Thursday, February 6, 2014, 7 – 11 p.m.
Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas Street West
First Thursday’s at the AGO always draw a large crowd and last night was no exception. The gallery was packed with partygoers and art-lovers alike, though the crowds seemed busiest around the several bars located throughout the gallery rather than at the many pop-up talks and performance works.
Nathalie Quagliotto’s interactive installation works were a crowd pleaser. Guests were invited to participate in her mini golf work titled Doubled Persistence, which involved two people on opposing platforms testing their putting skills by taking aim at the same target.
Guests were also treated to two performance works. The Phillip B. Lind gallery was transformed into a table tennis arena in Geoffrey Pugen’s King’s Court. The performance involved the artist going head-to-head with a professional table tennis player on a circular table, which had been modified by Pugen for an additional challenge.
Sarah Febbraro also converted the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre into an interactive talk show performance that invited the audience to be interviewed about love, sex and relationships. If a match was made, Febbraro would text the participants with a location and time to meet for a spontaneous first date in the AGO that very night. Nearing the end of the night only one match had been made and it was unsuccessful.
Visitors could also partake in musical performances in the beautiful Walker Court by Tasha the Amazon and Pick a Piper.
Many of us head to the newly opened exhibition Elevated: Contemporary Art in the AGO Tower, which featured artworks by the likes Cindy Sherman, Mike Kelley, Karel Funk and Francis Alÿs.
Walking around AGO I found this piece, part of the permanent collection, I think.
The next First Thursday takes place on March 6 and will include a headlining performance by Egyptrixxx and art projects by Laura McCoy, Alicia Nauta and Jordan Tannahill among others.
Text and photo: Mitch Billinkoff