BBLOORDALET IMES Neighbourhood news worth repeating
DEC/JAN 2013/2014 VOLUME 1 ISSUE 11
TREE PLANTED FOR FALLEN ACTIVIST BY GERARD DI TROLIO
PERTH-DUPONT LIBRARY TO RELOCATE AND EXPAND BY GERARD DI TROLIO
The Perth-Dupont Library (1589 Dupont St.) will be undergoing a transformation with expanded space in a new location. Ward 18 Councillor Ana Bailao and Junction Triangle Library Expansion Committee unveiled a plan at a community meeting on November 5 that would see the library move into a new location as part of the development at 299 Campbell Ave. Bailao said that as part of Ward 18’s Section 37 funds there will
be 10,000 square feet set aside for the library’s new location. This will make the new location four times larger than its current one. The proposal was presented to the Toronto Public Library Board on November 18 and received a great response, Bailao said. This comes as good news to the Junction Triangle Library Expansion Committee, a group of residents who have waited three years to get to this point. “It turned out spectacularly well,” said Library Expansion
Committee member Kevin Putnam. “It’s almost unstoppable now. The community is pretty ecstatic.” City Council’s Planning and Growth Committee supported a plan to change the zoning of 299 Campbell Ave. from employment lands to mixed use residential and commercial on December 18. The zoning change will now go before City Council in December, and once approved the development and library project can both move forward. The Toronto Public Library will begin a six-month process to plan and consult with the community to get their input on what features will go into the new library once City Council approves the rezoning, said Putnam. One major feature that will be improved at the new location is accessibility. The new library will now be on one single ground floor, Putnam said. The costs of designing and
A tree has been planted in Susan Tibaldi Parkette (353 Margueretta Ave.) to commemorate the life of a Bloordale resident whose life was taken too soon. Andrew Prosser’s life was cut short when he passed away on November 12, 2010 at the age of 22. His loss had a major impact on Bloordale as he was a tireless champion for the community. He worked closely with local artist Dyan Marie who championed Prosser as a person with a true passion for Bloordale. There was a gathering at Susan Tibaldi Parkette on the third anniversary of Prosser’s death to witness Councillor Ana Bailao and Andrew’s parents unveil the tree and plaque placed there in his honour. Prosser was beloved in the Bloordale community for his work as a writer, actor, musician, photographer, and videographer.
renovating the interior of the library space at 299 Campbell Ave. will be financed through the sale of the library’s current location at 1589 Dupont St.walk around,” MacDougall said. see PROSSER page 3 Deborah Barnett, owner of Someone, a local print shop, agrees. She said that a strong art scene stimulates creativity and gives the neighborhood an opHAT AND MITT DRIVE A BIG portunity for refreshment. SUCCESS ONCE AGAIN “Art is more important than it’s ever been,” Barnett said. The fifth annual event collects 90 Tennille Rosewill, artist and bags of clothing co-proprietor of the Rose Will Page 2 Studio, said its part of her job as an artist to be an architect of SEE BLOORDALE’S SKATING change in DuWest. SCHEDULE “We’re going to bring Paris to For directions, skating hours Toronto,” Rosewill said. When asked if the event would and other details continue in the future, Helder Page 6 Ramos said, “as long as there’s galleries.” NEW BUSINESS GOES For more information on the GLUTEN-FREE Dundas West Business ImproveBloordale’s first gluten-free shop ment Area committee, visit: lands on College St. http://www.dundaswestbia.ca
02 The Bloordale Times Dec/Jan 2013/2014
New In Business
NEW BREAKFAST AND PIZZA JOINT OPENS AT WALLACE AND LANSDOWNE BY SHOYNEAR MORRISON
Bloordale’s newest breakfast eatery, Hello Darling (827 Lansdowne Ave.), opened its doors to the public on November 21. Hello Darling serves all day breakfast and pizza and the restaurant vows to provide a serene atmosphere and delicious food for its customers. The décor of the restaurant is meant to resemble the countryside. Every table is decorated with a bouquet of fresh calla lilies. The restaurant walls, blank upon opening, are now decorated with art done by England’s friend and local artist Rob Elliot. “I was going for a comfortable family friendly space,” said restaurant owner Kimberley England when describing the décor. The bright green tables add a breath of fresh air to the atmosphere, added England. An authentic countryside feel-
ing is created through the rustic wooden checkout counter. The menu is creatively written on a schoolhouse chalkboard. The board provides a variety of breakfast options and pizza toppings available to its customers. England’s vision for Hello Darling is to eventually fill her restaurant with baked goods and add a section dedicated as a grocery store, she said. She said eventually she would like to have everything in the store homemade. She currently has homemade ketchup and foresees homemade pickles, jams and different types of preserves. Hello Darling currently offers all day breakfast and pizza throughout the week and breakfast only on the weekends. The restaurants hours of operations are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week and is closed on Tuesday. They are opened 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekends.
Employees work behind Hello Darling’s bar and checkout counter. Photo by Shoynear Morrison
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The Bloordale Times Dec/Jan 2013/2014 03
HAT AND MITT DRIVE RINGS IN NEARLY A HUNDRED BAGS OF CLOTHING BY KATE MCCULLOUGH
The first snowstorm of the season didn’t stop nearly 40 volunteers from gathering at the Toronto Police Service 11 Division Station to sort clothes for the needy in their neighbourhoods. The 11 Division Community Police Liaison Committee’s (CPLC) 5th Annual Hat and Mitt Drive brought in more than 90 bags stuffed full of clothing, which were sorted and distributed by volunteers December 14 at the drive’s Roundup Day. “Because there were so many people, it took just over an hour,” said 11 Division CPLC organizer John Dixon. “In previous years when we’ve had fewer people it takes a lot longer.” The group of volunteers consisted of both old and young, and included a number of Sparks and their parents. Dixon estimates this year’s drive, which ran from November 22 to December 14, brought in about 30 per cent more clothing than last year’s. “The stuff I got from Swansea Town Hall -- I got ten bags from them -- entirely filled our Subaru Forrester,” he said. The number of bags collected has increased significantly from year to year. “This is the fifth year we’ve been doing it,” he said. “The first year we did it we had about 15 bags altogether.” The drive was launched in 2009 to help those in need stay warm. Each year empty boxes are distributed to a variety of libraries, small businesses, and community centres (and
even a bingo hall) in the division, where mem“It’s great, because it’s such a big area,” she Work Wearhouse, which donated six boxes of bers of the community can donate used hats, said. clothing, Uline Canada Inc., which donated mitts, gloves, scarves, socks and hoodies. DoThe drive has a number of corporate spon- 200 mesh bags for the sorted clothes, and Tim nations can be new or gently used -- or, in one sors as well, including McGregor Socks, which Hortons, which donated hot chocolate and 97-year-old woman’s case, homemade. donated 500 pair of warm winter socks, Mark’s sandwiches for the sorters. “She knitted 35 pieces during the course of 2013 and donated them all -it’s just astonishing,” said Dixon. Ward 13 councillor Sarah Doucette and ParkdaleHigh Park MP Peggy Nash attended the Drive Launch at 11 Division Station on November 22. “I’m very proud to have a donation box in my office at City Hall,” said Doucette, who has been a member of the 11 Division CPLC for the last 12 years. “It’s fantastic,” she said. “We collect all these hats, gloves, gone into socks and hoodies now over the years, and then they’re distributed to people who need these clothes during the winter time.” Doucette said all clothing is donated to a number of shelters, community centres, and soup kitchens, all Parkdale-High Park MP Peggy Nash, Ward 13 councillor Sarah Doucette with members of the CPLC at within the boundaries of 11 the 5th Annual Hat and Mitt Drive Launch on November 22. Photo courtesy Terry J. Dixon Division.
PROSSER from page 1
His videos about Bloordale, “The New Bloor Festival,” “A Mayor for Bloordale,” and “Gloam” can be viewed on Youtube. His latest work can be publicly seen in Bloor Magazine’s 2010 release. He served as a contributing editor having a big hand in the one-time publication’s creative development. Bloor magazine can be viewed online at http://www. bloormagazine.com. Prosser’s written contributions are located on pages 44 and 96.
The memorial honouring Andrew Prosser rests at Susan Tibaldi Parkette. Photo by Gerard Di Trolio
04 The Bloordale Times Dec/Jan 2013/2014
NEW FILM ‘12 YEARS A SLAVE’ NOT TRUE TO ORIGINAL TEXT SAYS LOCAL FILM BUFF BY JESSICA BERRY
12 Years A Slave Review Watching this film I found myself questioning the “based on a true story” tagline that most Hollywood films seem to carry these days, and the authenticity of this cinematic adaptation. There are some disturbing scenes in this film that seem brutally exaggerated for effect. Look-
ing into the similarities between the book and the film, it seems that the facts about Solomon Northup’s memoir are blurred. Published in 1853 by Derby & Miller, the book is entitled: “Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853, From a Cotton Plantation Near the Red River, in Louisiana.”
Here are some excerpts taken from a N.Y. Times article, “An Escape From Slavery, Now a Movie, Has Long Intrigued Historians”: “It seems that scholars for years have been trying to get to the heart of the literal truth of Solomon Northup’s account of slavery. In recounting the tale of life as a slave many former slaves knew there were certain expectations set by the abolitionists. These expectations created pressures
Local resident Jessica Berry is one month away from completing her 365-day challenge and has the tickets to show for it. Photo by Justin Millerson
that resulted in the uniformity of content in many popular slave narratives including distressing oppression on the plantation and the questioning of personal identity while a slave.” James Olney, a scholar, concluded in the NY Times article that the fine writing shown in the ‘12 Years Memoir’ is clearly David Wilson’s and not Solomon Northup’s. He contends that Solomon Northup’s real voice was usurped by David Wilson, the white “amanuensis” to whom he dictated his tale, and who gave the book a preface in the same florid
style that informs the memoir. My problems with this film, it seems, are the same problems many historians have faced when trying to believe the accounts of “12 Years a Slave”; that they seem to be more fiction than fact. So then, what do you believe? To simplify my review, I will grade this film as a fictional account; and as a fictional account of this man’s life, this film underwhelms. The film itself is too long and wastes precious time on extending shots that are unnecessary and purposely drawn out to make the audience squirm. The music is inappropriate and uses racial themes to again make the audience squirm. It seems Steve McQueen, the director, is hell bent on focusing in on the violent life Solomon and his fellow slaves have been forced into, showing horrid whipping and rape scenes rather than on Solomon’s longing for his family and hard years spent as a slave. Until the final rescue scene, I hadn’t noticed one attribute on Northup’s face that would have led me to realize 12 years of his life had passed. This film is not an Oscar contender and relies far too much on harrowing violence and brutal behaviour to tell a story. Here are 10 films that are better than 12 Years A Slave: 1. Blue Is The Warmest Color 2. Blue Jasmine 3. Rush 4. Prisoners 5. Fruitvale Station 6. A Hijacking 7. Mud 8. The Attack 9. Frances Ha 10. The Way Way Back
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The Bloordale Times Dec/Jan 2013/2014 05
Letters from your political representatives COUNCILLOR ANA BAILÃO
Dear residents, I am very excited to bring forward a major victory regarding the proposal to expand the Perth-Dupont Library. Over the past two years I have been working closely with the community to identify opportunities and strategies to improve library services in the Junction Triangle neighbourhood. Recently, a new opportunity has presented itself with the developer at 299 Campbell Avenue to include the library expansion as part of this development project. Back in August, 2011, I hosted a meeting with nearly 100 community residents to discuss the future of the
MP ANDREW CASH 416-654-8048 MPP JONAH SCHEIN 416-535-3158 As we head into the holiday season it is a good time to celebrate another really positive year in our riding. And while in many ways this has been a difficult year for our city as a whole, we want to thank you for your contributions to our community. We remain honoured to serve and work with you and we continue to be impressed with the strength and vibrancy of our Davenport community. Working together, we have accomplished a lot this year. Some highlights from 2013:
· Protections for urban workers and unpaid interns: Backed by our Davenport community, we’ve fought to get protections for precarious urban workers and unpaid interns at both Federal and Provincial levels. The Federal Urban Worker campaign has gained national media attention and thousands of supporters. The Provincial campaign to stop illegal unpaid internships was launched in October and is gaining momentum at Queen’s Park. · Holding the Federal and Provincial governments accountable: Unprecedented scandals in Ottawa and Queen’s Park continue to undermine people’s faith in responsible government and have cost us more than a billion dollars that could be
Perth-Dupont library and discuss means of expanding it. This meeting took place at time when the City’s Core Service Review was recommending reducing library hours and shrinking library funding. From this meeting we created a steering committee of residents who were committed to growing our neighbourhood library. This group has been busy drafting documents, holding community fundraisers, and outreaching to potential donors. This summer, a new opportunity presented itself – the development at 299 Campbell Avenue. In consultation with the steering committee, we pushed for a bigger library as part of this development proposal. This opportunity came as a result of the developers’ Section 37 contribution, resulting in 10,000 sq ft reserved specifically for library space. Even when including the 2nd floor of the existing Perth Dupont Library, this will be 4 times larger! The recent public meeting where this was presented was a very special and exciting moment, as residents, the devel-
spent to strengthen our public services. During the 2013 provincial budget consultations, a Davenport resident suggested the creation of a Financial Accountability Office based on the Parliamentary Budget Office in Ottawa. Jonah brought this idea to Queen’s Park and the NDP successfully pushed the provincial government to create a new Financial Accountability Office. We continue to fight for accountability to protect our public resources and to restore people’s faith in good representation and the possibility of good government. · Stopping unfair “Pay-to-Pay” fees: After hearing at the door about new unfair fees charged to residents to receive paper versions
oper, Toronto Public Library staff and my office came together. From this meeting, the proposal was brought forward at the November 18th meeting of The Toronto Library Board, where it was received with great response. The following step of this project requires a zoning change to allow for the mixed-use of the development proposal. This motion came forward at the Planning & Growth Committee on November 21st and was approved. This item received final approval for the required zoning changes at the most recent meeting of City Council on December 16th. I look forward to keeping residents informed as this exciting project moves forward. This library expansion project adds itself to the many other positive community benefits coming to the area, including: · The remodeling of the St. Luigi’s/ Perth School yard enhancements · New 5,000 sq ft community centre coming forward as part of the 362 Wallace development · Upgrades and remodeleling of Carlton Park
of their phone and internet bills, Andrew launched a “pay to pay” campaign to stop these fees that disproportionately hurt seniors and people on fixed-incomes. With the help of many Davenport volunteers, our petition received over 12,000 signatures. As a result of this made-in-Davenport campaign, the federal government agreed to end pay-to-pay fees in their recent Throne Speech. · Bike lanes: While the City continues to remove bike lanes, Jonah successfully pressured the provincial government to clarify the Highway Transportation Act and allow Toronto to build Contra-flow bike lanes (two-way bike lanes on one-way streets). As a result of our awareness campaign and petition, the government responded and our city is now moving ahead with the bike plan. Get ready to see contraflow lanes on our streets! · Post Office Saved in Davenport: After hearing of plans to close down Davenport’s only post office, Andrew led a community effort to show Canada Post how much our community and small businesses love our post office. As a result of the campaign, Canada Post committed to keeping a neighbourhood post office and our new one was up and running this year! · Action at the GE Hitachi Nuclear Facility: Since discovering that this facility was processing uranium right at 1025 Lansdowne Ave, we have worked hard with our community to take steps to ensure that the facility is safe and that the concerns
of constituents are addressed. We spoke up to request that the Ministry of Environment test soil in our community and to make sure that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission holds its public meetings in Toronto this year. · Strengthen Ontario’s Local Food Act: Jonah has brought our community’s passion for food justice to Queen’s Park and helped push for amendments to strengthen The Local Food Act. We continue to work with food activists in Davenport to put food first in Ontario. · West Toronto Community Legal Clinic: We heard from community members concerned that the West Toronto Community Legal Clinic was under threat of closure, and we organized to save the clinic. After weeks of petitioning and building community support, Legal Aid Ontario announced the clinic would remain open to serve our community. · Clean Trains Now: We continue to see incredible progress towards clean, electric trains in Davenport. Due to community pressure, the Transportation Minister is now talking about electrification as early as 2017 and Metrolinx has prioritized Air Rail Link electrification in their Big Move plan. Thank you for another great year in Davenport! We wish you a restful and happy holiday season and look forward to continuing to work with you in the new year! As always, please get in touch: you can reach Andrew at 416-654-8048 or andrew. email@example.com and Jonah at 416535-3158 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
06 The Bloordale Times Dec/Jan 2013/2014
Located at 255 Campbell Ave., Campbell park has one rink in which time is split between pleasure skating and hockey.
Located at 875 Dufferin St., just south of Dufferin and Bloor St., Dufferin Grove Park offers two rinks- one for pleasure skating and one for hockey.
Supervised pleasure skating hours Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesdays from 4 pm to 6 p.m. Hockey is played during all other hours. The rinkhouse offers a snack menu which includes items such as warm chili, mini pizzas and fresh baked cookies.
Pleasure skates run Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The rinkhouse offers an assortment of hot foods such as mini pizzas, soups, pancakes, cookies, hot chocolate, coffee and tea, all at reasonable prices.
WALLACE EMERSON Despite its name, Wallace Emersonâ€™s rink is not located at Wallace and Emerson Avenues. Instead, its two rinks can be found at 1260 Dufferin St., which is just a few steps south of Dupont and Dufferin Streets. Pleasure skates run Monday to Thursday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Shinny runs Monday to Wednesday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Bloordale Times Dec/Jan 2013/2014 07
New In Business
COLLEGE STREET HOME TO TORONTO’S NEWEST GLUTEN-FREE SHOP BY ADAM STROUD
The west end is now home to one of Toronto’s newest gluten-free bakeries. de Floured (1250 College St.) can be found in a narrow brick building nestled between St. Clarens Ave. and Margueretta St.. Krista Tobias, co-owner of de Floured, said the bakery specializes in affordable gluten-free baked goods. “It’s sweet and savory pastries, muffins and cookies,” she said, standing behind a glass case filled with treats. The store has only been open since September, but Tobias and her partner Chris Brown have been selling their gluten-free goodies at various farmer’s markets going on four years. Tobias said that she got the idea to start her own gluten-free bakery because she was not satisfied with the current market for gluten-free foods. “I’ve been gluten-free for like 10 years. If you don’t cook the food yourself, its all frozen options, so we thought we’d do something fresh,” she said.
Most of the food at de Floured is made from locally grown organic ingredients, including fresh butter and eggs, said Tobias. “We make everything from scratch,” she said. A gluten-free diet is very important for some individuals who have Celiac disease, an allergy to gluten found in wheat, barley and rye, according to information provided by the Mayo Clinic, a not-for-profit medical practice and research group based in Rochester, Minnesota. Michelle Lynch, a first time customer of de Floured, said she has a gluten-intolerance and was thrilled when a friend told her about the bakery. “My friend actually sent me a link to the blog and I hadn’t heard of it before this. I was delighted when I heard it because there’s not many gluten-free places around,” she said. Lynch’s friend Joanne Dunne said she isn’t on a gluten-free diet but still enjoys the quality of the baked goods. “My mom is celiac so I eat a lot of gluten free products, but its really good compared to others that I’ve tasted,” Dunne said.
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Located on College St., just east of Lansdowne Ave., de Floured is now Bloordale’s first all gluten-free shop. Photo by Adam Stroud
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The Bloordale Times Dec/Jan 2013/2014 09
Community Contributions ~ Health & Wellness
POEM BY BRENT WELLS: ERUPTION SPURS MY DORMANT EARTH Eruption Spurs my dormant earth, A natural process hardly worth the torching and destruction Of those gathered at my feet: the senseless scorching of the mountain trees That would have otherwise made fine paper; the brutal maiming of abandoned babes Who will never know the joys of liquor; and sicker yet I feel Upon the ashen curtain’s slow reveal, of certain charcoaled cotton fields Of which I fear: Now where shall the slaves toil? And oh! How my heart does bleed At these, my own atrocities, And oh! How I wish My surging Blood Was Less Than Nine Hundred Degrees. When magma Cools, the cool Dark rocks trace Memories of ancient Earth, recall instances Of instant birth, of islands Glowing in the stifling smoke Of a thousand taxicabs in park, With circus strongmen tugging at New continents; And so I billow on, Peppering smokestack towns with toxic Ash, quaking landmine hills on bear-trap Lands, knowing well that to reverse into the Dark would call for backward turns down one Way lanes; so let blood turn sediment to seed — Eruption, spur my dormant earth upon its threadbare axes.
ASK YOUR BLOORDALE NUTRITIONIST AND NATUROPATH DR. JENNIFER BAER BY DR. JENNIFER BAER
The End of Year Resolution – A New Tradition This year, why not forget about New Year’s resolutions - and opt for a Year-End Resolution! With just a month left before the holidays (with their implicit rush, stress and temptations to drink and eat to excess) - why not resolve to have a healthy year end? I’m not suggesting you skip the holiday parties – simply work on everything in between. With any resolution (aka: goal), start with something small, realistic and attainable. This allows you to have success and build confidence, and encourages you to set a subsequent goal. Each
success increases confidence, and goals get bigger and bolder! There are lots of great places to start with a year-end resolution – pick one that speaks to you! Some ideas: Start the day right: have a healthy breakfast each day that includes some complex c a r bohydrate, fibre and protein – fruit with plain Greek yoghurt & nuts/seeds, oatmeal w/ diced apple/pear & yoghurt/nuts, high fibre toast w/ a poached egg and steamed spinach. Skip the sugary juice and opt for caffeine after food (not first thing). Snack m i d - m or n i n g & mid-afternoon: Take 1-2 healthy snacks to work to fill in the time between meals. This is when our energy, concentration (and resolve) are most likely to take a dip – and subsequently
when we tend to reach for caffeine and sweets. Strike preemptively! Take fruit & 10-15 almonds for your morning snack, and some veggies with hummus or high fibre crackers with almond butter or celery stalks with a bit of tuna, for an afternoon snack. To make it a snap – prepare 5 days of snacks in preportioned containers on Sunday night and take to work Monday morning – done! Take leftovers for lunch: As the temperature drops, I get excited about batch cooking! Every week or two I plan to make a big (double recipe) soup, casserole or chili - and freeze it in pre-portioned containers. This makes for easy, hot and satisfying weekday lunches and dinners. Short on time or skills? Buy a jar of vegetarian soup and add
baby spinach, some crumbled feta and beans/lentils/leftover shredded chicken as you heat it up – instant meal! Wishing each of you a joyful holiday season! For more healthy snack and lunch ideas (and how to pack them), stay tuned for a workshop with local (and online) litter-less lunch shop – Fenigo.
Jennifer Baer, is your local Naturopathic Doctor, trained chef and Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She enthusiastically promotes wellness and prevention through a nutritious diet, positive attitude and active lifestyle. For more recipes and information about her training, programs and services, please visit: http://www.drjenniferbaer.com
Dr. Jennifer Baer, licensed nutritionist and naturopath.
10 The Bloordale Times Dec/Jan 2013/2014
Daniel Faria Gallery
November 28 - january 18, 13/14 Chris Curreri: Medusa
188 St Helens Avenue
NOVEMBER 01 - JANUARY 11, 13/14 Geoffrey Farmer In her 1977 book On Photography Susan Sontag pronounced “to collect photographs is to collect the world.” This statement resonates with the work of Geoffrey Farmer who excavates multifarious cultural histories, from the life of Frank Zappa and his Mothers of Invention, photographs in Life magazine between 1935 and 1985, Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame or Nabokov’s 1962 novel Pale Fire, to the figure of Aloysius Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street. Rather than existing in isolation these stories, or histories, are intertwined with social and political events, music, visual art, film and happenstance through atmospheric and multifaceted installations combining video, film, sculptural elements, found objects, and sound. The exhibitionary moment becomes a magical space to tackle larger themes of the dialectical relationship between reality and artifice, how we understand our existence, knowledge and power.
Curreri’s new portfolio of photographs, “Untitled”, focuses on the materiality of clay as it shifts between states of form and formlessness. For the past year, Curreri has been taking weekly classes at the Gardiner Museum of ceramic art in Toronto. Each week, he photographed the students’ wet, discarded projects that accrued in a mound during the class, and the recycling of this clay through a machine that compressed and extruded it as fresh, reuseable material. Some of Curreri’s prints feature a subtle solarization effect: a photographic phenomenon in which the image is wholly or partially reversed in tone by exposing the print to light during the development process. This process underscores a correlation between the photographic darkroom and the pottery studio by emphasizing the brief moment when the latent image is still malleable and has not yet been fixed to the photographic paper. A faceless cement sculpture based on the iconography of Medusa contrasts with the “Untitled” portfolio. Ac-
cording to Greek myth, gazing directly at Medusa’s terrifying countenance would turn the onlooker to stone. For Curreri, Medusa represents the unconscious – that which one keeps from sight, which one fearfully represses. He sees the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious as being analogous to the relationship between form and formlessness. That which is formless can only be experienced as disturbing – even shocking or petrifying – because it undoes the categories by which our conscious experience is structured. This rupture queers the categories of our upbringing, our society, our education and our habits. In this way, formlessness, while being unsettling, can also be experienced as liberating. It is the realm of potential. Chris Curreri lives and works in Toronto. He obtained his MFA in photography at Bard College after completing a BFA in photography at Ryerson University. Curreri’s recent shows include a solo exhibition, Something, Something at the University of Toronto Art Centre as part of Toronto’s annual CONTACT Photography festival.
1518 Dundas Street West
November 30 – January 16, 13/14 The Essence of Human Life is a collection of art objects and experiments, which investigate the transformative essence of art by employing sweat as not just a symbol for work, but for artwork. Ultimately demonstrating the artist as a filter, The Essence of Human Life examines the roles that transformation, perception and evaluation play in defining aesthetic experience. Waters’ methodology helps to illustrate both the conscious and unconscious interpretive functions involved in the creation and appreciation of art, pointing toward the subjective limitations
inherent to both intention and experience. The resulting work, as slight as it may seem, is meant to balance on the brink of what is and is not art. The ensuing qualitative judgement of whether it stinks or not is up to the viewer to decide. Robert Waters’ practice explores an ongoing evolution and the conditions of being human in post-industrial society. Focusing on biological limitation and our desire as humans for transcendence, his artworks concentrate on the human body as it relates physically and cognitively to ideas of control and freedom.
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The Bloordale Times Dec/Jan 2013/2014 11
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