It's all fun and games until ed Pien starts ripping out his pubic hair one strand at a time. Curator Andrew Harwood has paired up the talented Pien with the equally impressive Janet Morton to create a fun show. Even the video of the aforementioned pubic hair is amusing when you discover he's playing a painful version of the old "He loves me, he loves me not" game.
Pien works in a variety of mediums, but here he sticks to video and shows four pieces. In a three-screen narrative, the artist visits with a trio of psychics to get a first, second and third opinion about his future. Positioned off-screen, the psychics drone on about this and that. The one on the left-most television is a bit of a loudmouth.
Striptease involves Pien cutting away his clothing bit by bit. The video runs in reverse, showing him uncutting his clothes until he is fully dressed. It's not titillating, but it is fascinating.
Blow Up is the final piece. In it, Pien explores the many things one can do with balloons. When Pien draws dirty pictures on the balloons, they burst. When he plays with them in the bath, they burst. The best scene emerges when he pushes his forehead into a balloon -- the balloon doesn't burst but does push back against his ears, making them wiggle.
Morton also displays skill and a subtle sense of humour. She continues her ongoing mastery of material by covering a number of everyday things with grey tweed. Among other things, she's created a grey tweed woman's shoe, a grey tweed paint roller, a small grey tweed rib cage, a grey tweed martini glass and a grey tweed fish.
Her other pieces include two large concentric circles of collected everyday objects and a quilt of UPC symbols with the words "I want more" stitched across its face. I want more art like email@example.com
Playtonic at A Space (401 Richmond West, suite 110) to October 19. 416-979-9633. Rating: NNNN