The latest special project by The Venn Diagram (a curatorial partnership between Narwhal Projects Director Kristin Weckworth and Oakville Galleries Acting Curator Jon Davies) was recently reviewed by Terence Dick of Akmibo. Featuring work by artists Nadia Belerique, Mark Clintberg, Kristie MacDonald, Mungo Thomson, “I think you’re wonderful and so does everyone else.” is the closing chapter of The Venn Diagram’s three-part exhibition, Your Undoing.
“I THINK YOU’RE WONDERFUL AND SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE” AT G GALLERY, TORONTO
By Terence Dick
Reviewing an exhibition is sometimes like solving a puzzle, and, despite what a guy like this might say about the value of art, dozens of Sudoku-obsessed subway riders and I think that puzzle solving might just be an end in itself. In fact, a group show can often turn into a round of aesthetic Clue where one has to figure out how the disparate suspects come together and just what their underlying motives might be. From the individual works to the exhibition title to the hints peppered through the curatorial text, a case can usually be made, but some cases are tougher than others.
The key to making sense of G Gallery’s cryptically titled “I think you’re wonderful and so does everyone else” is found in the nom de plume of curatorial duo Jon Davies and Kristin Weckworth. As The Venn Diagram, they complete a trilogy of exhibitions grouped under the title Your Undoing, united by titles taken from Frank O’Hara’s 1962 poem Lines for the Fortune Cookies, and conclude with the head as their central motif (previous instalments were focused on feet and guts). As a model for illustrating a range of possible relations, a Venn diagram is a helpful tool for considering the various overlapping concerns of the four artists on display because they don’t all work in the same group or follow the same trajectory, but rub up against one another in a variety of exclusive ways.
Mark Clintberg’s fading hair models provide a handy starting point as they foreground the face/head/self, but are on their way to oblivion as they continue to fade in the light. Mungo Thompson’s flicker-fast video of Time magazine covers turns the faces of history into a stream of shifting identities that moves too rapidly to assess. Both artists destabilize identity and in doing so overlap with Kristie MacDonald’s replicas of paper detritus that are indistinguishable from the originals. Which leaves Nadia Belerique’s installation of copper pipes and metal footprints as the final piece of the puzzle. However, I suppose I’d be ruining the fun if I told you how it all added up.