Sandra Brewster, Grace Channer and Camille Turner at WARC, the Women's Art Resource Centre (401 Richmond West, suite 122), to February 12. 416-977-0097. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Camille Turner is my hero. Dressed in a long red gown and tiara, she ventured out, of her own volition, as the woman she wanted to be: Miss. Canadiana, her own self-proclaimed hero.
In one of the three multimedia videos that make up Hero, Turner entertains viewers by handing out Canadian flags on her tour of destinations including Chinatown, Little India and Church Street. The video, presented as a shrine-like offering of Canadian flags and paraphernalia, runs alongside a second, more serious video of young girls dressed in red-and-white tutus. On the soundtrack, mothers discuss what it means to raise a black girl in Canada today and how important it is to offer an informative, safe cultural oasis at home.
Also exploring the modern hero, Sandra Brewster invites viewers to pull up a chair in a faux living room and watch Listen, a video presentation of anecdotes from the old life in the Caribbean and a new one in Canada. The interviewees talk in their own living rooms about spontaneous neighbourly visits and the collective upbringing of a neighbourhood's children.
Those were the days. Life in Canada isn't worse, just different. These tales are as thought-provoking as they are entertaining.
Grace Channer 's Bat'hari "Biguum," the third piece here, satirically comments on media-made heroes. In her own movie poster, for example, the advisory warning cautions that it contains "revolutionary content."
But no matter how endearing the animated sketches on two of the video monitors in Channer's larger-than-life display, they don't quite connect with the third screen showing video surveillance from inside the gallery. Regardless, the show is worth a visit when you have more than five minutes to spare.