Author Archives: llavery

Liza Eurich: pockets, postscripts, peonies

4 October 2022

By Kim Neudorf

Positioned like an offering at the entrance to artist Liza Eurich’s exhibition, a paper cone holds a gathering of peonies. However, on a closer look, the paper cone is a shirt sleeve with a buttoned-up cuff cast in pale-peach resin. There’s a muted, soft quality to the combination of violet-pink, dark green and pale pink colours in this bouquet. Combined with the cast sleeve, the impression is understated (perhaps this is a bouquet for a formal gathering) but with a dryly funny tone, as the sculpture performs its straightforward bouquet-ness with a knowing wink to the audience.

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What Remains to be Seen: Gonzalo Reyes Rodríguez at Blinkers Art + Projects

23 September 2022

By Madeline Bogoch

There’s an obvious irony in the title of Gonzalo Reyes Rodríguez’s recent exhibition, New Photographs, which revolves around a pack of thirty-year-old photographs the artist acquired in Mexico City. Dated between 1987 and 1993, the photos depict a young, seemingly queer man who signed the backs with the enigmatic moniker, “Technoir.” The details of this opaque nickname are never revealed, and we are left to speculate on the meaning of this and other particulars through images of him amongst his friends, family, and lovers. What were initially intimate snapshots documenting a young man’s life have been reauthored by Rodríguez as cultural artifacts. The novelty alluded to in the title presumably refers to these shifting contexts, and the subsequent accumulation of meaning as the photos are subjected to the scrutiny of public viewership. Plastered in vinyl text alongside the photographs is an excerpt of an essay by author and curator Miwon Kwon, reflecting on the photo archive of the late artist Félix González-Torres. In this passage, Kwon remarks on the intimate familiarity we recognize in the images of others and how such images invite us, briefly, to inhabit them. New Photographs is designed to stage these very encounters, if only to underscore the failure of images to disclose the full picture.

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The Garden of Spoil: Maria Simmons’ Rat, Plastic, Wood

17 September 2022

By Chris Hampton

I’d never noticed the building at 10 Tom Street in West Hamilton, a Sunday school tucked behind an old church, let alone considered there’d be any reason to explore its basement. Past the doors, the scent greeted me first: fresh and mineral, like the smell of earth after a rainfall (but on a return visit, it was sweet like rot). A curious purple glow leaked into the stairwell from the lower floor, intensifying with each step downwards. Then, off the landing, a large room opened, revealing an extraordinary subworld—a garden of sorts—living virtually in secret.   

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Amongst our Contemporary Ruins: future relics of our time at Equinox Gallery

14 September 2022

By Lauren Lavery

Yesterday afternoon my usual commute home was interrupted by a surprise flat on my bike’s rear tire. Along the route from the downtown office to my apartment, there are three sites of open excavation—one a literal pit, which is to be the future location of a new subway station near the local art university. At this particular spot, the usual protocol of a primary coloured, temporary rental fence has been swapped for a more permanent plywood installation, complete with pre-painted information and cut-outs to see what’s happening in the ever deepening, vast cavity bored into the earth below. As I peer through the holes in the plywood to inquire after the progress, the most alluring objects to catch my eye are the brightly coloured debris littering the edges of the worksite. Everything from cherry red Tim Horton’s coffee cups, to the iridescent wrappers of granola bars, to bright white styrofoam takeout containers riddle the area, and are tangled amongst discarded chunks of dried cement and other discarded construction materials. My thoughts immediately jump to how the majority of our contemporary infrastructure is built on a bed of non-biodegradable garbage, eternally preserved for the future generations to discover—what a legacy to leave beneath the impressive glass monoliths erected across this city with extraordinary speed.

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To be Continued: Troubling the Queer Archive at Carleton University Gallery

2 September 2022

By Adam Barbu

With To Be Continued: Troubling the Queer Archive, a group exhibition presented at the Carleton University Art Gallery, curators Anna Shah Hoque and Cara Tierney argue that queer history as we know it is an incomplete, exclusionary concept in need of reinvention. Bringing together a group of thirteen artists and collectives, To Be Continued draws attention to the local trans and BIPOC voices that are repeatedly erased from museum surveys of queer artistic practice. Hoque and Tierney target forms of symbolic violence that underlie this erasure, critiquing dominant queer histories that are narrated from the perspective of the white, cisnormative, gay, metropolitan subject. In this diverse collection of works, including, for example, Ed Kwan aka China Doll’s installation of drag regalia, Aymara Alvarado Sanchez’s performative manifestation of the prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor and Pansee Atta’s sculptural exploration of a mythical gender-bending time traveller, the curators propose an alternative, more inclusive queer archive, one that problematizes what is known and knowable about identity and community across the historical continuum.

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The Group Show Garden Metaphor: You Sit in a Garden at Centre Clark

30 August 2022

By Elora Crawford

If a sculpture garden was the “original” group show, which could be said, the central conceit in You Sit in a Garden brings the exhibition back to its roots. In the 1990s archeologists found broken stalagmites arranged just so in the Bruniquel Cave in France. The crystalline structures were set down in rings, for a purpose as yet unknown, though the resultant composition is compelling. It seems to satisfy the gestalt principle of good form named for the quality of visual arrangement our brains perceive as balanced and pleasing. The site dates back 175,000 years and predates any found cave painting, thus, conceivably, it could be the first sculpture garden, or the first ever group show. Similarly, the way the sculpture “garden” exhibition at Centre Clark in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal is installed seems to wink in recognition of this history. The group show as a garden is evidently a useful metaphor, it remains consistent across time.

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PR 2022 Fundraiser Auction

12 August 2022

From Saturday August 13 – Saturday August 27, 2022, PR will host our very first online auction with an ambitious roster of work by Canadian and international artists. The auction will take place entirely on our new website and includes a wide range of price points for increased accessibility. All proceeds will go towards supporting PR’s publishing activities and contributor fees.

To start bidding, go to our Auction shop page HERE and place your bid!

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Contorting Ourselves to Appease Them All: Alexa Hawksworth’s Semi-Detached New Build at Projet Pangée

9 August 2022

By Kate Kolberg

You’re sitting, reading in a cafe. Your brain announces to itself: “I’m a reader,” as if somehow that makes you virtuous. In theory, the book’s subject is interesting, but if you’re honest with yourself, you’re struggling to get through a single page, let alone internalize the information being presented to you. Instead, apprehension floods your brain: Am I comfortable or too caffeinated? Do people think I look smart? Maybe I seem mysterious or, maybe, just pretentious. Wait, do I even like reading? This dizzying relationship the self can have to the self—often seemingly innocuous yet fundamentally fraught—was the subject of much of Montreal-based painter Alexa Hawksworth’s work in her recent exhibition Semi-Detached New Build at Projet Pangée. Through an ad-hoc assembly of caricatures and scenes, Hawksworth’s paintings explore the relationship we have with ourselves: the non-negotiable correspondence that is ever-vulnerable to context, doubt, timing, and, perhaps most importantly, our perception of how we are being understood by others.

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Honouring the Trees in Reitzenstein’s FML (forests may lie)

11 July 2022

By William Brereton

After a few deep breaths, I took many strolls among the mysterious yet beautiful installation works of Reitzenstein (the artist formerly known as Reinhard Reitzenstein) in FML (forests may lie) at Olga Korper Gallery in Toronto. The exhibition showcased a survey of the artist’s latest sculptural and photographic works that have signified his long-standing investigations into the environment and environmental degradation. For those who may have sought a critical yet playful experience in nature, Reitzenstein’s latest presentation seamlessly offered interpretive and high-spirited vantage points from which to experience the works, as many of us tried to find reprieve during the early months of the global pandemic. As some museums and galleries in Ontario briefly reopened in Fall 2020, this exhibition affirmed the need to experience art in person and perhaps encouraged us to go on an introspective journey. With a direct focus on our geographic surroundings, the exhibition especially paid homage to the artist’s direct engagement with trees native to, and the communities that reside within, the Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario.

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