LOVE/HATE: NEW CROWNED GLORY IN THE G.T.A. at MOCCA (Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, 952 Queen West), to August 19. 416-395-0067. Rating: NNN
If thematic art is a thing of the past, then the thoroughly deconstructed mashup of Toronto artists in MOCCA's summer retrospective, Love/Hate: New Crowned Glory In The G.T.A., is on the cutting edge. Personal likes and dislikes (love and hate) seem to be the only coherent organizer.
One sure thing: this is a city of strong painters. Harold Klunder's Magic Mushrooms Of Immortality is a meditative array of brightly coloured and amorphous forms. Margaux Williamson mines the twilight area between waking and sleep with seven paintings rendered in her usual tar-brushed palette. Raffael Iglesias lights up the opposite end of the spectrum with his brand of funky urban Latin psychedelia in sparkly rainbow colours.
Long-time favourite Fiona Smyth has provided a glass display case of her comics as well as a wall of thumb-tacked originals, highlighting her uncanny and lovely mutating girl figures. John Nobrega contributes stately portraits of primates in 19th-century garb.
More entertaining is Bruce LaBruce and the Scandelles' sly backroom wink to John Waters and the Patty Hearst kidnapping. In their campy short film Give Piece Of Ass A Chance, a group of lesbian revolutionaries from GPAC kidnap the feisty daughter of a weapons tycoon and literally tongue her into submission. The 70s revolutionary chic (complete with automatic-weapon-toting tough girl poses) is fall- out-of-your-chair funny, and its send-up of old-school radicalism walks a fine line between loving lampoon and outright pornographic parody.