The other week I dropped in to see one of my new favorite galleries, General Hardware Contemporary, in Parkdale. Not only was owner Niki Dracos super friendly, happily accompanying me in my rush around the gallery (I was late for a talk at Art Toronto) but I was really impressed by the work.
R.M. Vaughn is right, in his Globe and Mail review, that we don’t see these kinds of shows often enough in Toronto and when we do, it’s with relief to those of us who deplore the art scene’s typical back-patting. As Vaughn points out, what makes it so vital is that it is work “seen through the eyes of artists experiencing displacement (internal or geographic) from their homelands.”
Below is a photo essay of some of the best works in the show, in my opinion. Click HERE to read an essay by curator/artist Matthew Carver. And hurry if you want to see it – it closes Saturday, November 12.
These small paintings by Anahita Rezvani-Rad are simple enough, but their subject matter (Iran’s green revolution) together with their presentation in a kind of film strip perfectly alludes to the media through which we receive the images. All of which is at odds with the precision with which they are painted.
Would you believe me if I told you that the beautiful paintings above – Christian Gozenbach‘s Maggot Paintings – are made by dipping live maggots in ink and having them drag themselves around –
slowly dying, presumably apparently the ink does not hurt them – inside a sort of fenced in area on the paper, created by the artist to resemble a Rorschach ink blot? These works are harsh, and brilliant.
This traditional Phillipine-style dress by Phillipine artist Turalba is made from bullet casings. The artist’s father was apparently violently killed, which may have been the reason for her use of the medium, but if you look closely you can see small falling men cut out from the centre of the garment, reminding us, of course of the famous image of a body falling from the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001. And of the relationships between (and effects on) both victims and perpetrators of violence.