Variety Show

  • A Pleasure Dome Sampler
  • Saturday, August 21, 7pm
  • Gallery 101, 301 1/2 Bank St., Ottawa

Part of Summer 2010

Presented by Gallery 101. Linda Feesey in Person

Gallery 101 presents ‘Variety Show: A Pleasure Dome Sampler’. Celebrating the best of Pleasure Dome’s New Toronto Works show, it features fourteen shorts made by Toronto artists that intrigued audiences at our annual show. For the past sixteen years, the NTW show premiered new work, new artists, and a fresh curatorial perspective. The show allows first time curator volunteers to create a show from the past year’s crop of new film and video made by Toronto artists. There is always something guaranteed to excite even the most jaded from mind-bending comedy to dire dereliction, head scratching experimentation, mystical transformation and sick twisted tales. Whether high tech or low-fi, accessible or not, narrative or conceptual, personal or political, the works are unique and surprising. This representative selection will present great but under-rated works from the last ten NTW shows to Montreal.

This particular selection re-creates the show’s essence; its vitality and variety. The programme highlights a cross-section of genres that reveal the hidden and unveil the cutting edge from Toronto’s avant-garde of the past twelve years. It includes the formalist rigour of Irene Bindi’s Blackboard; pathos of Evan Tapper’s Self Portrait; astute politics of Daniel Borins’ Apotheosis; the clever film stylings of Davida Nemeroff and the high jinks in Benny Zenga’s documentary Ski Boys. It is a challenging evening of memorable work. The kind that makes the Toronto art scene tick.


Kool Cop, Randy Gagne(produced by Exploding Motor Car) 2:30 video 2010

Randy Gagne a.k.a Man Made Hill likes to get down. He currently spends most of his free time in a messy makeshift studio inside of a narrow closet hunkered down over his synthesizer. “Kool Cops” is a cut off his new LP “Puzzle Answers” (2010:Bennifer Editions/Healing Power). Randy revels in the spectral emptiness of dance music cliches, or “existential disco” as he likes to call it. He remains vibed out at all times. Current mood: aghast.

Je Changerais d’Avis, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay; 4:00 video 2000

In the form of a hyper-information TV channel, ‘Je changerais d’avis’ expresses pain, loss and regret in a sea of simultaneous translations into English, French, German, American Sign Language and weather reports.

The Apotheosis of Everything, Daniel Borins; 10:00 video 2003

Playing with signification, this frenzied video offers a rereading of familiar relationships between icons and symbols.

The Mendi, Steve Reinke, 9:00 video 2006

Over found footage from the Mendi – an ethnographical documentary made for the CBC’s Man Alive television series – the narrator tells of his summer as a teenage assistant to the filmmakers.

Monaco or Bust, John Forget; 3:15 video 2004

Being mistaken for royalty and promptly swarmed by hundreds makes for a crazy occurrence – but if duly commemorated and retained it can really save your marbles. John Forget’s videos challenge multiple stigmas via camp as the most disarming and enchanting route to truth.

Bending Over Backwards, Heather Keung; 2:40 video 2008

Attempting to maintain acts of balance, grace and strength, the artist tests her physical limits. Made in Hong Kong.

Ski Boys, Benny Zenga; 8:00 video 2006

The lost reels of the Cow Town Ski Boys, which document their inventive exploits in rural Ontario during the early seventies. This film reveals the bizarre footage of the “folk stunt” artists despite the implications of rewriting history and blowing your mind.

Self Portrait As a Tortured Artist (With Positive Feedback), Evan Tapper; 1:30 video 2006

In this humourous video, an actual recorded telephone message is used to mock the clichés and explore the realities of being an artist.


The Day Jesus Melted, Su Rynard; 3:15 video 1999

The Day Jesus Melted tells a poignant and playful story of a child’s confrontation with the mysterious worlds of faith and materiality in collision.

Memo to Pic Desk, Chris Kennedy & Anna van der Meulen; 6:30 16mm film 2007

An idiosyncratic look at staging in news photography, using materials from the archives of a Toronto daily. Moral codes, delinquency and autonomy are pulled into an altered coherence, as vintage photos are examined next to their type-written paper trail.

Blackboard, Irene Bindi; 5:00 16mm film 2002

This redefinition of the educational institution transforms a university classroom into a menacing site of crime.

U don’t no what pain is, Davida Nemeroff; 3:00 video 2010

In the archaic/vernacular language of texting, U don’t know what pain is, is a split screen piece that plays off cinematic tropes. This piece appropriates footage from both The Silence of The Lambs (1991) and a Norm Macdonald movie Screwed (2000). U don’t no what pain is. Maybe you do.

Zenith, Geoffrey Pugen; 6:00 video 2010

In 2007 fourteen artists journeyed to the Zenith Retreat to discover their inner animal character and ceremoniously perform it – a metamorphosis resulted. With theatrical absurdity, Pugen explores the relationship between performance and the artificial, the natural and the virtual through altering and manipulating media. Working with video, film, and photography in the digital realm, Pugen renders situations that examine our perceptions of how history, documentation, and simulation intersect.

Pestilent Existence, Neelam Kler 1:20 video 2010

Right now, my life is baneful. It feels like I’m reaching an end. I believe there will be no more turns on this road. There is a definite darkness approaching form behind, looming in that invisibly apparent way that emulates a mystery, The error is as simple as a tide or a cup bound to overflow, teeter n a razor in the middle of nowhere.