Eclipse insight

DAYS OF THE ECLIPSE at Mercer Union.

DAYS OF THE ECLIPSE at Mercer Union (1286 Bloor West), to March 6. 416-536-1519. Rating: NNNN

Curator Sarah Robayo Sheridan thoroughly mines the term “eclipse” for all its conceptual and art historical worth in this thoughtful group show. Using video, film, painting, collage and mixed media, each artist provides his or her own singular riff on the eclipse as both natural event and point of metaphoric departure.


Euan Mcdonald’s low-key contrariness and wit are on view in his video piece Eclipse, in which a grimy soccer ball drifts across the surface of a puddle until it obscures the brightly reflected sun within it.

In her pollution paintings, Marie Jager produces her own lo-fi found imagery by holding blank canvases up to the tail pipes of idling cars. The results are oily coronas of soot that resemble eclipses or cataclysmic planetary events. Her most succinct work, Past Present Future, fuses phases of time and reflectivity in a laser-cut mirror piece in which all three words converge in a visual present.

Focusing on obliteration, Will Rogan carefully hand-erases the feature magicians off the cover of 50s-era magic magazines, leaving enigmatic white silhouettes. Elizabeth Zvonar skilfully juxtaposes one artistic era with another in her very pretty wall of tiny collages, betraying an extremely refined graphic sensibility and keen sense of humour in the process.

In Hand Held Day, a rare 1974 16mm film, Gary Beydler films his hand holding a small mirror in the middle of the California desert for a time-lapsed 12-hour period. Clouds boil across the sky and light crawls past with surreal meditative calm, a visual time capsule of nature-inspired endurance art.

If the subtle and many-layered theoretical interplay between the obscured and the visible is your thing, you’ll find plenty in this show to see and think about.

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