Canadian Art - - Spotlight -

Toronto-based artist Marvin Lu­vualu An­tónio cre­ates self-con­tained struc­tures that si­mul­ta­ne­ously in­vite, alien­ate and im­pli­cate view­ers. His re­cent ex­hi­bi­tion “Dis­pos­sessed / Pt 1” at Clint Roenisch in Toronto took its ti­tle from Ur­sula K. Le Guin’s iconic 1974 utopian sci-fi novel, The Dis­pos­sessed. “I’m in­ter­ested in science fic­tion,” Lu­vualu An­tónio ex­plains, “be­cause space is lib­er­ated and you can fill it with dif­fer­ent lan­guages and new sys­tems of thought. It can shift, sub­vert or func­tion out­side of the white cap­i­tal­ist pa­tri­ar­chal ide­olo­gies around us. I want to cre­ate a world with my work, to treat each ex­hi­bi­tion like a chap­ter in a book, be­cause I think dip­ping into other worlds can be trans­for­ma­tive and con­struc­tive.” Within the ex­hi­bi­tion, paint­ings, sculp­ture, video and a live python in an or­ange-acrylic box co­ex­isted in a sandy ecosys­tem en­closed be­hind chain-link fence. View­ers could ex­pe­ri­ence it only from a nar­row path be­tween the fence and gallery wall. It’s one of the ways that Lu­vualu An­tónio seeks to upset the dominant sense of or­der. “When you re­al­ize that the struc­tures we ad­here to in our lives are just sub­jec­tive units,” he says, “you then have the free­dom to move them around, see their gaps and make them mal­leable. If you can em­ploy this mode of thought it be­comes less of a strug­gle to go into a space and make it your own. There’s so much to be ac­cessed through the con­fla­tion of worlds.”

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