Daniel Ehrenworth , Whitney Lee and Barbara Pollack at Gallery 44 (401 Richmond West, Suite 120) to October 30. 416-979-3941. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Download gives us the rare pleasure of finding new meanings in deep shag and porn, art and webcams, and horror and video games. The three artists in the show have successfully turned the expected into the ridiculous.
You'll know what I'm talking about as soon as you enter Gallery 44 . The first display features latch-hook rugs of 52 flirtatious, sexy head shots of women. On another wall, a 158-by-244-centimetre shag rug depicts a lounging naked woman, her hand erotically cupping her breast. Wires cross in my brain as I look at Whitney Lee 's woolly pieces and think of Grandma's crafts used to fashion images that would've shocked Grandma.
Equally paradoxical, Daniel Ehrenworth 's prints of private moments caught on webcam become public art on the gallery walls. Out of context, these prints invite new interpretations. In the back room, shot after shot of bleak scenes include photos of a man looking lustfully at a woman on TV, a girl flirting with the camera and someone holding up a book on Hitler.
If your smile isn't gone yet, it will fade quickly in Barbara Pollack 's video installation. The bottom half of a split screen shows the video game America's Army, which can be downloaded for free online. The U.S. Army created the game to try and entice young techies to enlist.
Each player participates in fighting scenes as a soldier firing machine guns and grenades. Simultaneously, the top half of the screen shows a teen playing the game. Watch both screens in disbelief as the boy's face remains blank through the intensity and anxiety created by the game. His face hardly changes expression until his character dies.
When that happens, the boy smiles.