New exhibit examines relationships in artwork

Jackie Tan, an exhibitions assistant, and Katrina Enros, a gallery administrator, take a look at a piece titled Hugs and Kisses by Anitra Hamilton. (Selena Mann/Toronto Observer)
Jackie Tan, an exhibitions assistant, and Katrina Enros, a gallery administrator, take a look at a piece titled Hugs and Kisses by Anitra Hamilton. (Selena Mann/Toronto Observer) (hugs_and_kisses_033009)

Meeting Point, a new exhibit at the Doris McCarthy gallery, is about symbolism in relationships. Some of the works represent antagonistic relationships, while others showcase the romance in them.

The gallery is “trying to show relationships people have with one another, not just romantic, but friendship and family,” gallery administrator Katrina Enros said.

Antagonistic relationships are shown in the artwork as well. “Fruit Bowls and Hockey Fights”, created by Chris Hanson and Hendrika Sonnenberg, is a video and collage showing hockey players body checking.

Another work shows a cross of poppies and a wreath of plastic green toy soldiers, while another displays three typewriters on which viewers are invited to type special messages.

Other pieces on display are “F–ked Up Lover” and “Love F–ks You Up,” digital displays by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. The videos depict people trying to make a mix tape for their lovers, explaining why they chose the particular songs for their lovers.

“Nine Lives”, by a trio of artists who live and work together in Toronto, is a piece of AIDS activism. The artists personify themselves as baby harp seals in the seal hunt.

“Hugs and Kisses” is about war and how it is represented with Remembrance Day. The relationships humans have with one another and their interaction are represented in every piece showcased in the gallery.

“Hugs and Kisses” Artist Anitra Hamilton says she was contacted by curator Earl Miller to participate in the exhibit and artists were told they could use work they had already created.

“We were very excited by the talented group of artists that [Miller] had assembled for the show,” said artist Daniel Borins who worked with Jennifer Marman on the digital display “Just the Two of Us”. “We chose to make ‘Just the Two of Us’ because the exhibition is about duality, binarisms, and relationships.”

A piece titled Letter to Home by Mike Hansen. The work is of three typewriters. (Selena Mann/Toronto Observer)
A piece titled Letter to Home by Mike Hansen. The work is of three typewriters. (Selena Mann/Toronto Observer) (letter_to_home_033009)

Enros’s favourite piece is “Night Canoeing” consisting of two big video displays — one of people canoeing at night and the other of fish swimming with pieces of love letters attached to them.

“A lot of people get creeped out when they enter the room with the canoes at night display,” Enros said.

Another piece on typewriters, “Letter to Home” by Mike Hansen, is an interactive exhibit where people could sit down and start typing their own messages.

“It’s amazing how many people have never seen a typewriter before,” Enros said. “People like to try it out. I’m not that old but I certainly remember using a typewriter.”

The exhibit opened March 17 and will be at the gallery until April 26.