INFINITY, ETC. at Mercer Union (37 Lisgar), to April 1. 416-536-1519. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
In Mercer Union's infinity, etc., nine crack conceptual artists stalk the elusive notion of the infinite and toy with time and numbers.
It's a solid, thought-provoking and often humorous show. Unfortunately, the most intriguing piece has had some technical difficulties.
Jonathan Monk has collected about 40 postcards of London's Big Ben, each marking a different time. A computerized slide projector is supposed to show an image of each postcard at its allotted time for 60 seconds and then shut off, sitting dormant for nearly 1,400 of the 1,440 minutes in a day. But the computer wasn't working, forcing curator Dave Dyment to show the images manually.
Montreal-based Daniel Olson contributes 12 colourful but worn glockenspiel bars for you to drop on the cement floor in any order you wish, and points out that there are a staggering 479,001,600 ways to play the tinny octave of notes.
In the back gallery, Kelly Mark recalls the immeasurable importance to a teenager of riding next to the driver with her bright red neon sign that reads "I Called Shotgun Infinity When I Was Twelve."
Germaine Koh 's piece, Counter, features a tiny, forlorn six-digit mechanical counter with a matching black button installed right in the wall. It had been pressed, for no apparent reason, 6,528 times since 2002, until I pressed it a few times more.
Alas, the very notion of infinity exceeds and defies our mortal comprehension. Wisely, Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo takes a more poetic approach with his cameo piece. On a smooth, blank and slowly spinning 12-inch, the legendary guitar player crudely scrawled the words "A Way Out Of History." A blue glow shines through the hole in the centre like the light beckoning the dead to the afterlife. But the lack of grooves on the disc suggests the real answer to the problem of infinity is to stop counting and recording altogether.