Volume 92, Issue 74

Tuesday, February 9, 1999


Student art thinks for itself

Mel's back and it's time to pay

Evil toys with techno while Leeb lives

Student art thinks for itself

©Dipesh Mistry/Gazette
EVERY STARVING STUDENT'S FIRST APARTMENT. Art, space and the future are explored in the artistic expressions of many students at the John Labatt Visual Arts Centre's ArtLab.

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

The world is constantly moving at a faster pace, as we look for new, easier ways of doings things. The master of fine arts group exhibition at the John Labatt Visual Arts Centre ArtLab is a good example of how artists are dealing with these changing times.

Entitled What I Am Thinking I Have Not Thought Alone, the exhibition is a collection of the works of 10 artists. Each attempts to examine and express their feelings about the times in which they are ng.

Oleksander Wlasenko's drawing "Untitled" is taken from a photo of former Russian leader Vladimir Lenin speaking to a group of workers. The mural is done with raw pigments and its charcoal, ashy colours give the piece an industrial feel which accurately represents that period of Russian history.

Drawn over a white wall, it also partially covers pages from one of Lenin's works. The mural is striking to the eye upon first sight while its topic and use of Lenin's literature provoke thought and introspection from the viewer.

Marc Lebreche presents three pieces which combine the two mediums of painting and photography, giving an insightful perspective into his world. Lebreche uses dark, sombre imagery together with an innovative blend of photography and painting skills to present images which stand out from the rest of the exhibit. He makes use of generic subjects, such as a boy sitting at a table and wooden dolls, to keep the works identifiable. At the same time, the dozens of photos touched with blacks and greys give the pieces a not-of-this-world feel.

Crawling around on the floor is Dana Dansureau and Christy Thompson's "Dairy Queen." This gel-form baby wiggles and squirms on the floor powered by a wind shield wiper motor from a Chevy Sprint. Equal parts odd and strangely disturbing, the work doesn't seem intent on making a profound statement. Rather, this is simply a piece of experimentation meant to grab the eye of the viewer.

On the other hand, Dana Dansureau presents two other pieces which make interesting statements about the world and the future.

The first is a piece of ceiling panelling, suspended in the air, with two video cameras and a motion sensor hanging from it. As the viewer steps underneath the piece, the motion sensor detects them, causing the two cameras to whirl one after another. Images of the spectator are then splashed on a television screen.

Like some Orwellian comment that "someone's always watching," this work gives the viewer a first hand look at how images can be skewed and manipulated by the watcher. The cameras spin and fidget in a paranoid fashion creating their own perspective of the observer. The question arises, is the viewer watching the art or is the art watching the viewer?

Dansureau's final piece is titled "Profanity Series." Combining the worlds of art and technology, Dansureau uses computer programs to spin and mold words into images. Using words like "sex" and "ass," he creates amazingly beautiful pictures resembling flowers and intricate architectural drawings. The contrast between these profane words and the fascinating images they create makes the viewer question what they're seeing and saying.

Many more artists utilize the exhibition to present a wide range of ideas and perspectives, offering many views of how the world can be interpreted. This exhibit is the perfect example of how sometimes too many cooks make the stew that much better.

© Dipesh Mistry/Gazette
SOMEBODY GET ANOTHER BUCKET. Western students explore the ups and downs of art in the master of fine arts exhibit What I Am Thinking I Have Not Thought Alone.

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Copyright © The Gazette 1999