Volume 95, Issue 60

Friday, January 18, 2002
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Pirates hoist the flag of enjoyable theatre

Fresh new eatery sits well

Who's really in Remote Control

Finding life after death

Shits and Giggles

Who's really in Remote Control

By Christina McKenzie
Gazette Staff

Three stars (out of five)

When entering the Forest City Gallery to view its latest exhibition, you might wonder whether or not you are supposed to sit down.

The installations that form the current show Remote Control consist of domestic scenes powered by television sets. The on-screen images become the central focus of each installation.

Remote Control is both an on-and-offsite video installation project. The Forest City Gallery allows the messages of some works to be conveyed at one location.

However, a few of London's used furniture stores, such as Father & Son's Furniture – feature videos of the installations – donated much of the furniture in the gallery displays.

Each setting – whether it is a kitchen, a bedroom or one of two simple living rooms – is set up with a television and Remote Control. The viewer enters the setting and is immersed in the images.

The featured artists include Kelly Mark, Jeremy Drummond, Eric Johnson and the duo Patrick Pellerin and Pascal Grandmaison.

Jeremy Drummond's "White Christmas" installation features a video that plays on a television at the foot of a double bed and begins with pop-up images that appear when a person channel surfs.

Gazette File Photo
NOT WHAT IT APPEARS TO BE. Although it may look like a simple living room, the televised version of X-rated is showing now at the Forest City Gallery.

Initially, the images are straightforward and "G" rated as the viewer catches glimpses of a Seinfeld or Jenny Jones episode. Gradually, the content of the video becomes more provocative as the artist interjects images of human genitals.

In a commercial for Dial body soap, a young boy lathers himself in the shower and does not forget to wash his private parts. These "parts" are, at first, flashed quickly and force the viewer to question if they are visual illusions.

The video is somewhat X-rated as it nears its end, with large and unmistakable phallic symbols. A commercial for an art institute interjects a human anus.

Also interjected in a commercial for EnerX pills – which guarantee endurance – is a scene of masturbation. These images are intended to be both humorous and entertaining, while Johnson's main concern seems to be the representation of sexuality and the human body in media.

In Eric Johnson's video installation, "Billy Bag's Adventure," a Zehr's plastic bag is swept along by the wind, weaving through the people and obstacles at Guelph's Norfolk and Quebec intersection.

Jeremy Drummond's personally chosen and controlled video clips versus Johnson's free and uncontrolled plastic bag demonstrates that the maker of the media ultimately directs the viewers' thoughts.

Also part of the exhibit is Pascal Grandmaison's and Patrick Pellerin's "Sessions," or "Rock Session, Juice Session, Dance Session, Shopping Session, CD Session," which features blank-faced characters involved in all of these actions.

Finally, Kelly Mark's "Prime Time" explores two hours of prime-time television.

Remote Control is open to the public and runs until Feb. 2 at the Forest City Gallery. After viewing the exhibit in its entirety, viewers will realize the orange chair at the front door of the gallery is not for sitting on, rather, it's a part of the actual show.

Remote Control runs at the Forest City Gallery until Feb. 2. Admission is free.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001