Saturday, 27 October 2012

Season of The Word

Language is unavoidable, how obvious… but this week it is particularly so, and seems to be a deliberate theme in Windsor art-academia. Of course I am speaking of BookFest 2012, which for the most part I am not attending due to a viral upper respiratory malfunction. Nonetheless, there was the Messagio Galore take XII performance. During the BookFest panel discussion “WORD to IMAGE” at Artcite Inc., with Amin Rehman’s exhibition "A is for…"  as a backdrop, Alana Bartol performed as “Slow News”, which was a gesture in the slowing down the flow of news headlines to the bodily speed of handwriting and listening through a tin can. The one ten park windows are adorned with new installations. Doubtless, I am missing something... only reiterating what has been directly at hand, of late. Does this mean I am lazy?
I must say I was disappointed in the panel discussion, though it was a worthy effort. I find that such structured public discussions, in general, only gloss over the surface of the proposed topics.  It takes an hour to state the platform, to situate the “kinds” of things that everyone has assembled to discuss. After this, just as a discussion begins to unravel, the time limit has lapsed, the audience disseminates.
Perhaps to insinuate a “kind” of thought is the point, and I am taking it for granted because digging, unfolding, rearranging, is a second-nature habit for me (though fleeting and often ineffable, especially linguistically) and might not be for others. This disappointment I speak of, is not necessarily a criticism, because I myself also love to generalize, and I also love failure.  I have acquired two degrees by intuitively skimming through books, dropping names, referencing ideas that I am drawn to but have no thorough understanding of.  For this I was rewarded with scholarships, good grades, praise. I get rewarded for misunderstanding? I only sense I understand something-or-other, approximately, maybe… but then again, my learned trade isn’t all text, it is mostly doing, thinking, responding, taking, throwing away… battling with time and matter.
Or, perhaps this aforementioned disappointment speaks to the innate difficulty of language itself, its limits, its incestuous self-love… Even for academics and poets, who devote their lives to the activity (with the exception of bodily and emotional priorities: their self-love), it is difficult to articulate and extricate ideas.  People are quite powerless to language. The mechanical mental investment that is required to make something that is beyond the self, and beyond the word, into something communicable to a group of people - is immense.  
Also there is the decision of whether or not to begin the investment at all… What’s the use? Failure is certain (or at least as certain as anything can be). What’s next? Such is the labor of naming, of negotiating between the realm of inner self-awareness/intuition/enlightenment and the realm of collective facts/known systems/languages.  In my unreliable opinion, the two realms are actually interchangeable, like an equation, and behave accordingly. Hence the reluctance, or rather the inability to… what, say what you mean? The moment a word escapes, it is on the other side of the equation, referencing nothing but itself, equating with its own reflection.  [I don’t quite know what I’m talking about anymore… Do I sound convincing enough? Do I get an A?]

But I sense this is not unlike the self-referential nature of painting, of images.

Amin Rehman’s exhibition A is for… at Artcite Inc.  (October 19 – November 17, 2012) is a fitting example.  This kind of equated duality and conflict can be seen in the embodiment of the juxtaposition of conflicting phrases.  The sets of phrases, as narratives, reference a kind of battle – with/in history, with/in meaning (what history? what meaning?).   

“we just see more of the
you have
same yet we continue
the watches
to do the same
we have
why should not we leave
the time
they continue making

the case for staying”

“there is no intuitive
when the head
certainty until you
is rotten
burn; if you desire
it affects
this certainty
the whole body
sit down on the fire”

[above are transcriptions of two vinyl lettering pieces, not true to font, appearance, or function.]

Amin Remin, from A is for... (Image courtesy of Artcite Inc.) [more here]

Amin Remin, from A is for... (Image courtesy of Artcite Inc.)  [more here]
The works in this exhibition, although of different media (vinyl lettering, neon sign, encaustic painting, and crisp sculptural plastic letters), generally function in the same way. The words, the letters, the meaning of the phrases, is transformed throughout the process of reading.  There is a point in reading the work where it makes no sense, the physicality of what the letters are made of takes over, just as you realize the collision of meanings, a kind of unrecognition where “everything” falls apart... time without past or future, the “=” sign.  In my experience this psychosis lasts only for a split moment, due to the systems of language - including social composure (the wearing of clothes, keeping oneself upright, etc.).  Maintaining a norm includes this automatic evaluation of whether or not something is worth emitting an emotional response for (emotional responses also have a language)… And most things around us generally are defined as not worth the trouble of feeling. This is taught to us since infanthood, in order to survive through society, to learn how to function, and it becomes instinctive, natural. At the moment when something that's intrinsic to this constructed system falls apart, we immediately and unwillingly identify as a computational malfunction, and language glazes over. Need I elaborate on the value of computational malfunctions? I am not sure if I can, and I feel at this time that this is not the place. 
Like the aforementioned panel discussion, this blog post too follows certain time limits, social constraints, and personal insecurities.   I am even wondering if this is worth posting at all… Well, what the hell, I’ve invested enough time typing this up, even if it says nothing.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

jwcurry: the UNWANTED's, and MESSAGIO GALORE: Take XII, Oct. 18-31 2012

Stills from Messagio Galore: Take XII performance. (jwcurry, performing his score)
Sitting in the second row, twice I felt a droplet of spittle extend its utterance to my belated chin.
No written text can communicate the ferment which occurred on the evening of Sunday October 21, 2012 at Common Ground Gallery.   This was a highly under-attended, singular performance.  The quartet QUATUOR GUALUOR (jwcurry, Alastair Larwill, Georgia Mathewson, Brian Pirie) traveled to Windsor from Ottawa and said, sang, yelped, mimicked, acted, danced twenty-nine poems/compositions/renditions, ranging from Kurt Schwitters to Frank Zappa tojwcurry himself.
There aren’t enough entries in Thesaurus for “sound” to communicate the swell of vibratory flux, flexing and shape-shifting upon the cochlea.  How incommunicable I feel, with Thesaurus dangling from the keyboard keys. Language cracked and putrefied and I am still picking up the eggshells.  My own poetic trials are dwarfed in comparison, should I resolve to desist? 

[Film documentation unavailable at this time.]

The Messagio Galore: take XII program (cover).

The Messagio Galore: take XII program

The Messagio Galore: take XII program

The Messagio Galore: take XII program

QUATUOR GUALUOR, performing their scores. (L2R: Georgia Mathewson, jwcurry, Alastair Larwill, Brian Pirie)

            Among the audience were jwcurry’s UNWANTEDS and their handwritten dilapidated tales.  Usually existing as nomadic graffiti personalities on other people’s places, this is the first time these “prints” have ever been shown in a gallery setting holding their own ground, together with their biographies.   Their derelict contortions appease, amuse, and astonish, and their painted life span will be murdered with paint kill on Halloween (of course), the erasure being not unlike the cycles of graffiti markings in the outer world. 
These characters have set up a set of circumstances, following linguistic rules with handwritten familiarity, witty additives, and a glaze of syntax we all know and love.  The sound poetry performance, in this context, shifted and shuffled everything in its site, like a ventilating collage in phona-scapes (at least for those who were there)…

Installation in progress. jwcurry preparing his stencils.

UNWANTED's stencils (only 1 stencil per image!). Installation in progress.

jwcurry, printing the UNWANTED's onto Common Ground walls.

Meet Chris Heidie, UNWANTED
Meet Jan Treblinka, UNWANTED.

Monday, 15 October 2012

INTERVIEW - one ten park: a working space

external view of one ten park, with Oct.2-22 2012 window installations by Collette Broeders and Susan Gold. Image courtesy of Susan Gold.
On Friday September 21, 2012, one ten park: a working space (110 Park St. W.) held an opening reception for a brand new studio space in the core of downtown Windsor. The space is hosted by four local artists, who are all of different age groups, backgrounds, and methods of working. They are Alana Bartol, Collette Broeders, Susan Gold, and Arturo Herrera.  

Currently on view in the one ten park windows are Collette Broeders’ “Synchronicity No. 5”, which is a drawing that came as a result of meditative performative gestures, and Susan Gold’s Persistence of Insincerity 2010 -2012”, which questions the gloss of appearances and authenticity.  The two works are installed October 2 – 22.  The subsequent installation will reflect discourse on the existence and function of literature, as it will be in concurrence with the annual BookFest Windsor (October 25 -27).

view from the entrance. Susan Gold's (foreground) and Arturo Herrera's (background) spaces.

Each artist has an area sanctioned for the pursuit of their own experiments, procedures, and assembly, making the entire space a testing ground for ideas prior to distribution into the world. There are no walls separating the work areas, making it feel homogenous, yet each artist’s zone has its own distinctive ambiance.

While Arturo Herrera’s space is riddled with paint paraphernalia, photographs, props, lighting equipment, and hat contraptions, Alana Bartol’s mannequin guards her collections of nature-stuffs, among pinned-up reference materials, books, and a grassy Ghillie suit beside the photographic aftermaths of its performance.    While Susan Gold’s area is decorated with reproductions of flora and fauna, clad with an artifice of herbaria wallpaper, Collette Broeders’ space has a transcendent methodical aura, intending on form, mapping, and placement.  In between, the lines begin to blur.  Is this a communal garbage can? Whose box is this? Whose bag is that?
Arturo Herrera's space.

I approached the ‘group’ with a few matters of curiosity, as follows.  [Alana and Collette were unfortunately not in the position of leisure to indulge my curiosity at this time.]

Sasha Opeiko: Someone asked me recently if one ten park is an artist collective. My response was that you are not a collective, but individual artists simply sharing a space.  Was that a reasonable response, and how do you feel about the possibility of that kind of confusion occurring in the future, in relation to your own practice?

Arturo Herrera: We have been called different names ever since we got together. The most popular is a gallery. I don't think I feel influenced in this respect by the public.

Susan Gold:  Yes, we are four artists sharing studio space. But one ten park is more than a business arrangement and is a developing concept. But right from the beginning we noticed shared needs and desires among us. We all needed dedicated studio space to develop our art practice. We all liked the idea of being on street level in the downtown core. All of us have affinities in our practice to installation work, process, and community arts. (None of us could afford the space by ourselves.)

SO: On a similar note – what kind of changes, if any, have you noticed in your creative processes now that you are sharing a workspace? Is this the kind of shared work environment you’ve encountered time and time again in the past, or is this a brand new venture for you? What is so particular about this specific conglomeration of people and ideas?

AH: Having just earned my BFA, I really enjoyed working in a room with others. The shared space I think is more a convenience than wanting to share. I mean, I do enjoy being with others, but I think we all got together for many reasons; and one important one was that we couldn't afford the space by ourselves.

SG: We also have noticed skill sets among us that move us along in exciting ways. It seems one ten park has a life of its own and we are all part of it. 

Changes in creative process are notable.  First there is always the influence of the space and particular possibilities of the space that inform my work immediately. I am normally influenced by the potentials of the space and architectural details of the space. The high walls are number one. The window possibilities. The light from the windows. The cornices and funky wallpaper and framing on one of my walls. The skills and ideas of others working in the room. The space and situation has and will undoubtedly influence and stimulate my work. 

Susan Gold's space.
SO: It is evident that the four of you feel more connected to the general public in this space. It is a prime location, lots of foot traffic…   Although you have individual work areas, there are no walls or barriers physically portioning off your space. What is the role of privacy in your work, and do you ever feel, in this new space, that you are lacking your own walls?

AH: I think all depends: at the beginning I was worried about stepping onto others space when I work with my photo shoots or with models... I require lots of walking space. But as we got to know each other the invisible walls disappeared. 

SG:  Loving the space and not dividing it with walls was one thing that we immediately agreed on.  But the need for some working space and storage space we could call our own was arranged easily. We also know that we couldn’t actually work in a showcase or a store. So one ten park is not a gallery but rather a working space.  Loving the windows! And immediately wanting to install work in them was another thing that was immediate!
We then had to make decisions on the clean up, the painting, miscellaneous purchases, announcements and signage - down to the font and punctuation. Some of these decisions were made easily. Some took scores of emails – but reaching consensus is not a quick and easy process. We kind of enjoy working through everyone’s comments. 

SO:   (to SG) I suspect such negotiations aid in the makeshift definition of personal boundaries as well.  Making known and extending your comfort zone/desires for the health of immediate neighbourhood and coexistence, perhaps allows for overlaps and intersections with others, which allow for a kind of partial immersion in the comfort zones/desires of your neighbours.   You speak of negotiating practical matters, such as signage and purchases, but such mundane necessity is part of creative discourse as well.  They are nonetheless physical points of connection between one person and another (eye contact, fingertip nexus of digital correspondence, time invested in acknowledging mundane questions), without which other, more creatively profound connections would not be very probable.  That is my own intuitive tangent from what I think you are talking about, when you mention the enjoyment of working through everyone’s comments…. However, returning to the related topic of privacy, and perhaps the necessity or unavoidability of private experience…

There is a Boris Groys essay titled “The Loneliness of the Project”, which discusses ideas around the insistence on project-based art practices (the proposal toward an end, and allotted times to achieve that end).  One detail of this essay references the tendency for creators to isolate themselves, once they have secured the funding or support to complete a project, such as an exhibition or a residency.  This kind of isolation is necessary and socially acceptable, because without investing every waking moment toward the project and temporarily suspending obligations to friends, family, and other activities, the project – deemed as a worthy effort for society – would not be realized.   How do you respond to this line of thought? Do you yourself function on a project basis?  Does one ten park allow you to feel less isolated during the rigorous time of production?

Alana Bartol's space, from Collette's vantage point.

SG: Role of privacy.  For me that remains to be known. I have never worked in a studio situation with other artists. But my husband and I have always shared studio space successfully. I know I need total privacy at some times to be completely absorbed, alone with my thoughts, and not self conscious of external judgment – I guess that is what I would mean by “free”. But I find myself alone in the space often and I think I will come to feel alone – with the others – to have the situation work successfully for me. On the other hand, I have always found it productive to work off the productivity and energy of others working. And that is definitely happening at one ten park. So there you have a productive contradiction. And there are many in creative work!
So although this space represents different things in each of our practices, there are things in common that are making this an exciting project.

AH: Previously I was in a different studio space up the street, and it was a 200 square feet room with a large window. I felt too isolated, I felt desperately in finding a new space as soon as possible. But I think it depends on the project you are working on. Isolation is good for painting.

SO:  Ditto.  As an aside to the previous question, what is the rhythm of the studio like, now that you have more or less settled in the space?
Collette Broeder's space

AH: Hmmm, at first I wanted to keep track of who was coming in or out just so I didn't interfere on anybody. But then I just didn't care. As a matter of fact I am thinking I would like to build the traditional studio walls that photographers used to use in the early 1900s so light would not come in inside the studio... Like a laberinto! 

SO:  Have you connected with any other shared studio spaces in the Windsor area?  And if not, is that a possibility you would be interested in and for what reason?  Do you intend to form or maintain relationships with other arts organizations in the area (who)?

AH: Yes, but so far I don't think we have socialized too much. Just recently we had a walking tour during Artcite's summer art festival.

SG: We of course love being connected to the “general public”, downtown street life and especially to our immediate neighbours: Artcite Inc., Broken City Lab, Print House, Workers Action Centre. We have no immediate plans for formal collaboration but informally we are already linked into possibilities for downtown cultural developments.

SO:  Lastly, what are you working on now?

SG: What am I working on now? I am developing installation material and possibilities for a project, Decorating the End of the World.  The work is a little divided between my Nobel studio, one ten park and my work space at home. But I am gradually pulling it together for the May 2013 exhibition at the Mackintosh. There are several exhibitions I am involved in in 2013 and 2014 so the work is not isolated to one exhibition but is developing organically (and undirected) as well. I am traveling to Norway in October to gather additional material for future work.                      
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
This interview occurred a couple of weeks ago.  Susan Gold is currently in Norway.

Arturo Herrera is currently preparing for a wearable art exhibition (STRUTT, Nov. 3 2012) at Niagara Artists Centre.  During my last visit a few days ago, he showed me that he has started a new project, sculpting enlarged peppercorns (approx. 1” diameter) out of clay, organically responding to these creations and pondering on what to do with them once he has a quantity.  

Copyright Alana Bartol. Photo credit Arturo Herrera.
Alana Bartol: will be doing a Skills for Goods workshop on Tuesday, October 30th at 7:00 at Broken City Lab (411 Pelissier St.) on how to create your own ghillie suit. (visit  or  for more information)

"Forms of Awareness: Ghillie Suit, is a series that reveals and examines the prevailing set of aesthetic and environmental concerns in North American suburban communities… Through public walks and "un-camouflagings" in city and suburban streets, parks, fields, suburban neighbourhoods, new housing developments and naturalized spaces in urban areas, Ghillie inspires many reactions including fear, awe, confusion, anger, wonder and laughter… The ghillie suit is traditionally used by military snipers and hunters to camouflage the human body, allowing the wearer to blend into various 'natural' landscapes such as woods, prairies and swamplands. As Ghillie, I investigate the shape shifting abilities of the human body… while also questioning our assumptions about gender.”

Collette Broeders:  "What I'm currently working on.  Although I have many sort of ongoing projects, my main focus has been performative drawings such as the one you see currently at the one ten windows.  A little about the work follows. 

The series of Synchronicity drawings investigate symmetrical, repetitive motion using my body as an instrument to form a rhythmic pattern of line.   I execute the drawing in a hypnotic tempo and meditative state that manifests itself into physical form to unite the viewer with the intimacy of the experience.   The drawings are performed in private and public space and examine the limitations of the body with continuous motion over several hours until a state of exhaustion is reached.

The drawings begin with intense spontaneous gestures within a small space that replicate, synchronize and divide and gradually swell and burst to the outwardly extended body.  Like a cell dividing, the internal self-generating energy of the process is bilaterally and equally distributed as the image grows.  Ultimately, the drawing becomes a study of contrast showing the peaceful-chaotic, soothing-painful and joyful-desperate moments of the performance."

CB adds a story:
"When we first moved into one ten park, construction immediately began at the apartments above us.  There were several vaults placed within the studio making and scaffolding on the outer building surrounding one ten park.  We decided to make use of the surrounding scaffolding.  Arturo had painted several images that led to the door of one ten park and in July, I completed a synchronicity performance drawing on the scaffolding that allowed the community to engage in the public performance.  The drawing was eventually dismantled by the construction workers and may be in circulation at another construction site which is sort of interesting too!"

 Synchronicity No.4: 

Sunday, 14 October 2012


Q: Hmm. Why am I doing this alone again?
A. I didn't know who else would be interested, who I would also get along with, but I had to take action and begin something new with or without partnerships.  But, how narcissistic and uninteresting. "contemporary art life and studio practices of Windsor,ON+area (as per Sasha Opeiko)"? Who do I think I am? Let's be realistic and remember that I have my own artistic practice and research to take care of (more narcissism), and there is a lot of ground to cover, sometimes I won't be able to be in three places at once.

I can do this on my own, but the frequency of posts and coverage may suffer.  If you want to contribute, and if I can rely on you to be consistent, present, excited... contact me with a sample of your writing [[]]- a review, an interview, or even an opinionated letter of interest.... The mandate of this blog is to make obvious that Windsor art practices are connected to the rest of the world.  There are 'outside' artists coming through, and Windsorites exhibit and research globally. We function in frameworks that extend outside of the border-city motor-city conversation. I intend to search for artists in Windsor, but also artists who have left Windsor. You will not get paid for your writing, but this is an excellent excuse to meet/seek artists and go to more exhibitions.

To come this week: a feature article on one ten park: a working space.
To come soon: comments on Art Gallery of Windsor exhibitions (Kika Thorne, Robert Houle, John Scott)
To come soon: comments on 48 Hour Flickfest (Oct. 19-21) + feature interview with filmmaker Jarrod Ferris.
To come soon: comments on a sound poetry event at Common Ground:

Maybe to come soon: (if I can make it to D-city in time) comments on Engage at Whitdel Arts and Vision in a Cornfield at MOCAD

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Mike Marcon: INLAND EMPIRES, Sept.7-Oct.13 2012


Inland Empires opening reception Sept. 7, 2012. Image courtesy of Artcite Inc.
            Mike Marcon’s exhibition Inland Empires is a set of seven installation pieces inciting discourse on topics of national identity.
 Although I possess a Canadian citizenship, I cannot relate to the legends and ancestry of the Canadian frontier that I suspect many other Canadians do possess, because I did not learn anything about Canadian history until the 7th grade, which appropriately coincided with a new school, assimilation into the main class from humiliating ESL segregation (i.e. assimilation into the English language), and a pubescent romanticized longing for something other than the social and familial nightmares of the (then) present, all of which conglomerated with the discovery of “the Canadian explorer” as something desirable, strong, masculine, and factually epic.   
Arbitrary vision of Jacques Cartier
Lacking a backbone and seeing myself as a meek female,  meeker still from my status as an immigrant, I was magnetized to the superhuman strength of the wild explorers – the solitary travelers superior to the rest of mankind, yet heroically representing the summit of human vitality against the elements, who like soldiers would be claimed by a country for countryhood, as if colonized through sacrifice.
Stills from Come and See (1985).
The feeling of romance was also founded in pre-immigration childhood encounters with exotic literature such as “The Call of the Wild” by Jack London, and other such exoticized Russian translations about Canadian wilderness.  One story described a man who had to eat frogs to survive (I hope I am not mistaking a Russian story for a Canadian one… but either way, my memory must have lumped them together for similarities in behavioral tendencies).   Gruesome and uncanny, these stories spoke of valor, endurance, and tragedy, and in my mind were also chronologically and thematically paired with socialist WWII films and stories about partisans and comrades roasting on the battlefield, smelling of pork (as a veteran imparted to my third grade class). I digress.
All of the above is an afterthought – a distribution of my own weight, the prelude to which has little to do with the western frontier or the WW’s.  My initial experience with this work rests on formal, material, and spatial aspects, such as the compression of all elements into a contained unit, held by the mindful organization of selected objects, crafted to sit in a solid framework of wood (which to some extent itself speaks of western expansion –  man over nature: landscape cultivated into cabinets, shredded for books, for containment of knowledge). 
Land Cart (2012). Image courtesy of Artcite Inc.
The first piece I encountered is Land Cart. I incidentally came upon this piece when it was a work in progress, in the sculpture studio of Lebel.  Mike Marcon was not in the vicinity.  The work was described to me by someone else, in fondness of the labour implied upon it.  We commented on the finish of the metal, the crafted emblem of a tree, the qualities of the salvaged wood.  The hand drawn outline of a bird triggered an association with Neil Young & Crazy Horse album cover Zuma, which may or may not be worth mentioning. It was with this pretext (Neil Young aside) that I approached the work in the installation. I noticed compositional similarities, which, in a vehicular attitude of specifics, later gave way to ideological narrative.  The specifics I am referring to are such details as an antique lantern, rows of jars containing nails and water, gasoline cans, memorabilia, an open drawer filled with rows of batteries painted army-green.  The latter, in combination with tin cans (ideal for mountaineering and trenches), large roll of antique bandages, and a framed illustration in the Russian language instructing “This is how to bandage the arm to the body”, are all specifics which certainly contributed to my eventual narrative digression about the WW’s.
            What I find peculiar about this body of work is that it is not only an assortment of stuff pertaining to a theme.  There are found objects, selected literature, negated literature (books treated as things, as appearance), but there are also investments of gesture on the part of the artist which go beyond mere arrangement and presentation of objects.  He has carefully cast in bronze figurines, shims, emblems, friezes of his own design, and a handsome ram head with rope horns. He has spray painted accents of black to make more obvious the aged aesthetic of the wood surface, and the tin cans are shined to a uniform sheen.  The work for some reason had to be claimed, or marked, by the artist.  Although I find these gestures a bit puzzling, they are not altogether out of place, and do function to contain the work, as a seal, to make it obvious that this is all just imagery, that it is not about the degradation of material in the open air, but about the world of signifiers.  Things become thoughts.

Weapons of Winning (2010). Image courtesy of Artcite Inc.
Objects here are compartmentalized, as if to pluck and place from a series of random, but inevitably associated images, fished from a pool of ideology most people in this part of the world can relate to, at least semantically.  Consider the Mickey Mouse perched over Northern Allegory no. 2, and the stacks of visual ephemera on cards, which a viewer may choose from arbitrarily, as if pulling a file from a filing cabinet.  Because the objects are linearly, uniformly, and tightly distributed within one unit, and because the works converse with each other in the gallery space, the objects do not appear to have any particular hierarchy of importance.  Repetition here is not greater than the singular. Even the pieces with the light boxes do not seem to imply too much emphasis on the distinctness of the light box or video, versus the roughened items in the composition. For example, the iconic image of the sinking ship in Northern Allegory no. 5, which is a video slowed down enough to deny the horror of the event and acting as a still impression, is just as much of a focal point as the dirty gloves in  Northern Allegory no. 6.  The sign “How to become a legend” below the sinking vessel becomes not about dying in a shipwreck, but about dying in the registered appearance of an image.   To me, these are not narratives, but bundles of information, carried by stuff. 
Detail of Northern Allegory no. 5 (2012). Image courtesy of Artcite Inc.
 Each piece in this exhibition can be likened to a ship, descending with the slow pace of history, as allegories should, nothing but by-products of certain activities, posthumous remnants of vehicles, which carry mental records via linguistic and object-based image realities.   That is too grandiose of a conclusion. Let us humbly part with this: If Jan Svankmajer had a dream about Canada, he would have Mike Marcon among his pals.