October 23 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 30  

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Spitting, sucking, blowing and poop

By Laura Kobetz
Gazette Writer

List: A Show on Censorship
Art Lab, Visual Arts Centre
Oct. 16-24, 2003

The first show produced and curated by the Visual Arts 293 class intends to shock its audience and with a theme like "censorship," and it succeeds in doing so. Blaring on a stereo at the entrance are songs such as Madonna's "Like a Prayer," which is known for its controversial music video.

Immediately through the doors, the raw, streaky, black writing on the wall can be seen, listing the names of musicians, movies, visual artists, writers and books that have been censored in the past. The two rows of this list extend the entire way around the gallery, leaving room on the back wall for Terri Frew's potent mural, an enormously blunt rendering of the word "FUCK" in the same inky, black letters seen throughout the space. Fittingly, Frew declares in the artist's statement that "words become terrorists."

On the opposing wall, Jeremy Drummond's videos are projected. The first, "Spit," displays a mouth pressed up against glass, licking, spitting, sucking and blowing, accompanied by the appropriate sound-effects. The second video, "Stallworks," is far more shocking, for it was unexpected to see the aptly described "shit samba," which exhibits a squatting individual's fecal matter sliding out and then back in to his anal crevice. At the same time the video blatantly exposes one of the most intimate bodily functions, it also explores the notion of homoeroticism, another idea which may be offensive to some.

The final works in the gallery are three computer compositions created by Adam Therrien. Therrien's beautifully drawn images attempt to elicit acceptance of a often controversial subject matter; the animation shows two women kissing, two men kissing and a man masturbating. The quality of his work and use of line is quite impressive and appealing to watch.

Also, as an interactive treat, a table of books and markers is situated in the far corner of the room. Visitors are encouraged to censor the books as they please.

List is an extremely well executed and highly recommended unveiling of topics often sheltered from the public and is refreshing for the open-minded. However, discretion is advised to viewers who are easily outraged by vulgarity, nudity, homosexuality or poop.



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