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Kim Neudorf
Liza Eurich & Brad Isaacs at McIntosh Gallery
August 21, 2012

Brad Isaacs, You Can Never Go Back

London is rife with MFA exhibitions this month, including those of Liza Eurich and Brad Isaacs at McIntosh Gallery, located on Western University campus. In Eurich's installation The Work of It, seemingly self-explanatory material intentions quietly withdraw or are visibly interrupted. Something Like This, a small half-sphere covered in graphite aims through the eye of It Frames Them, a wooden rectangular loop propped up by limping shadows. Clay stains upon wood signal the threshold of having been marked for action, yet still on the edge of this action. The shadow produced by This One Has Been Bent, a reinforced steel line drawn from floor to mid-wall, transforms the piece into a slender frame, its wiry economy pulled out of line by a sudden curve. What He Said, a found image of a cat's aggressive snarl is cut short, its wood base sliced into a deliberately extended cliff of plinth. If you look closely, a possible rag in the cat's mouth pushes this cut into the driest of slapstick.

The photographs of animal hides and dioramas in Brad Isaacs' Hiding Place shift the role of photographed animals from family portrait to Dutch still life to eerie sci-fi. Often the photographs relocate spectacularly fake or matter-of-fact settings into the suggestion of a space beyond, such as the holes implied by shadows or cut into the animal hides in You Can Never Go Back. Animals also become landscapes, a convention which Isaacs emphasizes by varying photographic texture, colour, and placement. Mounds, piles, bones, buckets, and plastic bags evidence the slapdash transformation of living creature to blunt object. As both the photograph and taxidermy fix and organize these animals into means for fetishized treatment and passive viewing, Isaacs' photographs emphasize - without easy resolution - that much is withheld from view.

McIntosh Gallery:
Liza Eurich & Brad Isaacs continue until September 22.

Kim Neudorf is an artist and writer currently living in London, Ontario. Her paintings have shown in the Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Stride Gallery, and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. She has contributed writing to FFWD,, Prairie Artsters, Hamilton Arts & Letters, Stride Gallery, and Truck Gallery, as well as her own blog. She is Akimbo's London correspondent.



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