Jesse Harris’s Text Piece should push your buttons.
ANDREW JEFFREY WRIGHT, WILLIAM BUZZELL and JESSE HARRIS at Cooper Cole (1161 Dundas West), to Saturday (November 3). 647-347-3316. See listing. Rating: NNN
Art as product and commodity is the target of Permanent Demand, a group show of three artists. Together their pieces form a satiric trifecta that skewers art as both rarified object and capitalist fetish.
Andrew Jeffrey Wright addresses the theme with a series of drawings tracing the manufacture of "products" like a Nike sneaker, a painting and a baby. Paintings are made from a palette that includes noxious bodily fluids like "snot" and "pus," and Nike sneakers apparently can't be made without the blood of children. However bleak their underlying point, these lo-fi drawings still radiate a gleeful punk rock nihilism that brings to mind 90s kitchen-sink zines.
Jesse Harris, better known for conceptual wordplay that borrows from signage, decals and advertising, here focuses on the T-shirt and the pin. He enjoys subverting blunt statements with semantic sleight of hand, and the results can be funny and jarring. In Text Piece, a cellphone lies in a bed of buttons with slogans that undermine their own meanings, such as "Apathy Power" and "Change The Word," converting memes into odd Zen koans.
William Buzzell's obsessively detailed paintings read like improbable encyclopedia pages, with images of commodities painted on or glued to the surface. Club Super Wet Resort Destination All Inclusive combines nearly 50 images of crashing surf. In other paintings, he places lobster parts next to black American Express cards, or vulvas next to a list of prestigious writing and art grants.
For Buzzell, capitalism is absurd and claustrophobic.