Friday, January 23, 2009

Street Poets and Visionaries + What it Really Is Exhibitions

Here are two great-looking exhibitions, found via AKIMBO. There are tons of other great looking shows on right now too; DIYnot? at the OCC, Gretchen Sankey at Paul Petro, Iris Haussler at Honest Eds....if I see even two of the ones I have my eye on, I'll be surprised!...

If I can't make it out, you should!


Talk by UbuWeb founder Kenneth Goldsmith at 7PM preceding the opening reception at 8PM

January 09, 2009 - February 21, 2009
Opening Reception: Friday 9 January 2009

Street Poets & Visionaries: Selections from the UbuWeb Collection, an exhibition of posters and ephemeral writings from the streets of New York City.

In the tradition of Jim Shaw's "Thrift Shop Paintings," this collection of street posters, mad scribblings, political screeds, religious rants, and paranoid raves expands our notion of the Outsider arts to include the written word.

Formally striking, emotionally charged, and bizarre beyond belief, these graphical works dovetail with the historic traditions of concrete poetry and art brut. Seamlessly melding text and image, their obsessive quality evokes Adolf W├Âlfli and Henry Darger's visionary works.

Featured in the exhibition will be the work of David Daniels (1933-2008), a Bay Area poet who created a complex body of work including visual poems using only Microsoft Word. Works from two of his epic series, "The Gates of Paradise" and "Years" will be featured.

UbuWeb ( is the Internet's largest resource dedicated to all strains of the avant-garde, ethnopoetics, and outsider arts, featuring thousands of MP3s, films, books, scholarly papers, and poems.

Mercer Union Centre for Contemporary Art
1286 Bloor Street West
(East of Lansdowne Avenue)


Works in sculpture by Kristan Horton, Liz Magor, Kristi Malakoff, Kerri Reid and Jennifer Rose Sciarrino.

27 January - 28 February, 2009
Opening Reception: Tuesday, 27 January, 6-9 pm

Special event: gallery walk-through with curator Nicholas Brown and artists Kristan Horton and Kerri Reid at Red Bull 381 Projects on Saturday, February 14 at 3PM.

A group exhibition that considers the diversity of sculptural practices amongst Canadian artists whose work reveals a fascination with the world around them. Drawing on sculpture's history of incorporating objects found, duplicated, and manipulated, these artists highlight materials as a means of apprehending, mimicking, and animating elements of the real and perceived world. "What it Really Is" may be an object from the everyday, as in Reid's ceramic replicas of broken teacups, or a vast, primordial form distilled through the artist's imagination, as in Sciarrino's abstracted paper stalactites. But despite the title's evocation of a fixed representational identity-the copy's allusion to the real-in these works we find dynamic relationships between art and life. This is most strikingly apparent in Horton's video, which depicts a series of consumer objects slowly unraveling at the seams and transforming into one another through the process of stop-motion animation. Here, materials turn inwards as much as outwards, revealing the desire to mimic both the outside world and the objects in their closest proximity.

This exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Tejpal S. Ajji, Nicholas Brown, and a conversation between Jen Hutton and Liz Magor.

For more information on the artists and download-able images of their work, visit

Red Bull 381 Projects
381 Queen St. W (Queen & Peter) 2nd Floor
Hours of Operation: Wed - Friday 12pm - 5pm, Saturday 12pm - 6pm

Pictured: A work by Henry Darger

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

DI-why? at the Ontario Crafts Council

There are so many great shows happening around town right now, but this one is particularly close to my heart, curated by the lovely Janna Hiemstra, and featuring (among others) Becky Johnson and Shannon Gerard. Read on for all the details...


January 20 – March 1, 2009

Opening Reception:
Thursday, February 5th, 5:30 - 8:30 pm

DIY can be traced back to several historical moments: the Arts and Craft movement of the 1900’s, the 1970’s craft movement, and third-wave feminism alongside the 80’s punk, zine and Riot Grrrl movements.

However, despite these connections, pinning down exactly what DIY is and what it looks like, especially in the realm of craft, remains a challenging task at best. There is no common definition for DIY, and as it becomes increasingly mainstream, the act of distinguishing a particular mode of making according to “do it yourself”, is an issue that continues to be raised.

As such, the OCC is pleased to present in partnership with Toronto Craft Alert, DIwhy?, an exhibition exploring the many different facets of ‘doing it yourself’.

DIwhy? includes the work of Amanda McCavour, Andrea Graham, Becky Johnson, Brooke Pickett, Catherine Trelford-Keogh, Frances Mahon, Heather Bain, Inbred Hybrid Collective, Katie Muth, Katie Sorrell, Lauren Hortie, Maura Meng, Miriam Grenville, and Shannon Gerard.

Pictured: Becky Johnson, Security Envelope Buttons, 2008/09

Friday, January 02, 2009

Punk Project

Punk Rockers On Creative Survival and the Survival of Creativity

Call for interview-ees

I am working on a print project and need your help.

is a publication that will touch on punk, "creativity," class, and counter-cultural activity. People in bands or people who do any sort of creative "work" relating to punk/hardcore (recording, fanzines, record/flyer art, bedroom labels, etc) are needed for short interviews that will discuss punk "production," and how living in Toronto effects what we do and how we do it, for better or for worse. If you are someone who just hangs out and goes to shows, I want to talk to you too. Interviews will be conducted by email only, and you can say as much or as little as you want.

PRCSSC will be distributed in Toronto, Winnipeg and Portland as a part of Create The Situation, a series of artist-made zines about art and activism.

If you're interested, or would like more information about the project, contact me (Tara) at cleanteen(at)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Call for Submissions: Po-lar-i-ty

Launch Multiples
Call for Submissions:

[poh-lar-i-tee, puh-]

1. Physics
a. the property or characteristic that produces unequal physical effects at different points in a body or system, as a magnet or storage battery
b. the positive or negative state in which a body reacts to a magnetic, electric or other field.

2. the presence or manifestation of two opposite or contrasting principles or tendencies

3. Linguistics
a. (of words, phrases or sentences) positive or negative character
b. polar opposition

Launch Projects is looking for submissions of multiples of objects for the Launch Multiples cabinet with the theme of polarity.

Deadline: February 8th
Show Dates: February 25th-April 29th, 2009

Your object(s) may embrace the idea of being something it's not- an imposter- or they may express the versatility of being two extremes at once, embodying two opposites.

Multiples will be displayed for approximately 8 weeks and will be sold with 60% commission going to the artist.

Please email 3-6 jpgs of work proposed or a similar/previous body of work to (Attn: Stephanie Cormier and Tara Bursey). Please include an image list (with medium, size, year, price), and a short bio and/or CV.