Les Rassembleurs, curated by Dean Baldwin, closes a week from today at MKG127. It is the gallery’s fourth “artist-curated” summer exhibition, following Toolkit by Germaine Koh in 2012, Chopped and Screwed by Hugh Scott-Douglas in 2011 and A - B, by Micah Lexier in 2010.
The exhibition includes the work of 14 artists on the loose topic of intoxication and indulgence (Dean’s professional area of expertise). Several of the artists (Ken Nicol, Roula Partheniou, Michael Dumontier, Kristan Horton) have appeared on this site (see tags below) many times before. Other artists include Valérie Blass, Karen Kraven, and Roy Meuwissen from Montreal), Dean Drever from Kingston, John Marriott and Margaux Williamson from Toronto, Radames "Juni" Figeroa (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Poonam Jain (Mumbai) and Sarah Peters (New York).
I have two works in the show. One is a silkscreen text piece called Red Nose Semiotics, about a 1905 ballad which became a popular trope in early British comedies. Before one could show a character vomiting or urinating in public, the song Nellie Dean was the fastest cue to the character’s inebriation.
The other work is titled The Piano Has Been Drinking, after the Tom Waits song of the same name. Here an altered 45 rpm record plays the song off-axis, continuing the fiction of the lyrics, in which the singer claims to be sober. The audio for the piece can be heard here.