DESIREE HOLMAN at YYZ Artists' Outlet (401 Richmond West, #140), to December 16. 416-598-4546. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Desirée Holman's crudely made life-size sculptures evoke humour and fantasy while expressing intense emotion. They appear in Effigy, her series of videos and photographs at YYZ, which explores our need to connect with each other. This seamless series shows the artist's capacity to see everyday life as profound.
Holman's ability to illuminate our daily realities by creating imaginary worlds strikes a delicate balance and advocates for self-examination.
Art As Therapy, a two-hour video projection that probes family dynamics and cognitive-behavioural therapy, is nothing short of genius. Over seven therapy sessions, a family of life-size dolls struggle to change in hopes of becoming more functional.
The video displays such genuine humanity, it's shocking to realize that the interactions are scripted. The psychological play between what's real and what's imagined is an area Holman fearlessly treads and finely threads throughout her work.
In her video piece Troglodyte (she describes a troglodyte as a simpleton or brute who is emotionally reactive), Holman wears a sculpted life-size chimpanzee-like form. She uses the ape suit to explore violence and tenderness with compelling rawness.
Holman investigates human emotion and behaviour in ways that are haunting and uncomfortable.