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Art Wanderings March 29

March 31, 2012

I hurriedly pulled the cord on the Ossington bus just in time to get off at the stop across from the MKG127 Gallery. Just in the knick of time, I saw Michael Dumontier’s name in the window for his current exhibition “In the Middle of the Air”. I had recently read a review about this show and wanted to view it first hand.

 Upon entering the small gallery you are teased with a very understated and minimalist interpretation of divergent materials cast into mundane everyday items and manipulated shapes. Take for instance a red wooden sock leaning against the wall or a flattened cast of an egg with a crack running through one-half. There is also a replica of an Evergreen tree in one corner comprised of sparsely spaced pieces of string. Dumontier with his sly wit cleverly references such masters of Minimalism as Robert Mangold and Richard Tuttle. A rectangle on the wall with one of the corners folded over or a needle and thread carefully dissecting a canvas are other meditations.

 These narratives forces one to ponder the overall minimal signal of the artist but also pushes the viewer to re-interpret our sometimes over complicated analysis of life itself in the digital age.

On view until April 14

Image courtesy of MKG127


 From one extreme to the other I headed further east to MOCCA where Tasman Richardson’s Necropolis was on view. This is an experience that is nothing but minimal. The main space of the museum is taken over with a darkened, immersive labyrinth installation comprising video and sound. Upon heeding the warnings at the entrance from the attendant regarding flashing strobes and the risk of seizure, very dark environment and not to backtrack once you enter, I did not know what to expect except from what I had previously read.

 The participant (I use this word, as one has no choice but to participate on every sense level) moves up, down and through black walled narrow hallways passing through or emerging into a miasma of sound and images. One comes face to face with competing TV images of the main protagonist in Poltergeist and The Ring just as they stare blankly and vacantly at their antagonist.  A replica of the Rose Window taken from Notre Dame shows an image of Joan of Arc in each pane of glass taken from a different scene from numerous movies. Four other new media experiences including a wild, narrow gauntlet of mind bending strobing colour and pulsing sound round out the exhibition focusing on infusing the environment with braided sound, looped video and infused with just a touch of dread. 

Image courtesy of MOCCA

The experience leaves the visitor with a new take on how our current gadget oriented technological world can be taken to an obsessive level in which one day we may be an unsuspecting pawn at their mercy.

On view until April 1.

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