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balloon / portal / starres / fiends

Thursday, October 09 - Wednesday, November 12
Opening Reception: Friday October 17, 7-10pm

Liza Eurich
Paolo Fortin
Mackenzie Ludlow
Jenine Marsh
Jennifer Martin

Curated by Kim Neudorf

The works in balloon / portal / starres / fiends consider Donald Barthelme’s short story ‘The Balloon’ as both material and inspiration. In the story, a giant air balloon mysteriously appears over Manhattan. Reactions to the balloon vary wildly, involving a continued search for the meaning of the balloon’s existence. The text’s narrator offers: "It was suggested that what was admired about the balloon was finally this: that it was not limited, or defined. Sometimes a bulge, blister, or sub-section would carry all the way east to the river on its own initiative...This ability of the balloon to shift its shape, to change, was very pleasing, especially to people whose lives were rather rigidly patterned, persons to whom change, although desired, was not available. The balloon, for the twenty-two days of its existence, offered the possibility, in its randomness, of mislocation of the self, in contradistinction to the grid of precise, rectangular pathways under our feet."

While Barthelme’s story considers (via a certain rift of curious onlookers) possible use-conceptions of balloons, it also considers ideas of elevation, the discovery of a way to speak of something without resorting to certain conventions. Something strange enough to work, to make sense as experienced in time. A revelation made into a base object. The elevation of a sudden idea. A “bulge, blister, or sub-section” which shifts its shape seemingly “on its own initiative”. A once-flat exclamation, or collapsed enthusiasm, now placed and pointed towards flight. The signal of trouble, culminating tension, or inevitable action. The articulation of an idea in which form or manifestation “is inherent in the conception and comes about through its own inner necessity.” Or perhaps, as in this list of exploding thing-creatures via 17th century fireworks “such as operate in the Ayer”: Rockets, Serpents, Starres, Fiends, Petards, and Raining Fier!

balloon / portal / starres / fiends points to the idea of an elevation and portal (or “portal of entry or exit”), as well as the above-mentioned starres and fiends (friend or foe?) or manifestation of these ideas. Based on studio visits and conversations earlier this year, the exhibited artworks will not only speak of these coordinates, movements, and material presences, but emerge in relation to each other through the construction and life of the exhibition.

Kim Neudorf is an artist and writer currently living in London, ON. She received her MFA at Western University in London, ON in 2012 and her BFA from the Alberta College of Art & Design in 2005. Recent exhibitions include Paravent, curated by Sky Glabush, the fold-up, the get-up, the move about at Evans Contemporary Gallery, and The Room and Its Inhabitants at Susan Hobbs Gallery. In 2011 she was named one of 15 semi-finalists in the 13th RBC Canadian Painting Competition representing central Canada. She has contributed writing most recently to Susan Hobbs Gallery, Cooper Cole Gallery, Forest City Gallery, Evans Contemporary Gallery, and is Akimbo's London (ON) correspondent.

Conversations between the curator and the exhibiting artists have accumulated into a game of writing: notes/findings/associations in excess of the exhibited work have been collected from each artist and used as material for an exhibition text. View PDF

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Later Event: November 21
Carte Blanche