Alex Morrison, Open Air Cinema (2004), c-print [Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver BC, through Sept 24]
The concept of the public plaza that left-over bit of space commonly graced by odd sculptures that Tom Wolfe once infamously described as turds in the plaza comes under scrutiny in this two-part exhibition. Mix with Care features works by Geoffrey Farmer, Brian Jungen, Germaine Koh, Myfanwy MacLeod, Damian Moppett, Alex Morrison, Ron Terada, Ian Wallace and Kelly Wood that reconceive the notion of the civic plaza.
A site-specific multimedia installation by Geoffrey Farmer is centred on a film-industry fake dumpster, while a fragment from Brian Jungens 2001 construction hoarding built outside the Contemporary Art Gallery recalls his view-holes on buildings slated for redevelopment. In Points, Germaine Koh uses orange pylons to suggest a detour around an unspecified area (or possibly to contain pedestrians within it?) A six-foot frog by Myfanwy MacLeod, titled The Fountain Heads, stands in a plastic pond at the front of the gallery. Riddled with bullet holes spurting trickles of water, it pokes fun at ornamental fountains and statuary.
Damian Moppetts multi-level sculpture, Endless Rustic Skateboard Park (Bacchic Peasant Version), addresses the needs of urban skateboarders and Alex Morrisons Open Air Cinema shows a graffiti contest taking place on a public common in Kreutzberg, Berlin. Both works flip acts associated with political protest and street action into the realm of performance and spectacle. Your Idea... Its Over (2001) is a lightbox work by Ron Terada that takes a message from the personals section of a newspaper. In Times Square NYC (July 11, 2003), Ian Wallace examines the ultimate urban space, and Kelly Wood advances refuse as social critique in Toronto Garbage.