Monthly Archives: December 2011

Could This Be Your Apartment?

By Erin Campbell

Walking into the Lee Kit exhibit at the Western Front was much like walking into the home of any down and out person. The wood floor echoed tensely under my shoes and the fan at the far end of the room hummed a drone. Those were the only sounds I could hear. Muted light filtered through the window and lit the walls. The large room was close to empty and only a few pieces of furniture broke up the relentless monotony of the white walls and wood floors. It was a space void of emotion; there was nothing beautiful, nothing I could attach any sentiment. A small pamphlet proclaimed the title of the work: Henry (Have you ever been this low?).

Photo by Erin Campbell

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Collaborative Play

by Stella Hsu

                                Non-lexical Vocable Windows by Christy Nyiri

Before entering the gallery space of 221A, I was greeted by a series of colourful texts that evoked a sense of play. The image above is a depiction of Christy Nyiri’s Non-lexical Vocable Windows where seven window panels are covered by words taken from the chorus of seven different songs: Too High, Walk on the Wild Side, You Can Call Me Al, Jeremy, Dreams, How Deep Is Your Love, Tarzan Boy. Because the windows cannot be seen through from the outside, the artwork plays with the idea of transparency where the act of looking through has been redirected to the surface of things. What kinds of messages do the windows bring forth? The artist’s use of windows asks us to look ‘through’ the windows in a different manner.

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Libido Machine

By Sean Michael Nelson

Sometimes fetishes can be rather extreme. In David Cronenberg’s Crash (1996), based on the J.G. Ballard novel, a film producer named James Ballard develops a sexual fetish around car wrecks after being in one and witnessing a woman trying to free herself from her vehicle. The film features numerous scenes of vehicular carnage often shot from low angles, which convey the speed, intensity, and violence of these moments. Freedom Machine, a work of footage appropriated by artist Jordy Hamilton, can be seen operating in a similar manner. Freedom Machine features a 10 minute video (shot from a relatively low stand) and series of 4×6” colour prints documenting an event occurring near the artist’s family home near Niagara with the Welland County Motorcycle Club’s annual barbecue and skeet shoot competition, wherein picknickers shoot at a revving motorcycle parked in a field until it bursts into flames.

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