On a typically frigid February Friday night, Art Metropole was a warm haven as it was packed for the launch of Instant Coffee’s latest publication, Stencils Just Sounded Like The Right Thing To Do. Along with an IC neon display and a wall covered in demonstrative graffiti of each stencil, those attending could purchase the set of twenty-two stencils. Artists include: Acamonchi , Michael Barker, Cecilia Berkovic, Michael Buckland, James Carl, Kelly Coats, Timothy Comeau, Dave Dyment, FastwÃ¼rms, Jill Henderson, instant coffee, Luis Jacob, Jinhan Ko, Nestor Kruger, Colleen Langford, Kate Monro, Will Munro, Richard Moszka y Juan Pablo Garcia, Jade Rude, Jon Sasaki, Kika Thorne, Holly Ward. Instant Coffee is a service oriented artist collective that initiates and facilitates the creation and execution of artist’s projects.
Gerardo YÃ©piz launched the first Mexican Mail Art website in 1995, his downloadable stencils revolutionized how a generation of young artists, from Mexico City to Tijuana, used street installation and graffiti as a critical forum. Known as Acamonchi, a slang term for piggyback riding in northern Mexico, YÃ©piz adopted the strategies of street art as the starting point for his fine art while also distinguishing himself as a graphic designer working with clients on both sides of the border including the Nortec Collective, MTV, Reebok, Vans, Adidas, Pepsi, Warner records, Osiris shoes, Tribal Gear, Obey Giant, Rioja Wine, Electra Bikes. Like his moniker, which, he explains “doesn’t really mean anything, it’s just a dumb, silly sounding word,” he uses humor to create graphic works of art that probe serious political and cultural issues. As hedescribes it, “poster illustrations or stickers are common resources of visual communication; in the hands of Acamonchi, and in combination with graffiti tactics, they become veritable terrorist instruments, and the activity becomes a kind of cultural sabotage.”
Acamonchi began his career in the mid-1980s as part of a cross-cultural underground scene in southern California and northern Mexico that was heavily influenced by fanzines and the skateboard-punk countercultures. Music developed his political awareness, and the history of Fluxus inspired his passion for Mail Art. His early work focused on images of the Mexican television host Raul Velasco and assassinated presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio. According to Acamonchi, Velasco represents the mindless entertainment provided by the Mexican media. He describes Colosio-shot on live television in 1994, during a campaign rally in Tijuana -as the Mexican equivalent to John F. Kennedy. Colosio’s face is a poignant reminder of political corruption and Tijuana’s notorious outlaw reputation. Acamonchi makes his point, however, with ridiculous images of Colosio in a cosmonaut helmet, Colosio crossed with Colonel Sanders, and a “Blaxploitation” Colosio just to name a few.
Recently, Acamonchi has focused his attention on painting. His densely layered panels and murals integrate his signature street graphics -posters, stencils, and graffiti -into abstract fileds of color. In this new work, Acamonchi experiments with painterly techniques using aerosol paint, ink pens, and more traditional pigments, Although his explorations are clearly inspired by street art, his distinctive visual statements are something new. “Post-graffiti Art,” as this kind of art was called when graffiti artists first began to show in galleries in the 1980s, does not encompass Acamonchi’s strong affiliation with street art radicalism, and articulate his serious painterly intent. Once again, Acamonchi is inspiring his colleagues as he explores new forms of expression.
(Rachel Teagle Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego)
A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Designâ€™s Sculpture and Installation program, Michael Barker began his design career as a web designer in 1999, first for the Toronto-based art publication Mix Magazine, and then for the United Way of Greater Toronto. Since those early days he has worked as a designer for Bruce Mau Design, as the Communications Coordinator and Publications Designer for the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto, and as an in-house Graphic Designer at the University of Toronto. As the sole proprietor of Acme Art & Design, Michael works collaboratively with clients, as both a craftsman and a strategic thinker, equally concerned with the conceptual and cultural dimensions of the work as with the minutest details of production. Michael is also a Registered Graphic Designer (RGD) with the Association of Registered Graphic Designers, a professional organization that promotes professional standards and best practices in the graphic design industry.
Cecilia Berkovic is an artist and graphic designer living in Toronto. She has been a member of service-oriented artist collective, Instant Coffee since 2001 and currently sits on the board of directors at Gallery TPW. Upcoming projects include a solo photo-based show at Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects in September 2007.Michael Buckland was born somewhere in South Africa or Canada and currently lives in New York. His work has been shown in various venues in North America, Europe, and Asia. His current project to stop the earth’s rotation so he can get off is not going well. Any slowing of the planet he has achieved thus far is nearly impossible to measure.
Based in Toronto, James Carl is one of the cityâ€™s leading artists. He creates small- and large-scale sculpture, made from a wide range of materials, from cardboard to marble, to venetian blinds. In the early 1990s Carl entered the art scene in Montreal by crafting expensive consumer goods (washing machines, stoves) from inexpensive materials such as found cardboard, only to place the finished sculptures back on the streets where their materials were originally retrieved. In a subsequent body of work, Carl carved replicas of disposable electronics out of marble â€“ a traditional sculptorâ€™s material with connotations of permanence. Most recently, Carl constructs large-scale, amorphous sculptures by intricately weaving brightly coloured venetian blinds in a series titled jalousie.
Carl has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. Most recently, the first major survey of his work, entitled do you know what, was presented at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at the University of Toronto, the Cambridge Galleries Queenâ€™s Square and the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph. Other recent shows include: jalousie at Galerie Heinz-Martin Weigand in Karlsruhe, Germany; negative spaces at Florence Loewy in Paris; plot at Vancouverâ€™s Contemporary Art Gallery, and bottom feeder at Mercer Union in Toronto. Carl earned his MFA from Rutgers University and has degrees from McGill, the University of Victoria and the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing. His work is in public and private collections across North America and Europe. Currently, Carl is an Associate Professor of Studio Art at the University of Guelph.
Kelly Coats is an artist, musician and designer based in Los Angeles, California.
In her work, Coats often explores the visual tension between man made materials and natural elements. Through photography, collage, drawing and time based media, she captures moments in the life-span of objects. A water balloon as it is breaking and releasing; Michael Jacksonâ€™s face as it morphs continuously spanning decades; wrapping paper after it has been crinkled â€” moments like these are scrutinized.
Coats received a BFA from Western Michigan University in 1998, and an MFA from the University of Cincinnati in 2002. In 2002, Coats cofounded the Mexico City-based art collective, Bordermates, which coordinated events in parking lots, cantinas (bars), restaurants, etc. With free music, drink and food, Bordermates created a relaxed environment where artists and visitors could observe and participate mutually. (bordermates.org)
In Mexico City, Coats was a member of the satirical, electro-caberet trio, Mi Grupo Favorito. Since her move to Los Angeles in 2005, Coats has collaborated with Matthew Lawton, Baseck and Crooked Cowboy & the Freshwater Indians. She plays flute in the jazz orchestra, LA Fog.
Born in Toronto and raised in Nova Scotia, Timothy Comeau later studied humanities 1 at Saint Mary’s University, then Fine Art 2 at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. In 2000 he moved back to Toronto.
Active in the Toronto art scene at the turn of the century, he later worked a variety of office jobs to pay the rent, while also establishing himself as online curator with the Goodreads mailing-list & blog (five years worth of curated and aggregated â€œbest of the webâ€ material) occasionally accompanied by critical essays 3.
In 2012 he completed the 8-month Web Design course at Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario.
The Mammalian Diving Reflex Theatre Company named their annual Timothy Comeau Award (aka their â€œNumber One Supporter Awardâ€) after him partially as a joke, and partially because of an essay he wrote on their work during a critical time.
He was once rated as a â€œhigh intermediateâ€ French speaker, and he has a rudimentary understanding of German and Italian, but don’t ask him to speak either.
It has been said by a former teacher that he draws like an angel.
Dave Dyment is an artist and writer based in Toronto. His work has been exhibited in Edmonton, Ottawa, Halifax, Toronto, Philadelphia, Dublin and Varna, Bulgaria. He is currently the artist in residence at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland. Examples of his work can beheard on the YYZ/Walter Phillips Gallery publication “Aural Cultures” and on “New Life After Fire”, a collaboration with Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth. He is respresented in Toronto by MKG 127.
Formed in 1979 by Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse, FASTWURMS is the trademark and joint authorship of these Toronto/Creemore- based multidisciplinary artists whose artwork melds high and popular cultures, bent identity politics, social exchange and a Witch positive DIY cinematic sensibility.
FASTWURMS has exhibited and created public commissions and installations, performance, video and film projects, across Canada and in the United States, Europe, Brazil, Korea, and Japan.
Exhibitions include Soylent Orange and Red of Tooth and Kaw at the 27th Biennale de Sao Paulo, Brazil. Donky@Ninja@Witch at the Art Gallery of York University, North York, the Contemporary Art Galley, Vancouver, and Plug In ICI, Winnipeg.
FASTWURMS also recently exhibited Krummi Krunkar: Tarot+Tattoo in Reykjavik, Iceland, as part of the SEQUENCES Festival. House of Bast in Sligo, Ireland, and Bast is Best at The Power Plant. Their site sculpture Owl is currently installed on the roof of the Albright Knox as part of the Beyond/In, Western NY exhibition, Buffalo.
Jill Henderson is a Scottish/Canadian artist born in Scotland in 1969 and graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a BA honours in Fine Art in 1991 and a Masters in Fine Art in 1993.
From 1991 to 1993 she exhibited in Scotland and Europe including The ICA in London, Overgaden Gallery (Copenhagen), Tramway and the Centre for Contemporary Art in Glasgow, Scotland.
In 1994 Jill Henderson moved to Toronto, Canada and began exhibiting in Toronto and all over Canada, showing at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery (Toronto), The Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto) and The New Gallery (Calgary). She also started to be represented by Fine art dealers Wynick Tuck Gallery, Toronto, from 1995 to the present day. She also exhibited at Transmission Gallery (Glasgow), YYZ (Toronto), Art Metropole (Toronto), Catalyst Arts (Belfast), Hales Gallery (London UK), Angelus Novus (Antwerp), Brasilica (Vienna) and Vox Populi (Philadelphia). During this time Jill Henderson also co-founded and ran â€˜Free Parkingâ€™ an artist run gallery project in downtown Toronto, as well as curating a number of exhibitions.
In the year 2000, Jill Henderson was asked to exhibit at PS1 centre for contemporary Art / MOMA in the widely acclaimed exhibition â€œGreater New Yorkâ€. In 2001, Jill Henderson was also asked to exhibit as one of seven Canadian artists chosen for an international exchange exhibition and seminar in Taipei, Taiwan curated by Manray Hsu. Since 2001 she has exhibited at The Art Directors Club (NYC), Lothringer 13 (Munich), Morris & Belkin Gallery (Vancouver), Manif dâ€™Art 2 (Quebec), The Americas Society (NYC) and Solo shows at The Helen Pitt Gallery (Vancouver) and the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver). She was also nominated for a Louis Comfort Tiffany award.
She has received numerous awards from The Canada Council, The Scottish Arts Council and The Ontario Arts Council. She was also recently made a lifetime member of Art Metropole, Toronto. Her work is also in the collection of The Robert McLauglin Museum in Oshawa, Canada and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, as well as in numerous private collections.
Instant Coffee is a service oriented artist collective now based in Toronto and Vancouver. The domain name Instant Coffee was registered in May of 2000. Instant Coffee’s motive for initiating “services” came from our desire to place relational activities, more directly communication, at the core of our practice. Ultimately, we believe that communication is the primary function of artistic production, but what is meant by communication or the building of relations is continually under negotiation. Together we have developed a practice that culminates in bringing together large numbers of artists, designers, musicians and other cultural producers under loosely themed events. We offer networking services that promote local, national and international activities and publish a monthly on-line magazine, Instant Coffee Saturday Edition. In conjunction with our events, we also publish bookworks, posters and other multiples. Instant Coffee’s most consistent members are Jinhan Ko, Jenifer Papararo, Kate Monro, Cecilia Berkovic, Jon Sasaki, Emily Hogg and Kelly Lycan.
Luis Jacob was born in Lima, Peru, in 1970. Lives and works in Toronto.
Luis Jacob is a Toronto-based multimedia artist and curator concerned with notions of collectivity, and, increasingly, with acts of looking and meaning-making. Jacob studied semiotics and philosophy at the University of Toronto in the early 1990s, and he soon became immersed in local politics and club culture, as well as the art world, all three coming into play in his first decade of output, which often included experimentation with relational aesthetics. In 2005, Jacob showed Habitat at the Art Gallery of Ontario; this, among other things, piqued the interest of then-visiting Documenta 12 curators Ruth Noack and Roger Buergel, who included him in the 2007 event. Since then, Jacob has shown internationally and with great variety, focusing on found objects (his Album series, for instance, part of which is now owned by the Guggenheim Museum in New York) and the nature of the image. A touring retrospective of his work was hosted by Montrealâ€™s Darling Foundry and Torontoâ€™s Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in 2010 and 2011.
Jinhan Ko is a Toronto-based artist who is actively engaged in D.I.Y. activities. Jinhan received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1993 and has since exhibited his work in DYS- a group show at YYZ in 1995, the Red Head Gallery showcase, 1995, and at the Pleasure Dome – Open Screening at CineCycle, 1995. Past exhibitions include the Art Gallery of Ontario, el convento rico, Art Metropole, Sculpture Center, Dallas International Film Festival, and Media City. He is one of the founding members of the now defunct Money House, a working class home where a series of events (such as the Style Show, the Slide Show and the Snapshot Show) occurred. Jinhan Ko is a follower and the sole member of Jin’s Banana House and a partner in Instant Coffee, an active organization that facilitates artist’s projects, from exhibiting visual work to publishing artist’s project.
Nestor Krger’s studio practice consists of on-site painting installations that create on echo of the presentation space through strategies of mirroring and duplication; digital animations that superimpose an internal rhythmic structure with architectural models and simulated natural environments and recently a series of spatiotemporal sound works. His work has been exhibited nationally including the Power Plant, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery, the Contemporary Art Gallery and at Optica in Montreal and internationally, including Germany, Sweden, France, South Korea and in the United Arab Emirates. His work is represented by goodwater gallery in Toronto and can be found in a number of private and public collections. He teaches Drawing and ‘Media Convergence’.
Colleen Langford is a self-taught artist who’s work explores the emotional lives of girls, with the classic paper-cut silhouette as her primary focus. Using the techniques and aesthetic adopted in her process, Colleen has expanded the boundaries of her medium to include experiments with traditional stop-motion animation and Flash.
William Grant “Will” Munro (February 11, 1975 â€“ May 21, 2010) was a Toronto artist, club promoter, and restaurateur known for his work as a community builder among disparate Toronto groups. As a visual artist, he was known for fashioning artistic works out of underwear; as a club promoter, he was best known for his long-running Toronto queer club night, Vazaleen.
Born in Australia, Munro grew up mostly in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and moved to nearby Toronto to study at the Ontario College of Art, graduating in 2000. Influenced by such artists as General Idea and the queercore movement, he received critical attention for his work with men’s underwear, a medium he used eventually to create collages of colourful performers he admired such as Klaus Nomi and Leigh Bowery. He created silkscreen posters to advertise Vazaleenâ€”his monthly nightclub party that was unusual for being a queer event where punk and other rock music was prominently played, and for being one of the first to exist beyond the confines of the gay ghetto. The party was known for attracting a diverse crowd, and at its peak brought in such performers as Nina Hagen; international “best-of” nightclub lists took notice.
Munro died of brain cancer in May 2010. Posthumous exhibits of his art work included a 2010 show at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and in 2011 he was the first male artist to be featured in the feminist Montreal art gallery La Centrale.
Will Munro was born in Sydney, Australia in 1975. Later that year his family moved to Canada, just outside of Montreal, and then lived in Mississauga, Ontario from 1980 onwards.
Despite his involvement in nightclub events, Munro did not consume alcohol or recreational drugs. He was a vegan from a young age. For many years, he volunteered as a peer counsellor at the Toronto Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line, where an annual award was established in his honour after his death.
Munro was diagnosed with brain cancer and underwent surgery to remove a tumour in 2008. A second surgery was performed in October 2009. He entered into palliative care in April 2010, and died on May 21, 2010.
Munro moved from Mississauga to Toronto after high school, to attend the Ontario College of Art (OCA). From early on in his career, his signature medium was pastiche work with men’s underwear.The origins of this work date back to his Intro to Sculpture class at OCA, where his professor asked the students to “bring a special object to class that isn’t really functional, but is special to you.” Munro had long had an affinity for special underwear, ever since his mother had refused to buy him Underoos superhero underwear when he was a child; regarding white briefs, he said, “They were clinical and sterile. They weren’t very sexy. It just felt very repressed. I wanted Underoos so bad.” For the sculpture class, Munro decided to bring in a pair of underwear that he had stolen from a high school friend on whom he had a crush. He put the grey underwear on display in a Plexiglass cage, complete with air holes. In his subsequent work he decided to use white briefs as a medium “because they were so accessible.” The summer after his sculpture class, to keep himself busy on a road trip, he made a quilt out of white underwear. In 1997, his first show involving underwear was held in a gallery supported by his college. The show received publicity after conservative columnist Michael Coren, in the Toronto Sun and on the radio, criticized Munro and his show, in particular for having said that it involved “boys’ underwear” (although Munro had simply meant guys’ underwear). Coren asked the public to bring dirty diapers to the exhibit, but no one did.10 Munro went on to have many showings of his underwear art, mostly “rescued” from second-hand Goodwill clothing outlets, including at Who’s Emma, HEADspace, and Paul Petro Contemporary Art. Actor Selma Blair bought one of Munro’s underwear works when she was in town for the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival.
Munro’s influences included the work of General Idea, and the queercore movement.Speaking about the confluence of his music events and his art, Munro said in 2004, “This is where the music scene and gay underground come together. We’re at a time when all kinds of shifts are happening. The structure of artists’ galleries are changing. Magazines are changing. There’s more different kinds of artist activity that’s happening. All this is having an impact on my visual work. And my visual work is more and more going into performance.” Galleries exhibiting his work have included Art in General, in New York City, Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown, and Toronto galleries Zsa Zsa, Mercer Union, YYZ Artists’ Outlet, Paul Petro Contemporary Art, and the Art Gallery of York University. Munro was named on the longlist of finalists for the Sobey Art Award in 2010.
A posthumous exhibit of his work, “Total Eclipse”, was presented at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2010.Works included collages, made from underwear, that depict Klaus Nomi and Leigh Bowery, both of whom Munro admired.Reviewing the show in Canadian Art, critic Sholem Krishtalka wrote that Munro’s work is “insistent on the necessity of self-made culture and buttressed by an encyclopedic knowledge of queer underground cultural history.”
Other posthumous exhibitions of his work include a 2011 show at the feminist La Centrale gallery in Montrealâ€”a first for a male artist in that spaceâ€”and in 2012 a major retrospective at the Art Gallery of York University.
Munro started the monthly party Vaseline (later renamed Vazaleen) in Toronto at a time when most gay clubs featured house music or other types of dance music. His hope was to draw a more diverse crowd: he said at the time, “I’d like to do something that’ll encompass all the freaks out there, myself included.” In addition to its stereotype-countering incorporation of punk and other rock music, his club night was also noted to be unusual for being located outside of the Church and Wellesley gay neighbourhood. It was atypical as well for having about 50 percent women attending the event. Munro said, “I was determined to get women to attend and I did it in a really simple way. I put lots of images of women and dyke icons on the posters and flyersâ€”groups like The Runaways or singers like Nina Hagen and Carole Pope. I wanted women to know instantly that this was their space as much as anybody else’s.” It began in the downstairs space at El Mocambo in late 1999, moved to the upstairs space in January 2000, and in late 2001, when El Mocambo was threatening to close, to Lee’s Palace, where it continued as a monthly event until 2006.
In a lengthy article about Vazaleen in Toronto Life, critic R. M. Vaughan wrote, “In its lewd, spontaneous, hysterical and glamorous way, Vazaleen defined a new Toronto aesthetic, a playful and endlessly inventive mode of presentation that encompassed everything from lesbian prog- rock to tranny camp to vintage punk revival to good old-fashioned loud-mouthed drag.” In an editorial in C magazine, Amish Morrell wrote, “At [Vazaleen] it was not only okay to be gay, but it was okay to be other than gay. One could be just about anything. The effect was that it completely destabilized all preconceptions of gender and sexual identity, in a hyperlibidinous environment where everyone became a performer.” Benjamin Boles of Now wrote, “These days itâ€™s normal in Toronto for hip gay scenes to flourish outside of the queer ghetto and to attract a wide spectrum of genders and orientations, but that didnâ€™t really happen until Vazaleen took off and became a veritable community for everyone who didnâ€™t fit into the mainstream homo world. For too long, it was too rare to see dykes, fags, trans people, and breeders hanging out together, and Munro changed that.” Vazaleen became a launching pad for such musical acts as Peaches and Lesbians on Ecstasy. Other bands performing at Vazaleen early in their careers were The Hidden Cameras, Crystal Castles, and The Gossip. At the height of the event’s popularity, Munro appeared on the cover of Now magazine (made up to look similar to David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane album cover), musical guests included Carole Pope, Tracy + the Plastics, Vaginal Davis, and Nina Hagen, and Vazaleen appeared on “best-of” nightclub lists internationally.
Munro produced other Toronto club nights such as Peroxide, which featured electro music, No T. O., which showcased No Wave, Seventh Heaven Dream Disco, and the amateur stripper party Moustache. In 2006, Munro and his friend Lynn MacNeil bought The Beaver CafÃ©, in the West Queen West neighbourhood. Arts columnist Murray Whyte of the Toronto Star wrote, “Willâ€™s virtual status as hub took bricks-and-mortar form: The Beaver quickly became that cozy, everyone-in-the-pool house party, a sort of community hall/mini dance club, and an alt-culture oasis”. “Love Saves the Day” became Munro’s dance music night at The Beaver, which he continued to organize even as his illness began to prevent him from leaving home. His final night of DJing in person was at a special Halloween Vazaleen party at Lee’s Palace in 2009.
Bruce LaBruce wrote of Munro’s impact on Toronto, just prior to his death: “As we all know, Toronto can be a cruel and unforgiving city. What makes Will Munro so extraordinary as an artist and as a person is that he has not only remained true to such a harsh mistress, but that he has also contributed so substantially to the fabric and heft of this often maleficent metropolis. His dedication to community work (including volunteering for a decade at an LGBT youth crisis hotline) and to creating social and sexual stimulation for the queer community outside the decaying gay ghetto (namely, his wonderfully raunchy club night, Vazaleen, and his participation as a founding partner in revitalizing the Beaver CafÃ©) is unmatched.
Richard Moszka is a Montreal artist who lives in Mexico City. He specializes in silkscreen, but also works in photography, video, and sculpture.
Jade Rude is a Toronto-based artist who creates works that exist in the liminal space between art and design, while employing perception-shifting tactics to playfully examine the relationship between reality and representation. Rude studied social theory in Norway, art and design in England and graduated from the Alberta College of Art. In addition to Canada, including a group show at MOCCA, Rude has exhibited in the US, England, Japan, Columbia and MAMBA in Buenos Aires.
Born in 1973. Lives and works in Toronto.
Jon Sasakiâ€™s multidisciplinary art practice brings performance, video, object and installation into a framework where expectation and outcome never align, generating a simultaneous sense of pathos and fun. His work employs reason-based approaches reminiscent of conceptual art while investigating romantic subjects; in this juxtaposition, Sasaki creates humorous, self-exhaustive systems caught in cycles of trial and error. In his 2010 work Jack Pine, 8â€™ Camera Crane, Sasaki attempts to recreate Tom Thomsonâ€™s 1916 The Jack Pine painting with modern cinema infrastructure; this fanciful gesture results in Sasaki struggling to control the crane as the camera repeatedly crashes through nearby foliage. Throughout his performance-for-video works, Sasaki assumes the role of a somewhat naive everyman, performing Sisyphean tasks with a mildly uncomfortable, self-effacing positivism. Sasaki holds a BFA from Mount Allison University and he was an active member of Toronto/Vancouverâ€“based collective Instant Coffee from 2002 to 2007. Sasaki has exhibited nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at Galerie Clark, Gallery TPW, the Art Gallery of Ontario and Latitude 53.
Kika Thorne, an artist, filmmaker, curator, was a co-founder of she/TV, a feminist cable television collective in the 1990s, where women mentored women to produce experimental TV of all duration and genre. She participated in and documented the sculptural protests of the Toronto-based October, February and April Groups and their resistance to the Ontario Conservative government’s anti-democratic privatization and consequent urban demolition in the mid-1990s. In 1998 she helped found the Anarchist Free Space & Free School in Toronto’s Kensington Market. From 1996 to 2004 she collaborated with sculptor and urban scholar Adrian Blackwell to produce videos, installations and civic interventions, notably 1:1 over 1:300 and Ambience of a future city. As curator of Vancouver’s VIVO Media Arts Centre she helped instigate SAFE ASSEMBLY, a 14 day collective program and gathering to express dissent against the effect of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. Kika Thorne received her MFA from the University of Victoria, BC and has exhibited extensively including projects at Berlinale Forum Expanded, Berlin; Murray Guy, New York; The Apartment, Access, Contemporary Art Gallery and Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; Pleasure Dome and the Power Plant, Toronto, and her work was included in E-Flux Video Rental which toured the globe for five years. She is currently working towards a PhD at York University, Toronto.
1: IC stencil display and accompanying video.
2: Stencils put to good use with wall display and Instant Coffee neon logo.
3: A ever growing crowd inspecting the stencils.
4: Jon Sasaki and Xandra Eden model a BLESS furwig and hairbrush.