Critical Distance

Myths of Work/Rules of Thumb: Leslie Thompson
November 29 – December 21, 1996

a response to the exhibition by Sheila Spence

The exhibition by Toronto artist Leslie Thompson is made up of two separate pieces: Myths of Work and Rules of Thumb. In the photo installation Myths of Work Thompson begins the journey back from the patriarchal beliefs of business towards some form of matriarchy.
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Notes on Emergence

Emergence: Wendy Wersch
November 12 – November 23, 1996

a response to the exhibition by Catherine MacDonald

November 13, 1996.
Standing in silence she begins to sway as if responding to the subtle shifts of energies and wind currents, lulled by the rattling of the steam heaters and the banging and clanking rhythms of old pipes contracting in the cold.

Her silence is strong and determined, she is primordial woman standing naked, cocooned in her memories and in the bits and pieces of her guilt.

She is standing in the echo of her voice… the silence explains. The echo reaches through eons of time…her head is surrounded by the fear and terror of her own thoughts.
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Critical Distance

footnote: by Stella Meades
October 18 – November 9, 1996

a response to the exhibition by Heidi Eigenkind

In footnote, Stella Meades pays homage to the circumstances of her own childhood and to those children still affected by war and ethnic hatreds.1 Taking as her starting point, a 1995 UNICEF statistic that 6,000,000 children have been disabled or killed in the last decade, Meades handbuilt 1001 shoes. Each one of the first 1000 represents 6000 injured or dead children. The extra shoe moves the installation beyond the statistic’s timeline, into the present and the future.
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Critical Distance

to sow: Jake Moore
September 13 – October 12, 1996

a response to the exhibition by Susan Chafe

“We inherit our giant as we inherit our language, for as the Douaisien knew, they are one and the same.”¹ Continue reading

Flights of Fancy in Drag City

Drag City: Curated by Robert Sauvey
September 6 – October 15, 1996

a response to the exhibition by Cathy Collins

Once my mother convinced my Dad to wear her Aunt’s black cut velvet and silk flapper dress to a Hallowe’en party. This was a significant accomplishment in light of my Dad’s origins in Presbyterian and Tory rural Ontario. Underneath his silky, cut velvet, black dress, Dad wore the usual Stanfields. It was a safe masquerade, the way Milton Berle played comic female roles as the host of Texaco Star Theater in the early days of television. Existing gender stereotypes were reinforced. Dad’s cross-dressing wasn’t drag because he wasn’t creating a new identity either in his mind or in his behavior. Clearly drag is a state of mind driven by fantasy and desire. How else would a muscled, tattooed boy with a badly fitting blonde wig manage to look thoughtfully girlish in a photo-portrait by David Rasmus?

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Critical Distance

On the Skin: Diana Thorneycroft and Michael Boss
April 26 – May 18, 1996

a response to the exhibition by Tom Lovatt

Time and fever burn away individual beauty
And the grave proves the child ephemeral
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie; naked, mortal
But to me entirely beautiful.

Auden

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Critical Distance

No Show: Christine Kirouac
January 5 – February 3, 1996

a response to the exhibition by Louise Loewen

The following text was written as a reflection on the sculptural work of Christine Kirouac in No Show. It represents many informal discussions that Christine and I have shared about corporeality: limitations and strengths of our bodies, societal misconception of women with strength, norms and expectations of women’s bodies, the transformational ability of the body, sex, life in utero, birth and death. This series of self-portraits are wall-mounted constructions with industrial domes, medical latex, chains, ropes, lines and backlit duratrans photographs.
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