Zach Seely on Long and Sullivan's Decameron
On April 28, 2020, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, stated during a Q1 2020 Earning Call, that he had “seen a significant rise in search activity.” He further contextualized that “coronavirus-related search activity at its peak was four times greater than during the peak of the Super Bowl” (Retrieved 06/14/20 from the transcript of the Q1 2020 Earnings Call). The increased traffic should be of no surprise. By this date, people had been stuck at home, many without work, and plenty anxiety-ridden for at least a month. Like a modern-day Delphic oracle, people brought to Google their most pressing questions: what are the symptoms, can I travel, or what should I read? In each case, the platform rewarded the searcher with a plethora of answers. Unlike the Greek riddles that the Pythia returned in verse, the algorithm provided those inquirers with a cypher of listed decontextualized answers and images. Search was just a bit less poetic than its Greek counterpart.
Following recent events we (I with assistance from associated artists) are evaluating our mandate and making organizational changes which are self-critical with the aim to situate our activities in a sustainable and equitable future. I acknowledge the gallery’s failings and complicity. Together we are listening and learning.
Gareth Long and Derek Sullivan
In a new iteration of their collaborative drawing project the two artists will methodically work their way through Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron, each illustrating the one story per day in the isolation of their own studios. They will Zoom conference and draw together, but make separate drawings. The resulting pairs will be dated and numbered according to the story. The project will be continued until complete, or social distancing restrictions are lifted, whichever comes first.
Decameron (completed 1353 CE), set in Italy during the time of the Black Death, tells of a group of seven young women and three young men who flee from plague-ridden Florence to a deserted villa in the countryside for two weeks. To pass the evenings, each member of the party tells a story each night, except for one day per week for chores, and the holy days during which they do no work at all, resulting in ten nights of storytelling over the course of two weeks. Thus, by the end of the fortnight they have told 100 stories.
series to date: www.aviewingroomv4.com/shop
Danny O'Quinn on Sandra Meigs
“Between us and reality are our feelings”—Svetlana Alexievich
Saturday, March 21. It is International Puppetry Day. Social distancing has lost its vaguely oxymoronic connotations. We are resuscitating strategies for transmitting affect across space, through objects, without words. Because of course we have been through this and done this all before. The Italians singing arias collectively on their balconies have known all along how to reach into the core of others when those others are distant or gone. In times of danger the fetish not the commodity reemerges as a method for communication and remembrance: our objects, especially those imbued with intimate attachments, live among us. And the eloquent stillness of painting does what it has always done, stopping time, opening a temporal loop while our sensuous, rational, and emotional experiences dynamically reset themselves.
Rhiannon Vogl on Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky
At least the sun is shining … that’s what they say. Crocheted afghan on my lap, a knitted coil of lavender, pearl and lime wrapped twice around myself, tucked in deep to the seams of the Lazy Boy. Sipping tea, cradling the cup, trying to keep my hands warm. The winter. It gets into my bones.
Josi Smit on Katie Bethune-Leamen
LIVING, THROBBING MISCELLANIES (LOOSELY FRAMED)
A harmonious dip into a blue porcelain bathtub surrounded by blue and white checkered tiles
My bathmat either hates me or loves me obsessively. I either hate my bathmat or love it beyond logic. It won’t stay clean; I can’t keep it clean. It drives me crazy but it matches the tiles so perfectly: a rectangle of softly speckled sky blue and ivory.
Daisy Desrosiers on Beth Stuart
Faire des histoires: DAMMA Paintings V.1
L'usage de la matière, telle que considérée par les artistes, me fascine. Les cultures matérielles passées et actuelles présentent un lien complexe et fluide auquel je réfléchis avec curiosité. Mémoire et matérialité. À quoi peut potentiellement ressembler la rencontre des deux?
A Viewing Room v.4
For our presentation at Art Toronto 2019, we collaborated with Klaus, on a continuation of our project series entitled A Viewing Room, in which we investigate the relationship between design and art; how design and domestic objects interact alongside artworks and how one can highlight the other. Please visit the website www.aviewingroomv4.com
I once worked in the gallery world and handled Alexander Calder mobiles.
I was an installer- my job was to uncrate sculptures, hang them from hooks in the ceiling, then deinstall after client viewings. Mostly medium sized, around 5’ x 5’, they weighed about 20lbs and could be unpacked and installed by a single unassuming human. It was relatively simple to do, but one had to be alert. ...
Anouchka Freybe on Patrick Howlett
Patrick Howlett is a unique interpreter of systems of thought. As a painter, he plays within the formal cross-currents of Abstraction and Conceptualism and has a divining-rod sensitivity for translating human impulses into new schematics. The impulses are embedded in social psychology and forms of communication, and consider how perception and emotion filter and reshape data.
Kyle Buckley on Brian Groombridge
Recently a friend told me I was overly dependent on the map function on my phone for getting anywhere at all now. And added that measuring accuracy is just the belief that the degree to which we are mistaken about things is acceptable.
And then, on the appropriate Thursday night, I arrived at the Susan Hobbs Gallery on Tecumseth near where I work for the opening of a show by the artist Brian Groombridge.
Anna Gallagher-Ross and Jacob Gallagher-Ross on Gareth Long
Looking at the Figures
What captures the tenor of an era, especially an aspirational one? Romantic paintings often invite us to gaze at a picturesque ruin: a crumbling castle, say, that speaks of the folly of human striving and the pathos of decay. Sometimes our gaze is funneled through the vantage of a proxy viewer; more often, though, we’re left to insert ourselves into the landscape, and its narrative of inevitable decline, to place our own fragile figures onto its ground.
Evelyn Feldman on Ian Carr-Harris
Ancient water-lifting devices
The bilge is in the bottom of a ship. Wooden ships leak continuously. Water seeps between timbers of the hull, and collects in the bilge. Dewatering devices for bailing are critical in order to prevent ships from sinking.[i]
The bucket (ἀντλητήρια / antleteria)[ii]
The earliest bailing device. The bucket is a short cylinder, open at one end, with a curved handle bridging the open side.
Shannon Garden-Smith on Derek Sullivan
I bound up the zig-zagging set of escalators, shifting into a desperate jog-slide as I hit the friction-free tile floor of the atrium and enter the store.
Locking eyes with the nearest t-shirted agent, I manage breathlessly:
“I’m here for my 11:15.”
Magdalena Suksi on Zin Taylor
What happens when three voids start a conversation? In Zin Taylor’s Void Screens, inky ghosts float a little further into the open centres of each effort, getting the voids to open themselves to matter. As well, a smaller empty oval bobs in each panel, rolling away from a bracketing knob of black clay. There could be void happening in the briny ink wash radiating from the big untreated thought bubbles. These are ellipses with initiative.
Gareth Long: Travels with Two Donkeys in the Valley
Don River Valley Park, Toronto
June 2, 9, 16 & 23, 2018
In this new public commission, undertaken in partnership with the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada, artist Gareth Long will care for two donkeys from the Sanctuary each Saturday throughout the month of June, taking them for short walks along the Lower Don Trail.
Long has introduced the motif of the donkey in many of his previous works, as a way of engaging with methods of education and the processes of learning. Culturally speaking, donkeys have a long history as a motif in art and literature, typically representing stupidity, the “ass” or the fool; but they are also often included to represent moments of metamorphosis.
Jessica Karuhanga on Oliver Husain
An unannounced arrival is our point of departure. We enter and exit through the same frame. ...
John Nyman on Scott Lyall
... Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s “Eye and Mind,” his last published essay, makes a remarkable claim on behalf of painting and the picture in general. In the first place, he distinguishes sharply between the phenomenological world of images and the techno-scientific universe, in which appearance is only the residue of objects more effectively manipulated at the level of their materials. While science, in other words, bases all of vision on the sense of touch, only phenomenology can understand our lived experience of seeing as “having at a distance.” ...
Lauren Fournier on Althea Thauberger
the reparative practice of re-performing
- - -> performativity
In Althea Lorraine, Althea Thauberger stages a performative intervention into the NFB’s archives, fixating on the figure of Lorraine Althea Monk.
Esmé Hogeveen on Krista Buecking
After a busy day of keyboard tapping, my hands just need a rest. Or perhaps it’s my mind that needs a holiday. Take a break from jumpstarting a new habit by saluting an old one. Fingers cruise me to a recently de-activated social media platform and my eyes glaze over at the incomprehensibly blank screen. It’s January, so self-care takes the form of vitality and not schlumping. Hello world! - - perhaps just one post to indicate my good health and intentions . . . and then maybe one more to imply my self-awareness - - I don’t want to appear cocky! Ahem - -
Katie Bethune-Leamen on Sandra Meigs
 Chatting with my friend, David Court, about CG Sean Young in Blade Runner 2049 (2017) and he says “like there’s no more uncanny valley.” And we were both like “yeah, a canny valley?”
 Same conversation. Same friend. I told him that the previous night I had a dream in which I’d made out with The Rock. I could tell by David’s response to the statement that he’d misheard me as saying “made out with a rock.” He was totally disappointed when I clarified.
Danica Evering on
Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky
The words cast and setting are drawn out of interests of Weppler and Mahovsky: molds and plaster casts, gypsum setting to hardened, copper foil impressions cast over objects, anthropomorphism and the interactions between objects as a cast of characters, casting down paint and light, the setting of the gallery space itself. I frame those interests and the works themselves in relation to the reflexive dynamic between those two words and the push and pull between them in four sets, each framed by a diagram image, to consider ethics, lineages, context, and mattering. The text has been laid out so it can be printed double-sided and then each page folded in half as a set.