlassis currently lives and works in Toronto.

CLAUDIA ZLOTEANU is currently a graduate student in Visual Studies at the University of Toronto and holds a MFA from the University of Fine Arts, Bucharest, Romania. Between 2010 and 2012 she was an artist in residence in Rome, Italy. Her work includes sculptures, drawings, and photography. Recent group exhibitions include Spazi Aperti X, Romanian Academy, Rome (2012), The Dark side of the Soul, Museo Magma, Roccamonfina, Italy (2012), Edgardo Manucci, Arcevia, Italy (2010), and Body, Caminul Artei Gallery, Romania (2009). Zloteanu currently lives in Aurora, Ontario.

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i Lars Bang Larsen, The Paradox of Art and Work: An Irritating Note, Work, Work, Work. A Reader on Art and Labour, Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Annika Enqvist, Michele Masucci, Lisa Rosendahl, Cecilia Widenheim (Eds.) (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2012), 18.

ii Gabriele Klein and Bojana Kunst, Introduction: Labour and

Performance, Performance Research, 17:6 (2012): 2.

iii Lars Bang Larsen, 26.

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Andrew Rucklidge: YOU AND I ARE SHIFTERS

ANDREW RUCKLIDGE | YOU AND I ARE SHIFTERS
SATURDAY 13 SEPTEMBER-SATURDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2014

OPENING RECEPTION & TALK | FRIDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2014
DOORS 6:00PM TALK 6:15PM-7:00PM RECEPTION 7:00PM-9:00PM

ANDREW RUCKLIDGE | YOU AND I ARE SHIFTERS

The exhibition title refers to the linguistic concept of the Shifter where the personal pronouns You’ and I’ shift in meaning based on the person uttering the word. It is as if this programmatic conversational shift of authorship has an inherently predatory nature, the ultimate linguistic camouflage for which Rucklidge is attempting to find a visual equivalent, much like pointing and uttering this’ or that.’ Within this exhibition there is a masked order of conversation, shuffled within the gallery space; a first painting seeding a separated second; seeding a disenfranchised third that clones itself in reflection into a diptych, which then bifurcates. Several of the paintings then seed new forms via torn digital scanning and abrupt mechanical shearing, and so on within the space until the final work slips into its camouflaged slot.

Despite the use of Shifting and Shuffling as central (dis)organizational metaphors for the exhibition, within all of the paintings there is an attempt to find a visual focus for the sense of unrest that feeds Wilhelm Worringer’s urge to abstraction, to render the natural model with the line drawn absolutely straight, in response to a marked tendency toward maximum crystalline regularity.[i] At one pole, there are life denying inorganic crystalline forms, geometric constructions modeled from the mill cut linear units of Poe and Lovecraft’s uneasy sheds of hidden America. At the other pole there is the urge to empathy, which allows the mimetic impulses of organic shapes (the signature of a confidence in the external world) to bud within these geometric forms. At another level Rucklidge has attempted to confront the edge-center problem by seeding these forms from one painting to the next sequentially. This is a way of introducing a temporal aspect to the works in the series by linking them beyond the equally probable limits of the canvas. This visual cloning allows geometric containment to ferment an interior wildness of form, whose character is to dispute the internal edges and to some degree leap beyond the canvas edge from painting to painting. Nascent wild forms sprouting, expanding and cooling into crystalline hard edges.

Technically, the early seed works of this show follow the procedure of the Tchlein paintings of the 14th and 15th century from the Netherlands. These paintings were made of distemper on linen cloth; a fussy technique involving layered applications of pure pigment and the rendered glue of animal bones. Raw, faded, sunken, matte, crumbling with an inherent scent of neglect, castles and power. Using this technique relates to the hunt and all its metaphoric implications: sighting, baiting, tracks, traces, escape, ammunition, stalking, camouflage, waiting, and ideally the feast. This pretty much sums up any artist’s daily checklist; a famished borderline detective.

Rucklidge’s vision is an exhibition where repeated forms and surfaces would be shifting and hunting each other across the gallery. The paintings would refer and relate to each other in a predatory stalking manner; the variants of basic forms reasserting themselves within new backgrounds and contexts (a pictorial natural selection). The initial referent forms being geometric and acting as seeds in the picture plane and then becoming amplified using compositional devices. The crystalline character of the seeding geometric forms then relates to the instinct for the Thing itself,’ most powerful in primitive man:

The Geometric line is distinguished from the natural object precisely by the fact that it does not stand in any natural contexttaken out of the ceaseless flux of the forces of nature they have become visible on their own’ (Lipps, sthetik, 249).

That geometric line should slice just like the bolt of an arrow out of the blue.

This hunt dovetails nicely into the Modernist search for the Sunken Treasure’ and with the Maian concern with the outmoded and the nonsynchronous:

The marvelous is not the same in every period: it partakes in some obscure way of a sort of general revelation only the fragments of which come down to us: they are the romantic ruins, the modern mannequin’ (Breton, Manifesto).

ANDREW RUCKLIDGE received his MA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts in London in 2003. He has shown internationally at The New Contemporaries (London), Store Gallery (London), John Connelly Presents (New York), Frieze Art Fair (New York), Zoo Art Fair (London), The Armoury (New York), NADA Miami (Miami), VOLTA (Basel), Art Chicago (Chicago), Berliner Liste (Berlin), Art Cologne (Cologne), DC Dusseldorf (Dusseldorf), as well as the SCOPE art fairs and TIAF in Toronto. In 2013, he received both the K.M. Hunter Visual Artist Award and the Laura Ciruls Painting Award. His work is in collections such as UBS (London), Zabludowicz 176 Collection (London), Kunstmuseum (Gotland), Soho House (London and Toronto), Google, Bank of Montreal, and Scotiabank. Rucklidge currently lives and works in Toronto where he also teaches in the Department of Painting and Drawing at OCADU.

The artist gratefully acknowledges the following in the production of this show: The Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Canada Council of the Arts, Christopher Cutts Gallery, K.M.Hunter Artists Award and the Laura Ciruls Painting Award, and last, but not least family and friends.

Read The Language of Abstraction: Andrew Rucklidge’s You and I are Shifters by TERENCE DICK, an essay published alongside ANDREW RUCKLIDGE‘S exhibition.


[i] Wilhelm Worringer, Abstraction and Empathy (Chicago: Elephant Paperbacks, 1908), 42.

Lee Henderson: The Known Effects of Lightning on the Body

LEE HENDERSON | THE KNOWN EFFECTS OF LIGHTNING ON THE BODY
SATURDAY 13 SEPTEMBER-SATURDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2014
OPENING RECEPTION & TALK | FRIDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2014
DOORS 6:00PM TALK 6:15PM-7:00PM RECEPTION 7:00PM-9:00PM

KELBstill1

LEE HENDERSON | THE KNOWN EFFECTS OF LIGHTNING ON THE BODY

The Known Effects of Lightning on the Body is a contemplative video installation and a space for quiet reflection. Vicarious bodies (match sticks) are ignited in succession, anthropomorphizing as they burn. Moments of contact between bodies quickly shift into moments of crisisthe physio-chemical crisis standing in, perhaps, for psycho-biological criseswhich in turn cool themselves into processes of gradual exhaustion and relinquishment; the match-body bows, as it were, as it is consumed.

The Known Effects of Lightning on the Body was created as an exercise in attention and attenuation. While mortality, impermanence, and the confluence of the bodily and the metaphysical continue to be the major themes and primary areas of research of Henderson’s work, he is also interested in how we deal with these universal themes both individually and collectively. He explores human reactions to the inevitability of death and the search for transcendence; intrigued by the ways in which we accept, deny, or evade the knowledge of our own eventual and certain non-being. Thus, art becomes a delivery mechanism for philosophy, capable of removing the false problem of the terminus, the final point we spend our conscious lives avoiding. It is a practice marked by the persistence of collective histories and the brevity of individual lives.

LEE HENDERSON is a media-based artist from Saskatchewan. He has studied art in Canada and Germany, with talented professionals including Maria Vedder, Brian Eno, and Ellen Bromberg. Since completing his MFA in 2005 at the University of Regina, he has been furthering his time – and lens – based artistic practice. Recent and upcoming exhibitions and screenings include the Zero Film Festival (Los Angeles), The Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina), The Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon), The Rooms (St. John’s), gallerywest (Toronto), and Kunstraum Tapir (Berlin). Henderson currently lives and works in Toronto where he teaches photography and media art at OCADU and Ryerson University.

The artist gratefully acknowledges the following in the production of this show: The Canada Council for the Arts and Takt Studios and Kunstraum Tapir, Berlin.

Read Lee Henderson: The Known Effects of Lightning on the Body by JENNIFER MATOTEK, an essay published along side LEE HENDERSONS exhibition.

YYZLAB in our YYZWINDOW

YYZLAB_red

SUMMER RESIDENCY 2014
YYZ is pleased to present weekly exhibitions in our front window space by each of the twelve YYZLAB participants.

September 12 to 19 | Hazel Eckert
September 19 to 26 | Bailey Govier
September 26 to October 3 | Daphne Vlassis
October 3 to 10 | Claudia Zloteanu
October 10 to 17 | Raz Rotem
October 17 to 24 | Samuel de Lange
October 24 to 31 | Monika Hauck
October 31 to November 7 | Brynn Higgins-Stirrup
November 7 to 14 | Yoon Jin Jung
November 14 to 21 | Oana Tanase
November 22 to December 4 | Carrie Perreault + Alicia Kuntze

HAZEL ECKERT holds a BFA from OCAD University and is a multi-disciplinary artist and printer based in Toronto. Having worked for 8 years as a letterpress printer, she uses the skills and materials from commercial work both to fund and to produce her own projects. Her work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions, including If Walls Could Talk at the Gladstone Hotel, Toronto (2014). In 2010, Eckert received The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition’s Best in Printmaking award and participated in Atelier Graff’s Insertion Project in Montreal, Quebec, funded in part by an Ontario-Quebec Residency Grant from the Ontario Arts Council. In 2013, she received the Nick Novak Fellowship from Open Studio, where she will be printing until September 2014 in preparation for a solo exhibition on Friday, October 24th.

BAILEY GOVIER holds a BA with Honours in Studio Art from the University of Guelph (2011). With close attention to space and colour, her abstract paintings challenge the viewer to perceive shifts between form and space. Exhibitions include Sincerely Yours, Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, Toronto (2012), Abstraction in Canada, an Online Exhibition, hosted by Little Paper Planes (2012) and stArt: Young Painters of Great Promise, Studio 21, Halifax (2011). Govier lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.

DAPHNE VLASSIS holds a BA in Spanish and Philosophy from the University of Toronto and studied Visual Art at York University. Her artistic practice consists of painting and drawing. Her recent work was exhibited in International Painting III, The Jeffrey Leder Gallery, New York (2014), published in the Hart House Review, Issue 23, University of Toronto (2014), and cover art for Rethinking Heritage Language Education, Cambridge University Press (2014). Vlassis currently lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.

CLAUDIA ZLOTEANU is currently a graduate student in Visual Studies at the University of Toronto and holds a MFA from the University of Fine Arts, Bucharest, Romania. Between 2010 and 2012 she was an artist in residency in Rome, Italy. Her work includes sculptures, drawings, and photography. Recent group exhibitions include Spazi Aperti X, Romanian Academy, Rome (2012), The Dark side of the Soul, Museo Magma, Roccamonfina, Italy (2012), Edgardo Manucci, Arcevia, Italy (2010), and Body, Caminul Artei Gallery, Romania (2009). Zloteanu currently lives in Aurora, Ontario.

RAZ ROTEM holds a BFA from UOCAD, Toronto (2009). Rotem’s interdisciplinary work includes video, sculpture, fibre and textile, drawing and painting, performance and participatory pieces. He acted as the lead artist for FibreWebs Collective on Weave – We Are a Part of the Fabric (2014), a fibre-art community project in collaboration with SOY/Sherbourne Health Centre, SKETCH Working Arts, and was funded by the Toronto and Ontario Arts Council. Other exhibitions include Travel an Inch; Erode a Day, a duo show with Christina Kostoff, Interaccess, Toronto. (2009), Emerging Artists of the Americas, Albequerque, New Mexico (2009), Meditation’s on the Curse of Macha, Board of Directors, Toronto (2009). The SCIN Show, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto (2008). Rotem lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.

SAMUEL DE LANGE graduated from the University of Guelph with a BA (Honours) in Studio Art and a minor in Art History (2014). His research-based practice results in photographic images, films, videos, and installations. He recently returned from a two-month residency at the Hochschule fur Kunst in Bremen, Germany. Recent solo exhibitions include One Night Stand (with Sam de Lange), at Immigration Office in Bremen, Germany and The Lamp and the Laboratory at Zavitz Gallery, Guelph, Ontario. In October, his work will be featured at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, Ontario as the national winner of the BMO 1st Art! annual invitational student art competition. .

MONIKA HAUCK holds a BA in Studio Art from the University of Guelph (2012). Her Interdisciplinary practice is currently focused on documentary photography, public installation, and experimental exploratory practices. She is currently an inaugural participant and resident artist in the Arts Incubator Program at Boarding House Arts in Guelph, Ontario where she also lives and works.

BRYNN HIGGINS-STIRRUP holds a BFA in painting and sculpture from Queen’s University (2013). During which, she studied painting at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and art history and philosophy at Herstmonceux Castle in the United Kingdom. Her current work focuses on labour-based drawing and sculpture practices. Recent exhibitions include Tell Me What You’re Made Of, Forest City Gallery, London (2014), Drawing 2014, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto (2014), and The Last Swim, Union Gallery, Kingston (2013). In 2014, she was in the emerging artist sector of The Artist Project. Higgins-Stirrup lives and works in Toronto.

YOON JIN JUNG holds a BFA from York University (2011), and currently a MFA candidate at York University. Jung creates visual exercises with varying mediums and methods including installation, video, sound, photography, and drawing. Recent exhibitions include Discerning What It Is, Gales Gallery, Toronto (2012), and Gaze Into The Moment, Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto (2011).

OANA TANASE holds a MA in Art History and Theory from the National University of Arts in Bucharest, Romania. She is currently completing her PhD thesis that aims at discussing documentary practices in contemporary art. Previously, she worked as a curator at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest and has since continued her practice as an independent curator in Toronto, Ontario.

CARRIE PERREAULT holds a BA from Brock University, St. Catharines. Her varying social and political environments influence her work. She is an advocate for human witnessing, which translates into research in meditative gestural acts that counter and speak to discrimination and hardship. Her multidisciplinary work includes video, installation, sculpture, performance, and audio works.

ALICIA KUNTZE holds a BA with Honours from Brock University, St. Catharines. Her artworks are often inspired by the human body and come to fruition through various forms and mediums such as installation, sculpture, drawing, audio, and video art. Exhibitions include Perth Huron Exhibition, Gallery Stratford (2011), and Said the Attic, Rodman Hall Art Centre, St. Catharines (2010). Kuntze currently lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.