18: BECKETT at Blackwood Gallery (Erindale College, 3359 Mississauga Road), to December 21. Free shuttle bus departs from the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen West) at 2:30 pm Sunday (December 17) for a tour of the show with curator Séamus Kealy, returning 5 pm. 905-828-3789. Rating: NNNNN Rating: NNNNN
In celebration of the centennial of Samuel Beckett's birth, curator Séamus Kealy and Blackwood Gallery mount the ambitious and thought-provoking exhibition 18: Beckett.
The interdisciplinary projects by 18 artists including Zin Taylor and Allison Hrabluik, Ann-Sofi Sidén, Gregor Schneider, Dorothy Cross, Martin Arnold, heavy-hitters Stan Douglas, Gary Hill and Bruce Nauman are worth the trek to Mississauga.
Nauman's long-time interest in Beckett is evident in Clown Torture, a stack of monitors screening nightmarish shrieking clowns, an intense and horrifying piece that bombards the senses.
Douglas's video Win, Place Or Show features a repeating arc of people moving from conversation to physical fight and back to conversation. He uses the structure of repetition in much the same way Beckett did in Unnameable, evoking difference with sameness.
Hill's video installation Wall Piece is a barrage of light, movement and text. The artist flings himself against a wall while reciting text he wrote. With each slam of his body, a word from the text is forced out of his mouth, though the words are barely comprehensible. Wall Piece elicits a feeling of death and survival. It's a tragic work that will leave you dizzy and awestruck.