Featuring work by artists Mark Laliberte, Liz Magic Laser and Nikki Woolsey, “That's not a run in your stocking, it's a hand on your leg.” is the first of a three-part exhibition entitled Your Undoing curated by The Venn Diagram (Kristin Weckworth and Jon Davies). We will also present a work by Nadia Belerique as a component of each installment.
We extracted the title, “That’s not…” from a poem by Frank O’Hara in order to suggest the uncanny forms of embodiment on display in this small exhibition of work in sculpture and installation, collage and video. Collectively the work evokes a kind of double take as everyday objects and recognizable images perform in unexpected and unsettling ways. The works draw attention to their own sutures or seams, which link seemingly disparate components into a new, as-yet-unimagined unity. They also spark a certain degree of shock, particularly as they remind us of the fragility of bodies and materials in flux. Liz Magic Laser’s video Mine (2009) stars a remotely operated surgical tool, which was used to penetrate and rifle through the contents of the artist’s purse, as if confusing the innards of her social life as a consumer with her physical body’s viscera. Nikki Woolsey’s new suite of sculptures draw out hitherto invisible personalities and affecting relationships from pieces of detritus – chunks of foam, wood and glass, as well as shells, sponges and fabric, some manipulated with plaster, cement and other materials – presented as-is or in deceptively simple arrangements. Mark Laliberte’s ongoing The Simple Sampler project collages fragments of the line drawings found in children’s colouring books, creating totem-like stacks of disembodied parts. Despite appearing as deformed mutants, the intimate familiarity of certain details of these figures – the legs and feet in particular – ground the collages in the familiar lexicon of cartoons and the joyful violence of childhood. All cheaply produced, the various books’ paper stocks entropically age and yellow differently, giving the collages a range of colour gradations. Similarly, Nadia Belerique’s venetian blind both performs its intended function in the Narwhal Projects window and subtly draws our attention to the somehow poignant variances in the most mundane manufactured products.
Mark Laliberte is a visual artist, designer, writer, curator, and soundmaker with an MFA from the University of Guelph. He has exhibited and performed extensively in galleries across Canada and the US, and currently resides in Toronto, where he is the managing editor and designer of Carousel.
Liz Magic Laser is a New York-based artist, whose works have involved collaborations with actors, dancers, surgeons, and motorcycle gang members. A graduate of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and Columbia University’s MFA program, Laser has exhibited her work in the US and internationally including in Greater New York 2010 at PS 1 and Performa 11 (NYC).
Nikki Woolsey is a Toronto-based artist working in sculpture, performative installation and photography, often in collaboration with other artists like Cameron Lee (Non-Mom, Double Double Land) and CN Tower Liquidation (Theory of Condensation, AGO). Since 2009, her work has been exhibited or performed in numerous Toronto venues, and was acquired for the Soho House, Toronto’s collection.
Nadia Belerique is a photo-based artist investigating materiality and immateriality through the illusion of the photographic image, which is often interrupted in her work by sculptural objects. She received her MFA from the University of Guelph and has recently exhibited at such venues as Diaz Contemporary, XPACE, The Drake Hotel, and the Daniel Faria Gallery in Toronto.