A Matter of L and D by Barbara Balfour
My first inclination is to say something humourous, to deflect attention from the thing itself. I don’t want you to think it’s a matter of life and death, to use an overused expression, because it isn’t. Or if it does relate to life and death, then it’s about the space in which living and dying are so close as to be almost indistinguishable.
Text and Perception in Living & Dying by Caroline Seck Langill
Barbara Balfour’s recent body of work haunted me in unusual ways since I began to contemplate its meaning for this essay. Memories of the era, of my own coming of age resurfaced and implicated themselves as part of the extended cognitive system I was drawing upon in order to consider these canny lithographs.
Improper Human-ness by Patricia Reed
In their latest installation of cut-up of disfigured statuettes and accumulated objects of varying significance, Hadley+Maxwell have embraced the spirit of aphorism. Composed of fragments, interrupted surfaces and separations, the duo take up the timeless perplexities of human self-definition with whimsical experimentation.
Be But Could If Is Not What by Jacob Wren
There is a natural pleasure to smashing stuff. From a childhood rock through the window of the house that won’t let you play on it’s lawn, to the splintering guitar catharsis at the end of a sweaty concert, it is the gesture that enacts blind anger, blind rebellion, and that by enacting it connects it, for a moment, to a feeling of liberation. Later you will be forced by your parents to apologize to the man whose window you so rudely smashed. New guitars will have to be bought to replace the old ones. But for a moment you tasted freedom.
Three Texts by Simon Brown
To cause to separate into pieces suddenly or violently. To precipitate the cause whereby something would be separated into pieces suddenly or violently. To encourage circumstances that would be conducive to sudden or violent separation. To indicate to an acquaintance that circumstances conducive to sudden or violent separation might be present in a given situation. To separate the cause whereby something would be separated suddenly or violently from the circumstances wherein that separation might take place.
Eat ‘Em and Smile by Roberta Buiani
Fast forward to 2009. Gone are the days of the staged edginess, the provocative behavior and the big hair that characterized the hard rock bands of the Eighties. A new generation of nicely shaved and preferably cute, wholesome individuals has made its way to stardom, thanks to TV shows like American Idol and Who’s got talent.
The Vernacular Opera by Mark Clintberg
Attention All Shoppers: Demoting the ArtStar, Coming to a Store near You by Nadja Sayej
They have divided the gallery into four shops and handed the reigns over to a selected number of artists who are pumped to hustle, sell, consult and charm as entrepreneurs and salespeople, cheerful retail renegades of their own brand before they are artists.
They step down from being the untouchable ArtStars too snotty to give us their time or handshake. Here, they are not rare and precious rubies, or the quixotic, straggly starlets shining in the glossy pages of Artforum. They get real, for once.
Leveling Hierarchy and the Process of Neutrality by Marissa Neave
The Willing and Able seems simple enough, with tall, lean vertical stripes of multi-coloured paint covering one wall, while a long list of Toronto galleries, in alphabetical order, sits on a perpendicular wall in undecorated black type. Although the visual result of Morrison’s installation appears minimalist in style, the precision with which it is implemented is highly (and obviously) labour-intensive.