Industry, independence and a gleeful mess
Junction show reminds us of the sweat and productivity of the area’s rail yard past
Opening Lili Huston-Herterich, We of the Middling Sort: Most of us know that the Junction, perched above High Park in the west end, is one of the city’s oldest quarters and a nexus of its industrial past, where raw materials were dropped at the rail yards (hence “junction”) to be fashioned into various products for either here or afar (not to mention the many millions of livestock reduced to meat in the adjacent stockyards).
In the 21st century, the newly slick neighbourhood retains little of that shabby history, beyond the occasional historic marker and old-worldy street lamps, so Huston-Herterich, an artist with a deep investment in the homely, the humble and the handmade, sits poised to perform something of an exorcism here.
Collecting offcut fabric from a local upholsterer and unwanted clothing from local residents, Huston-Herterich used them to make photograms, their silhouettes imprinting on photosensitive paper as ghosts of a very recent past. Their spectral presence is set against small ceramic blots, made when the clay was squeezed in the artist’s fist while clothed in a cast-off glove. Together, they evoke a poetic echo of decades of change from the tangibility of labour-produced goods, as we’ve watched all that is solid melt into air.
Opening Saturday, 4 to 6 p.m., at Zalucky Contemporary, 3044 Dundas St. W. The Artist Project: The decidedly most down-home of the city’s proliferating art fairs, the Artist Project — so named at least partly because individual booths are bought and manned by the artists themselves, not dealers with many of their stable in tow, as is the typical fair convention — is the bargain-hunter’s art fair, with hundreds of makers setting up shop in the CNE’s Better Living Centre for the weekend.
The cynic might say that there’s good reason for most of the artists here to not be repped by a gallery (snob alert!) but you won’t find a more eclectic, voluminous and af- fordable offering anywhere. And who knows, there might even be a discovery or two to be found.
At the Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place, 195 Princes’ Blvd., Thursday to Sunday. Opening night party Feb. 23 (tickets $30); regular admission, $14. For tickets see theartistproject.com. FEMINISTRY IS HERE: And yes, the all-caps is necessary, given the declarative intentions of this group exhibition/cross-cultural pollination of art, fashion, music, performance and anything else its broad- ening mission with regards to queer femininity might encompass.
An institutional embodiment of DJ/performer Cameron Lee’s notably non-institutional monthly DJ event of the same name, FEMINISTRY IS HERE takes its gleeful mess inside its white walls less as an act of legitimization as one of celebration. The show “is messy,” the gallery declares on its site. “You might say ‘ew,’ and that is a good thing.”
Opening Thursday at 7 p.m. with a performance by Marcelline Mandeng, at Mercer Union, 1286 Bloor St. W.
Lili Huston-Herterich, an artist with a deep investment in the homely, the humble and the handmade, sits poised to perform something of an exorcism