Volume 90, Issue 99

Thursday, April 03, 1997

The Great One


This exhibit is nutra-sweet

Sugar or Aspartame
At McIntosh Gallery
today - April 13

GO SEE IT! The McIntosh Gallery's exhibition of Western Visual Arts students, that is.

The exhibit, which runs through April 13, was curated this time by Western's museology students, which posed some difficulties in that it required the artists' peers to judge their fellow students. Naturally, it is hard to get an objective opinion when the judge is so closely involved with the works and artists themselves. Nevertheless, the selection was well done.

I want to mention three works which I thought were interesting and definitely worth a look. "Little Temple" is an astrological painting but although the structure in the middle is symmetrical, the sky is not. This brings a strange sense of pseudo-realism to the work.

"Supernova" is simply a beautiful painting to look at, as it meshes bright colour swooshes with stark blackness. It should be noted that my judgment of art is fairly simplistic in that if there is not an initial interest in the work, my interest wanes considerably. Perhaps this is an ephemeral or merely aesthetically pleasing, simple-minded way of looking at it. But it serves its purpose.

Finally, there is a video still called "Cannibalism #1" by Louis Cohen. By far the most amazing thing in the exhibition, though the enthusiasm of others who visited was more subdued describing it as 'neat.' It is not neat. It is an image of three or four men being assassinated in what appears to be the Second World War. All the assassins are in a green tinge, with the only the people being shot in black and white. For some reason their heads are instead spray paint cans.

The only thing I can make of it is the green tinge suggests the shooters' behaviour was not normal and yet, instead of being red and judging them in a morally superior fashion, there exudes a sort of humble acceptance that we could all somehow land in that position. The spray paint cans might imply the shooters looking at their victims as being mere targets. That might be totally off but you won't be able to judge until you see for yourself.

There is a section on fakes and copies brought in by the museology department and the rest is the work of the third and fourth-year students. The only serious query I have is why so many of the works have pretentious titles like "Untitled #6." An artist toils week after week over a work and can't come up with a title that might give some clue to the theme of the creation? Some of the work is brilliant and some of it's crap, but isn't that what all exhibits should be like? And where does this writer get off being so brash in his opinions?

–Steve Hare

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997