love bomb at Live Art Space (970 Bathurst) to October 14 (closing party 2-7 pm, October 14). 416-534-3883. Rating: NNN
less than a month after the World Trade Center/Pentagon bombings, artists are exhibiting works that deal with September 11. The three-person show that morphed into Love Bomb, at the Live Art Space, was already in the works on the fateful day, but it seemed obvious to Natalie Kovacs, Blair Chivers and Rita Leistner that they had to respond.
Still, creating Love Bomb was more a matter of tweaking the selection process for the final show than a matter of creating new bodies of work.
Blame it on the zeitgeist.
Leistner is showing photos from two bodies of work. The 27 prints from Belarus and Lithuania were created as part of a documentary project that involved interviewing Holocaust survivors who had returned to the communities that had forced them into hiding. New York includes a moody black-and-white shot from the roof of the now-gone World Trade Center.
Chivers paints stone-like surfaces onto canvas, and then inscribes (again with paint) them with evocative texts and iconic forms, like mandalas. Their link to the WTC bombing is more tenuous, but in this context the fact that he simulates construction materials really comes through, and they offer a welcome space for emotional release.
The gallery's window is filled with Kovacs's Ism, which she spells out with photo prints masked into the letter forms: lower-case "i" is made from an image of a Croatian cathedral reflected in a bank machine, an image she captured because she saw it as the embodiment of humanism and consumerism coming together -- as they did in the September 11 acts of terrorism.
But these pale beside the characteristically freewheeling video footage she shot last April at the World Trade Center.