Found Object/Gentle Transformations at Harbourfront Centre's York Quay Centre (235 Queen's Quay West) to April 21. 416-973-5379. Rating: NN Rating: NNNNN
art exhibits at york quay centre always find themselves huddled in the long shadow cast by the imposing Power Plant gallery, but they have something the big kids don't -- accessibility.The Case Studies shows aren't always stellar, and that can certainly be said here, but due to their location in the building's long central corridor they expose the art to the crowds that swarm to Harbourfront in the spring and summer.
Children often delight in the work, and that alone makes it worthwhile.
As the title suggests, this show takes a found object -- the first found object in art history was a urinal -- add some things, place them into an art context and call them art. Most of the show is also very family-oriented. It's safe, with only a few sharp edges, and would go nicely with some pottery from the recent One Of A Kind Craft Show at the CNE.
However, it does have its moments, especially in three pieces of interest.
Gunilla Josephson places in her case an old TV, a bottle of Stockholm Aquavit and a plate with a knife and what look like dried mushrooms. On the screen plays a dark video work haunted by chandeliers, full moons, aged portraits and menacing figures. It's very "Colonel Mustard in the study with the candlestick."
Ian Carr-Harris blocks off his case with a piece of pressboard into which two spyholes have been cut. When you look into the two holes, they become one -- an optical illusion is at play -- and you find yourself studying an empty case.
Jeannie Thib covers a series of books in linen printed with jet-black pheasants, flowers and fruits. Her signature style of fragile beauty is somewhat tempered, as the printed linen is dangerously close to mistakable for your grandmother's wallpaper.
If you go, take the kids.