Tag Archives: visual art

the plumb: a new DIY project space in Toronto

Hi everyone,

Chances are you’ve heard about it already, but I wanted to take the opportunity to to reflect on a new and exciting chapter of my life: the plumb. Thanks to the leadership and leg work of Daniel Griffin Hunt and Emma Welch, my partner Amanda Boulos and I have joined with a collective of about a dozen other artists, writers, and curators to open up an art gallery and project space at St. Clair and Dufferin. Our grand opening group show (which we’ve titled Pits, Seeds) has been up for about a week, and its final opening hours will be held this Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 6pm.

I’ll leave most of the gallery’s self-representation to our mandate. From my own perspective, though, I’m extremely excited for the space to host not only fine art shows, but also literary readings, discussion groups, workshops, and anything else that might be relevant to the literary and other arts scenes in Toronto. As everyone knows, COVID-19 is putting a lot of these plans on hiatus, as well as creating added difficulties for those events we do manage to pull off. Nevertheless, I’m optimistic. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I think we can outlast the pandemic and find something on the other side.

Even though we’re just getting started, I’ve also already learned a ton from working with the many talented artists and curators who make up our collective. I’ve always loved visual art, and following Amanda through her MFA gave me some of the initial connections I needed to start reviewing shows and getting to know the visual art community. But the plumb is expanding my horizons in ways I never imagined. I couldn’t be more thankful to be welcomed in, and to contribute my meagre talents to this incredible endeavour.

Finally, one of the most delightful surprises of my work with the plumb so far has been the opportunity to present a piece of artwork at our opening show–just like a real artist! With help from Hiba Abdallah and her vinyl cutter, I’ve contributed a wall vinyl with a variation of the font I created for The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-analysis: A Selection. (If you’re curious about the source of the text, it’s the chorus of Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks.”)

 

Installation photo of Two Weeks, by John Nyman. The image shows a white gallery wall with text that reads "would you always / maybe sometimes / make it easy / take your time" in a difficult-to-read font.

 

Installation photo of Two Weeks, by John Nyman, and other works in Pits, Seeds.

 

As I said before, the show will come down after this weekend–although there will still be extensive photo documentation on the plumb’s website at https://theplumb.ca/Pits-Seeds. It looks like I’ll be sitting the gallery during some of this weekend’s opening hours, so let me know if you’re planning to stop by! Otherwise, happy reading, and I hope to bring you more updates from the plumb soon.

 

 

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Review of Through Lines in Border Crossings 149

Hi folks,

I just wanted to write a short post to reflect on my review of Through Lines, a group exhibition presented by Koffler Gallery and Critical Distance Centre for Curators last fall. The review is featured in the “Crossovers” section of the most recent issue of Border Crossings, which is now available both in print and online, here.

I don’t have too much to say about the review, but I did want to thank the editors of Border Crossings for accepting my pitch. I visited the exhibition several times last year, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Perhaps more importantly, though, the exhibition’s central theme of redaction gave me a chance to try applying some of my PhD research on erasure to a different artistic genre and a different mode of writing. I’d like to say the experiment was successful, but in any case, I am grateful for the opportunity to carry it out.

Of course, publishing in a magazine like Border Crossings is also huge step toward expanding my art writing portfolio, which I hope to continue developing over the coming months and years. Hopefully you’ll see more writing like this from me soon. Until then, happy reading!

 

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