ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Spitting, sucking, blowing and poop
By Laura Kobetz
List: A Show on Censorship
Art Lab, Visual Arts Centre
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
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