Quantal Strife at the Doris McCarthy Gallery (U of T Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail), to March 5. 416-287-7007. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Quantal Strife, the current show at the Doris McCarthy Gallery , riffs on the ideas of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Writing in the wake of the May 68 Paris riots, the two French philosophers developed a post-Freudian, post-Marxist semiotics in their Capitalism And Schizophrenia series.
Scott Carruthers overwhelms one room with sweaty Crumbesque drawings of darkly comic dream images that are somehow strangely familiar. Clowns wear Klan hoods, an amputee Captain America waves a white flag, a two-headed Marx and Freud monster is shackled by the neck. His obsessive output explores the conflict between pop culture and his subconscious, shedding light on the disturbing stew of imagery we wade through daily.
A more serene installation by Crystal Mowry focuses on how we imagine certain destinations. Working only from postcards and books, she's constructed a model of the gardens of Versailles from several different perspectives, a quilt of mismatched terrain made of model train kits. A lone railroad car with a miniature camera circles this fragmented landscape, providing a graceful video. It's a cool reading of place located somewhere between the actual and the imaginary.
Marc Ngui 's ongoing work is a direct reading of the first 36 pages of Deleuze and Guattari's seminal work, A Thousand Plateaus. His lucid diagrams, sparsely painted in light grey and green watercolours, show human outlines connected by threads of differently coded information. It's an intuitive attempt to map out the idea of a rhizome, the French philosophers' word for information that is laterally, not hierarchically connected.
Ngui manages to lend a sense of elegance and flow to concepts that are famous for being dense and impenetrable.