Parkdale’s own non-profit, artist-run centre Gallery 1313 recently held its annual installment of The Sex Show: a group exhibition exploring themes of sexuality and eroticism. This year’s show featured the work of over twenty artists, and was curated online by Gallery 1313’s director, Phil Anderson. Local, national, and internationally based artists contributed works from a variety of different media; including time-based media, collage, sculpture, and painting. Artworks were unified thematically under the umbrella term of sexuality, but each artist managed to contribute unique work and take vastly different approaches. The result was a collection of work that effectively expanded on the definition of sex and human sexuality.
Upon entering, a soundtrack could be heard coming from a back room of the gallery. The source of the audio was Lisa Anita Wegner’s video installation “Eva Gets a Better Job”, which faced a handful of collaged mixed media dioramas including Norman Barney’s “Big Boy”. While some of the work was upfront and even aggressive about its content, other pieces like Marie Finkelman’s series of small oil paintings (“Bed 3, 4, 5”) were quiet and subtle in their approach to sensuality. Finkelstein’s portraits appeared to be derived from snapshots of a couple in bed, revealing ruffled sheets and naked backs. Not far from Finkelstein’s work, on the left hand side of the gallery, there hung a series of black and white photo booth strips entitled “Movement for Photo Booth (Berlin 2014)” by Lauren Fournier. Fournier’s self portraits show the artist posing in various states of undress, and suggest an internalized and contemplative approach to sexuality.
The range of work and viewpoints on display served as a reminder that the definition of sexuality is deeply personal, and differs from individual to individual. 2015’s annual installment of The Sex Show proved to be an entertaining and perhaps voyeuristic take on the subjective experience of sexuality, sensuality, and eroticism.
Text: Madeleine Till / Images: Courtesy of Gallery 1313
*Exhibition information: February 18 – March 1, 2015, Gallery 1313, 1313 Queen Street West, Toronto. Gallery hours: Wed – Sun 1 – 6 p.m.