Friday, March 29, 2019

OCADU Gleaners circa 2019

Artist: Ines Scepanovic
Exhibit runs: April 3 - June 28, 2019
CWSE Hallway Gallery, 2nd Floor OISE 
252 Bloor Street West, Toronto

This site-specific installation uses imagery from Francois Millet's 1857 painting, The Gleaners, which depicts three impoverished farm workers collecting grain left behind after the harvest. The scale of Millet's original painting was 84cm X 112cm, a monumental size that was unprecedented in its depiction of themes of labour and poverty. The work was met with negative criticism and suspicion by the upper classes who saw this work as a glorification of the working class.

Originally located by the Sessional Faculty office at OCADU, this installation repeats, in varying sizes, multiple drawings of these three figures from The Gleaners. The figures are representative of the 77 sessional instructors currently employed at the Faculty of Art. As is the case with most Canadian universities, sessional faculty are precariously employed at OCADU. The university prides itself on hiring practicing artists, and yet arguably fails to foster an employment environment that encourages their art practices to flourish.

Ines Scepanovic has always been compelled to use visual language to express and challenge important ideas. Before entering the BFA program at OCADU, Ines’ focus often lay elsewhere. But, she has always made it a priority to carve out a space for her art practice. As an undergraduate and graduate student in Political Science, and then as a law student and lawyer, Ines variously studied art at the Ottawa School of Art, at the Faculty of Continuing Education at McGill University, and at the Toronto School of Art. The head of a single-parent family, she is currently pursuing her BFA at OCAD University on a part-time basis.

Motivated by an egalitarian belief that art can enrich us all, the focus of Ines’ art practice has been to make work that engages viewers outside the gallery setting. Capitalizing on the magic that happens when one comes upon artwork in a non-traditional or unexpected place, Ines has staged temporary installations in Canada and abroad since 1998.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Gallery 1313 Window Box Gallery Parable of the Talents

Parable of the Talents
Stephan Goslinski
Curated by Carpos Collective
Opens March 13 for the month in the Window Box Gallery, Gallery 1313, 1313 Queen Street West, Toronto. Wed-Sat 1-6 pm.

‘Talent’ as an idea has fallen from its pedestal in recent years, I think for good reason. When we praise talent, we often abstract the hundreds of hours of discipline that it took to learn how to create well, making the talented one an other in our eyes—something beyond our reach, at once prized and privileged. In my experience, this view of talent leads only to apathy and jealousy. The humility of discipline tempers both of these, and breaks the distance between apathy and excellence into discrete units of hard work, measured in days and hours, sweat and tears.
However, just as I don’t believe in talent as a miracle cure, I don’t believe in discipline as internal combustion. Both of them come from somewhere; there is something that plants a seed and something that encourages us to water it. 
As its name suggests, this piece is concerned primarily with talent, but at its heart, it’s just as much about redemption. The crops will fail. The glass will break. The pen will run dry. In spite of it all, he who started a good work will bring it to its completion. Art is the privilege of helping to pick up the pieces.