Out and About
Toronto’s New West-End Gallery Hub
Last week I ventured out to an art exhibition happening at Clint Roenisch Gallery on St. Helens St in the Bloor and Landsdowne area. The gallery was showing a film, as part of TIFF, and it was free! The movie, La Giubba, was not very exciting, but the context seemed somewhat relevant to the current “refugee crisis” happening in Europe at the moment, and it did draw out quite a big crowd.
I then met up with a friend of mine and we did a bit of a gallery-hop in the area. In fact, we barely left the street, except to visit a gallery down a back alley nearby. Some of these shows are on throughout the month. Click on the Facebook links below to get more information. Thanks to theBUZZ’s very own Art Hag for the tips on where to find art in Toronto.
Here’s a rundown on one of the newer gallery-hubs in the city worth keeping an eye on.
Clint Roenisch Gallery
Screening – La Giubba (2015)
60-minute HD video with sound
Screens: September 11–20 at 12:30pm, 2:30pm and 4:30pm. Additional screening: September 12 at 9pm.
A new film by Canadian artist Tony Romano and English-born, Toronto-raised Corin Sworn. La Giubba follows the intersections of five drifters over the course of two summer days in southern Italy. A young Albanian man and his daughter search for a swimming coach who fled their homeland in the 1990s, but instead find an Arbëresh community settled by their countrymen 600 years earlier. Two theatre actors take on a dubious commission to increase audiences in the rural south and traverse the landscape fashioning little theatres of belief, until a Canadian interloper turns up. Employing professional and amateur actors, La Giubba situates its nomadic characters within both the stunning Italian landscape and the history inscribed upon it, visible and unseen.
Next was a stop at Robert Kananaj Gallery, where the “Wonder” exhibition was opening, the second solo show held there by Lula Motra, that includes installation, drawings, embroidery, and sculptures. Motra’s artwork derives from her openness to the multifaceted field of traditional embroidery. Lula’s drawings and embroideries are like diaries of her state of being, records of her inner journey. Motra’s art is a quest, sustained, dedicated, unassuming. “Wonder” becomes tangible to this eclectic state of being, open to interpretation.
Next door at Gallery TPW David Levine “Bystanders” had its opening as well. Levine bridges the worlds of contemporary theatre, performance and visual art with works that explore the conditions of spectacle, spectatorship, and performance in art and in life. He works across a range of media including performance, installation, and video. His new exhibition “Bystanders” picks up threads from the American 70s, an era in which mainstream films, social politics, and conceptual art worried the twin beads of disappearance and infiltration. You blend in so you can watch; spectatorship is your performance. In excavating and modifying this particularly paranoid aesthetic style in the 21st century, Levine looks at how this vision of infiltration by an alien subjectivity is relevant today. The centerpiece of Bystanders is a new monologue that leaps among a rotating and diverse cast of professional actors for the duration of the exhibition, “possessing” each before releasing them back into the Toronto population. Asking what it means to be “an artificial human,” the monologue, alongside new video and photographic work, examines the psychology of acting realistic, and the zone between surveillance and disappearance, the biological and the synthetic, the observer and the observed.
David Christo, Lindsey Clark, David Rockne Corrigan, William Ellis, Iona Greenham, Brenda Kamino, Liz Peterson and David Yee
September 10 – October 10, 2015
Artist talk: Thursday, September 24, 7pm
Exhibition Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12-6pm
Finally, down that back alley I mentioned to find Scrap Metal Gallery, who were presenting another TIFF sanctioned presentation – Fallen Objects by Shambhavi Kaul
This new installation by Indian-American artist-filmmaker Shambhavi Kaul is comprised of a large projected video loop and floorbound sculptures, which considers cinematic space outside the cinema and imagines humans inside it. Utilizing strategies of montage and recirculation, Shambhavi Kaul’s films and installations conjure uncanny, science-fictive non-places that create what the artist describes as “zones of compression and dispersion,” inviting an affective response while simultaneously measuring our capacity to comprehend what we encounter. Her latest installation, Fallen Objects, consists of a large, projected video loop composed of seven shots that continuously rearrange themselves based on an internal code, and floorbound sculptures in the form of scraps of cloth — the “fallen objects” of the title, the materialized detritus of the rectangular carpets depicted in the video loop, which are cast out of their ethereal projection by the intervention of a pair of suspended scissors. Stripping away the narrative potential of its genre cinema-derived source material, Fallen Objects considers cinematic space outside the cinema and imagines humans inside it. As images are consumed, they are discarded like scraps, to be retrieved and reconfigured again somewhere between our bodies, our imaginations, and our cinematic memories.
Fallen Objects, 2015 / HD video loop, silent, colour and black fabric
September 10–20, noon to 5pm.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.