SPACE INVADERS at Gallery 1313 (1313 Queen West), to June 24. 416-536-6778. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Sixteen international new media and video artists are showcased in Space Invaders as part of the annual AluCine Toronto Latin@ Media Festival . A vein of heartfelt lyricism runs through these works, which deal mostly with mundane daily life, social and domestic boundaries, talk and relationships and the never-ending longing for completion.
Tsui Kuang-Yu starts the show off with his deadpan video stunts in which he attempts routine daily tasks that go comically awry and odd physical challenges that reference Shaolin initiation. There's something poignant about a man gliding mournfully down a city street in a large office chair that makes you want to join him.
W. Mark Sutherland and Nobuo Kubota add a humorous take on dialogue in Slowpokes, a performance of sound poetry slowed down to slurred phonemes as they face each other in a standoff reminiscent of Beckett.
Trace, by Sofian Audry , Miriam Bessette and Jonathan Villeneuve , is especially neat: a hanging arrangement of lights, motion sensors and speakers that record body movements. Each person who enters the room sees a light and sound re-enactment of the previous viewer, a sort of mechanical memory of social and physical trace.
In Ulysses Castellanos 's History Of The Revolution, a list of all known historical revolts from ancient times to the present runs over the last 20 minutes of the Jackie Chan film The Protector, surrounded by an installation of gutted stuffed animals. The piece conveys a depressing sense of futility, though the roll call of rebellions and revolutions is staggering.
Face To Face, by Kika Nicolela - made up of more than 20 subjects' responses to questions about the nature of love - overwhelms the rest of the show with its directness and vulnerable humanity. Captured in slow motion, the faces betray an astonishing range of emotion as they struggle with the definition of love. We are the people in this video, and their hopes, disappointments and ruminations about love are our own.