Monday, March 26, 2007
Here are some excerpts from a zine I finished a few weeks ago called Teenage Lust (after the MC5 song). It is, as I wrote in the zine's introduction, my tribute to "the youth of what I refer to as the 'dirty 70s.'" Teenage Lust is available for sale through me for $3 each. For more information, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Call for Submissions
She Said Boom! Window Space
She Said Boom! Window Space is a street-level, in-store, 24-hour window gallery seeking art for bi-monthly exhibitions. We are looking for engaging, contemporary sculpture/installation, video/new media and two-dimentional work for consideration. To apply, email us a short proposal, an updated CV, bio and 3-5 jpgs of recent work. For more information, contact Tara Bursey at email@example.com.
She Said Boom! Window Space
372 College Street, Toronto.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I will be showing some work in the Toronto School of Art booth at this year's Toronto Art Expo, from March 15-18.
Both my Fidget multiples (pictured) and Compulsion Soap multiples will be on display and for sale. For more TAE information, consult their website: http://torontoartexpo.com/
Toronto Art Expo
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
North Building, Halls A and B
March 15 – 18, 2007
Children under 12 free
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Margaret Flood's visual dictionary projectis drawing her to some interesting places.
Toronto’s often called the “World Within a City” – but with a unique new project, there’s a Parkdale artist who might have gone one notch better.
Given the huge international response to her Shapetionary, a collaborative, artistic dictionary-type project, Maple Grove Ave. resident Margaret Flood seems to be creating a “World Within a Book” – or a world within her mailbox, at least.
The Shapetionary project began in September 2006, when Flood – intrigued by the idea of creating a shape-driven compendium of language – extracted 9,500 concrete nouns from her kitchen-shelf dictionary.
After advertising for participating illustrators on Internet artist message boards, Flood received responses from 900 artists worldwide, including ones from Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Tasmania, Indonesia, Austria, Turkey, Hungary, France, South Africa, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Mexico, Russia and Jerusalem.
Having farmed out words for illustration at 6 to 12 per person, she has received roughly 2,000 drawings back so far, with newly interested artists forced to go on a waiting list.
Though she’s only steps from artsy Queen West, the Shapetionary project has opened Flood’s eyes – and connected her to – other flourishing artists’ conclaves far and wide.
“I had one email from Tasmania,” Flood says, “And then in a couple of weeks I got a lot, maybe 15 or 20 more. I’m realizing in a very concrete way that there’s a contemporary art scene in Tasmania, or Lisbon or Poland.”
While Flood was eager to accumulate drawings for the project, there were some she couldn’t accept: “When something was illustrated in a political manner – like a garbage pail with Toronto shoved in it – it’s kind of funny but not what I’m looking for.”
Certain requests Flood received were also curious.
“Some people asked for depressing words to illustrate, while others asked for ones starting with the same letter as their name, others for food, and some even for ones that nobody else wanted.”
Interestingly, Flood says that the Shapetionary project, which has a collaborative, dispersed nature rather unlike her previous sculptural installation works, was unintentionally driven by Toronto’s skyrocketing real estate market.
“I think this project is partly a response to a lack of affordable studio space,” Flood says, “It’s a byproduct of needing a project I could do in my home. I didn’t want to nail stuff to the walls [as would be necessary in painting, sculpture or installation] and freak out my landlord.”
“I love our neighbourhood,” says Flood, who grew up in Vancouver, has lived in Hamilton and Halifax, and moved to Toronto and Parkdale a year-and-a-half ago with her partner. “But to be an artist in this city is difficult.”
Like many Parkdale artists, Flood has a day job; luckily for her, it’s one that’s compatible with her other work.
“I’m a crisis worker with a mental health centre,” Flood explains, “I’m lucky to have a job I find interesting and fulfilling and that pays me decently. Not all artists have that.”
Overnight 12-hour shifts on the job also gained Flood some quiet time to move the project forward.
“At first I kept thinking, how can I get all the concrete nouns out of the dictionary without actually reading it? Can I do it by computer or something?”
Since she couldn’t find a way to do that, her dictionary reading took up about a month of time on the night shift, in the bath, in bed and on transit.
In the end, though, Flood says the time invested is worth it. Her dream for the project is to have a book published.
“It’s daunting to organize all the drawings by shape, but it would be really exciting,” Flood says. “And I’d love to have a big party for all who participated.”
While it’s doubtful that all of Flood’s Shapetionary contributors could make it to Maple Grove Ave. for the party, one thing’s for sure: those who did, no matter where they’re from, would probably feel right at home in Toronto.Leah Sandals, March 2007
Monday, March 05, 2007
By David Balzer
Sex Pots II
Prime Gallery's “Sex Pots II” group show may have some superficial strikes against it – it opened on Valentine's Day with a correspondingly gimmicky theme (craft and sex!) and a gratingly punny title – but the work is strong, and the intrinsic affiliations between the show's predominating ceramic medium and its, um, massage justify the theme. Ceramics having a palpable engagement with the body both in production (think Ghost, if you must) and when finished, as accessories, utensils and, of course, sex toys (though, despite the preponderance of phalluses here, there's nary a ceramic dildo to be found). Unsurprisingly, then, eating provides some of the most effective, entertaining forays: Robin Tieu has made an extra-priapic pestle to go with an unusually small mortar; Mimi Cabri has made Fauvist Love Cups; and Andrée Wejsmann, who contributes one of the show's non-ceramic pieces, has made cookie cutters in the shape of bunnies fucking. LE Gallery's Julie Moon trumps all, however, with a luscious, fun and utterly creepy sculpture that has nothing to do with cooking or dinnerware per se, but looks as if it might take a bite out of you: a floral patterned piece of porcelain in a blobby U-shape, with distended ends capped off by little, toothy, red-lipped mouths. Testicles dentatae, anyone?
“SEX POTS II” RUNS TO MARCH 24. WED-SAT 11AM-5PM. PRIME GALLERY, 52 MCCAUL. 416-593-5750. WWW.PRIMEGALLERY.CA.