MILUTIN GUBASH at YYZ Artists' Outlet (401 Richmond West, #140), to April 21. 416-598-4546. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Milutin Gubash's Welcome to Palookaville includes a series of 17 short videos and seven large photographic portraits of their characters.
An intimate cinema that comfortably seats an audience of four is tucked into the back of YYZ. This unusual space lends itself to video-based art.
The large-format colour photographs mix fashion and production stills. Their light, shadow and resulting contrast seem very Harper's Bazaar. Glistening details like a silver watchband or the fake fur on a jacket pop out, recalling commercial photography, yet all of Gubash's subjects look toward the sky pensively, as if sensing something extraterrestrial.
In the 17 videos, Gubash's tone mixes slapstick, deadpan comedy and pop art. I love all three elements, but the videos follow one after the other in a way I've seen before in Jim Jarmusch's films.
Here's To My Big Opening follows the artist through a packed gallery. We hear people chatting and watch the animated gestures of the crowd as Gubash roams, detached and unemotional, through a maze of people - much like Chris Parker in Jarmusch's Permanent Vacation.
Slowly, it's revealed that the artist is leaking a liquid that seeps down his leg and collects in puddles.
Gubash has a great eye for composition, line and colour and a talent for compelling editing. He seems to have watched enough MuchMusic, 80s avant-garde cinema and silent film to really understand the value of a profound jump cut.