Saturday, March 05, 2005

Today in 80 Spadina

This afternoon I went to the opening of Susan Feindel's show, ‘REMEDIATION: sea dumped munitions,’ at offthemap gallery in the gallery-rich 80 Spadina. That's Susan in black in the foreground of the above photo. Her work deals with ecological issues and engages with environmental science in a really interesting way. This show focuses on the Fishing Banks off the coast of the Maritimes. As she explains in the accompanying statement, "As my work tracks these distant and fragile habitats, it juxtaposes medical imagery with ocean life, bringing each closer to human consciousness and making visceral the thought, 'my body, the sea'. While resident aboard Bedford Institute of Oceanography vessel C.C.G.S. Hudson, I was able to access scientific data and video imagery as it arrives from the deep." Accompanying the oceanographers on expeditions, she learned about the dumping of explosives in these waters, the environmental impact of this, and the ocean's gradual self-renewal. You should drop by and see the exhibit if you get a chance. It runs until March 26; gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11am to 5pm.

Afterwards, I went down to the Leo Kamen Gallery on the floor below, and discovered the Cliff Eyland exhibit there. As I was disappointed to learn, today was the last day of the show, so I can't tell you to go see it, but I'll describe it for you. Called "Note Paintings," it consisted of dozens and dozens of 3" x 5" paintings, and a few copies of a booklet containing brief notes on each. Some of my favourite notes:

This is a picture of an imaginary sea on which a set of genitals has been floating for years.

This is a picture of a First Nations face in the sky, a common sight in Winnipeg on bright days.

This is a picture of a forest person, like that hairy guy in David Lynch's
Mulholland Drive. Eyland has shaved off the Bigfoot hair from the face and hands of this secretive person so we can see her eating her baguette.

This is a picture of a person having his pants pulled down in the sky. However uncommon, sky-pants-pulling-down is still possible at most altitudes.

For one of Eyland's early exhibits, he made a whole lot of 3"x5" drawings and then hid them all over a New York library, in and behind the books. Definitely another artist to watch.


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