URL:IRL at Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina
The latest exhibition from the curatorial team at the Dunlop
Kaley Flowers‘ pastel-glazed, decal-covered ceramic works are a compellingly corporeal examination of money, value, and worth. A playful reimagining of the traditional piggy bank, her slug-bodied web-surfers or creepy arachnids squat on top of treasure boxes enclosing cryptocurrency keys. To access the online funds, one must shatter these exquisite porcelains.
Sarah Rothberg, Touching a Cactus, 2017, virtual reality (photo: Don Hall)
The premise of Sarah Rothberg‘s instructively-titled virtual reality work Touching a Cactus is straightforward. When simulated digits brush against a 3D rendering of a cactus, the whole scene lurches and is replaced by one with an entirely different visual style. After a few touches, the artist ups the ante from “touching” to “being” a cactus: my virtual limbs turned green and sprouted spines. I swatted a balloon that appeared from nowhere and popped it. To experience something I had never thought to imagine – cactus hands – was a revelation and the core of this work’s unexpected appeal.
Monumentalisms by Scott Benesiinaabandan is a sombre counterpoint to Touching A Cactus. What looks like a lump of melted metal, roughly the size and shape of a TV remote control (but is actually a thermoplastic form printed from a scan of a found piece of metal), is recast as a landscape to be explored by the disembodied virtual explorer. The digital realm has opened the door to find wonder and nobility in a piece of junk.
Other exhibition highlights include Maya Ben David‘s ironically sexy cosplay videos in which she poses as an Air Canada jet and a popcorn ceiling, Barry Ace‘s Métis beadwork patterns fashioned from electronic resistors and transistors, and Nandan Ghiya‘s framed images deformed to reproduce the look of a computer graphics glitch.
Sandee Moore is a nationally exhibited artist, arts administrator, and occasional art writer. She can be followed on Twitter @SandeeMoore.