Things of Desire Issue #3

September 4, 2008

Howdy! Welcome to the third issue of Things of Desire. The big change this week is that the blogzine is now and forever will be (hopefully) a weekly venture. So you can rest assured every Wednesday night that a brand spanking new issue will be online when you wake up. As always, if you haven’t already subscribed to Things of Desire you can do so by firing off an email to thingsofdesire@gmail.com. Enjoy!
—Mike Landry

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Postcards from the Void

September 4, 2008

By Mike Landry

"Deep resonance," part of Aleksandra Rdest's latest series.

In the city of Kitchener, where Aleksandra Rdest grew up, roads didn’t have ends. So when the visual artist was told to take “the road into town,” head to the end and go to the house across from the convenience store, she couldn’t help but feel a little scared.

“I was like number? Street name? No,” says Rdest. “I didn’t really know what I was getting into going out there. I had a kind of idealized notion of what small town life would be, and it was very quaint but the reality wasn’t so.”

That was last Spring when Rdest first made it to the end of the road to Pouch Cove, about 20 minutes outside of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Rdest has returned from the artist in residency program and she brought a new series of work called, Postcards from the Void with her.

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In Tandem and in 3D

September 4, 2008

By Mike Landry

Part of Dave & Jenn's new work, "We Told Adam We'd Get Over This."

As if painting in tandem for Calgarians David Foy and Jennifer Saleik wasn’t difficult enough, they’re beginning to work with sculpture. Dave & Jenn’s latest series, In Which They Find Themselves Between Here and There, showcases their new double-sided paintings on plinths and their 14-foot-wide painting with 3D elements.

“Our interest in painting has always been in how we can mess with the basic ideas of [painting],” says Saleik. “It’s dangerous when any person who’s used to doing two-dimensional things tries to muck around in 3D. We’re painters not sculptures, and sometimes we can be painfully aware of that.”

Self-described landscape artists, Dave & Jenn have spent the past four years crafting a narrative that combine inner mythology and historical documentation. Their new work looks to refine this new world they’ve created.

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Shedding Light on Building

September 4, 2008

By Stacey Ho

Swintak was inspired by the everyday in creating her Self-Aware Shed.

Condominiums, hospitals and art galleries are all places that are, for one reason or another, sterile environments. Their emptiness makes them funny, awkward structures for people to do human things in.

Placed in such an environment for a residency at YYZ, artist Swintak spent the summer dealing with awkward, empty space. Her solution? Take a genuine countrified shed and transpose it into the gallery.

“It sort of looks like it dropped from the sky, or appeared there a la Wizard of Oz,” she explains.

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By Mike Landry

An awkward moment featuring Tom Thomson peeing overboard.

Winnipeg artist Diana Thorneycroft once read that the Group of Seven were the visual equivalent of our national anthem. Her reaction was a quick, “Whoa! I’m not sure about that.”

“Some people think they represent Canadian culture, and they might have in the 20’s. We didn’t have much of a culture at all then,” says Thorneycroft. “But today they don’t represent Canadian culture. It’s mostly out of Quebec and Ontario and is done by white dead guys.”

Thorneycroft latest series, Group of Seven Awkward Moments, aims to subvert Canadian identity in the Group of Seven. Using Group of Seven paintings as backdrops she plunks dolls and props in front to turn the famous paintings into darkly humorous photographs.

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Let’s Talk About Sex

September 4, 2008

By Mike Landry

A film still from Brian Batista's "Battle Between the Sexes."

Admitting she’s been with thousands of guys, the 23-year-old Marilyn Monroe look-alike being interviewed by video artist Brian Batista tells him bluntly, “I would rather, at any given time, take a condom, put it on a guy’s dick and fuck him, than kiss him.”

That statement was just one of hundreds that destroyed Batista’s preconceived ideas of sex and modern relationships. Batista interviewed dozens of individuals just like Ms. Monroe for his new video project Battle Between the Sexes.

He wasn’t interested in Prince Charmings or Snow Whites, he wanted players. With sex more prevalent than ever in pop culture—from pop star exploits to shows like Keys to the VIP and Neil Strauss’ bestseller The Game—Batista wanted to understand 21st century sex.

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Carlito Dalceggio Trips Out

September 4, 2008

By Mike Landry

Carlito Dalceggio working in Mexico.

It was like the 60s come alive last winter for Quebec artist Carlito Dalceggio. Driving in a van around Mexico, he picked up hitchhiking artists and dancers, stopped to paint sacred deserts, and participated in peyote ceremonies with native shamans. It was the much traveled Dalceggio’s inaugural journey of his Project ART—Art Road Trip.

Dalceggio brought back with him about 30 large paintings for his upcoming show Splendours of existence II. The new show includes furniture the artist has repainted to show “art is not something that’s distant from everyday life.”

“I wanted to show that art is a free ritual without boundaries or rules. So I went all over Mexico painting deserts, cities, villages, the oceans.” says Dalceggio.

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