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take your legs and your shoes

July 12, 2017 - Oct. 17, 2017


take your legs and your shoes
Curated by Kate Benedict and Tamara Hart

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Playful in process and form, 'take your legs and your shoes' constructs a dialogue surrounding the role of materiality in art. Featuring site-specific installations by Erika DeFreitas, Annie Descôteaux, Bijan Ramezani and Kendra Yee, this exhibition focuses on the ways in which materials become witting actors in the artistic process and entangle viewers in a web of curious encounters, misconnections and unfixed meanings.

Erika DeFreitas is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist based in Scarborough. Drawing on personal and cultural histories, DeFreitas explores the influence of language and loss within the context of identity formation. In her new video work, the artist documents a relational exchange between herself and her mother through a clever rumination of performative actions. Incorporating textile-based works composed of repurposed fabrics, DeFreitas reconfigures domestic objects in an attempt to make the impermanent permanent, emphasizing gesture, process and exchange.

Annie Descôteaux is a Montreal-based artist who uses bold abstract forms and employs simple objects, sharp colours and flattened pictorial planes in her installation, drawing and collage work. Reinforcing her connoisseurship of art and design, Descôteaux’s Formes lentes applies a different set of methodological tools to examine the intrinsic playfulness and performativity of objects. Her subtle humour forces viewers to construct their own meaning of objects and to attribute metaphorical significance based on encounters.

Bijan Ramezani is a Canadian-Iranian artist who lives and works in Toronto. Ramezani’s mixed media installations examine the limitations of found objects and re-contextualize archives of both public and personal material. The artist’s installation GIMMICKS repurposes discarded construction debris and presents a portrait of a convenience store shoplifter, while MERCEDES BENZ and JAGUAR feature digitally scanned police signatures from parking tickets. These unlikely assemblages of unfinished images remix social and cultural memories, creating new indexes of meaning.

Kendra Yee is a Toronto-based artist, illustrator and designer. Her work consists of mixed-media paintings, ceramic sculptures and narrative illustrations. Yee’s site-specific mural combines playful objects with cultural artefacts to reveal curiously intimate, multi-dimensional narratives. Chains act as links to ethereal landscapes, sweeping the viewer into an obscure myth inhabited by nondescript portraits and uncanny objects. Activated by the viewer, Yee’s installation creates a speculative space based on interactions between matter and bodies.