Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Gay Goth Scene

[Joel Gibb and Paul P]
Gay Goth Scene
Toronto, Canada: Middle Path Prints, 2016
12 x 16"
Edition of 25 signed copies

The Gay Goth Scene zine was a collaboration between painter Paul P and musician Joel Gibb, created when they held jobs at Coles Books and Sam the Record Man, under the pseudonyms Bones and Raven. The full bleed screenprint is printed in goth black and semi-transparent white to mimic photocopy and liquid paper, on pearl grey Stonehenge paper. It is available for $300 CDN at /edition Toronto this week, from Daryl Vocat's Middle Path Prints.

Paul P (Bones) has subsequently exhibited in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, as well as in group shows at MoMA, and the Freud Museum, London.  His work is in the collections of MoMA, LACMA, The Brooklyn Museum, SFMoMA, The AGO, and The Whitney among others.

Joel Gibb (Raven) is the songwriter and leader of The Hidden Cameras, who signed to Rough Trade in 2002, have since released 5 studio records. The band's 6th LP, Home on native land, will be released at the end of next month.  Hear the b-side to their 2003 single Ban Marriage, an ode to self-publishing called Fear of Zine Failurehere.

"We've been friends since we were ten years old and grew up together in suburbia, living one street away, going to the same church, bonded by our love of making campy jokes and by music (including a shared goth phase).  We were obsessed with bands and went to the city to see shows several times a week, for years and years.  We loved the idea of the underground, and sonically it ministered to us, but for all of our efforts (making zines, having a band, and loitering in cool places) we never managed to find the underground, at least nothing more interesting that what we'd cultivated between just the two of us.  Years later, at the photocopy store, we'd already each embarked upon our principle artistic métiers: Joel as a musician with his newly inaugurated The Hidden Cameras, and me, as a painter.  Gay Goth Scene zine was two things.  First it was a marriage for our overlapping bred-in-the-bone fascinations - Joel had composed Gay Goth Scene, a song about a vicious cycle of gay goth teenage alienation (a live favourite for years that has only recently been recorded and released), and I was making portraits of guys from vintage gay porn magazines painted wearing masks with bats flying in the background, albeit in a pink palette.  Secondly though, Gay Goth Scene was also a loving homage, as well as a bit of send-up, of a zine phenomenon particular to Toronto, which with J.D.'s and This is the Salivation Army (it’s creator Scott Treleaven had recently become my boyfriend), was famous for purporting to the world a fully formed underground or riotous gang that never really quite existed outside the lives of its makers - though through self-publishing their scenes were eventually willed into existence!  From Xeroxes of vintage porn embellished with Whiteout and a Sharpie, Gay Goth Scene was always earnest in its sentiment – “we crave evil cock”!  The scene is (still) growing!"
- Paul P. , Queer Zines 2. Philip Aarons, AA Bronson. Printed Matter/Witte de With, 2014.

/edition Toronto Art Book Fair: Afterall Magazine launch

Afterall will be launching issue 42 (autumn/winter 2016), which looks at art as a tool for social transformation, at the /edition Fair this weekend:

"Through the work of Arahmaiani, Tania Bruguera, Inji Efflatoun and Jo Spence, and projects such as Chiang Mai Social Installation, Afterall 42 examines cultural memory and artists working at the intersection of activism and biopolitics.

Just as Walter Benjamin, in conversation with David Morris, claims that "art" as we know it is obsolete, Tania Bruguera’s concept of Arte Útil—useful art—proposes an alternative role for art in the world. W.J.T. Mitchell speaks to Bruguera about the relationship between art, activism, loss and utopia, and John Byrne analyses the broader movement around Arte Útil, from international art museums to grass-roots community organising. The work of Arahmaiani suggests a different approach to art-as-resistance. Angela Dimitrakaki explores the artist’s ongoing exposure of the complex of capitalism, religion and patriarchy, while Wulan Dirgantoro explains how her work confronts the categories imposed on her by western critics and museums. Arahmaiani participated in Chiang Mai Social Installation, a series of DIY artist-led festivals in Thailand—introduced in an essay by Simon Soon—which coincided with the rapid spread of globalisation during the 1990s. It was at this moment, when the festival was at the peak of its success, that its organisers chose to withdraw: a rejection of the emergent global art field.

Arahmaiani’s brief imprisonment by the Indonesian military government in the 1980s might bring to mind Bruguera’s antagonisms with the Cuban state, and it is a point of commonality with Inji Efflatoun, who was also imprisoned for her rebellious politics. As essays by Anneka Lenssen and Kaelen Wilson-Goldie show, Efflatoun’s practice suggests a lifelong ethics that plays itself out through personal and political life, as a celebrated artist and leader in the Egyptian women’s movement. Conversely, through an engagement with the final photographs of Jo Spence, Anne Boyer addresses such questions within a moment of vulnerability and sickness. What kind of activism, what kind of art is possible at the limits of life?

These questions also connect with the role of cultural institutions—museums, libraries and archives—and what they conceal or reveal. Charles Stankievech uncovers the interconnected histories of art, military technology and espionage, and Georgina Jackson explores the traces and taxonomies of war as they appear in Abbas Akhavan’s Study for a Monument (2013–15). Anders Kreuger’s critique of a recent exhibition of Gely Korzhev addresses the recuperation of Socialist Realism within contemporary Russia, whereas Peter Osborne traces how the alternative art practice of Ilya Kabakov has both shaped and been shaped by western art categories. Finally, Helena Vilalta’s assessment of the recent exhibition Empty Fields at SALT in Istanbul, addressing the political erasure of the Armenian genocide, reflects on how to exhibit histories that remain unacknowledged.

Afterall journal is published by Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, in editorial partnership with M HKA, Antwerp; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto, and in association with the University of Chicago Press."
- Press release

Robert Fones | G, S, Y Types

Robert Fones
G, S, Y Types
Toronto, Canada: Nothing Else Press, 2016
2 x 2 cm.
Edition of 50 (each type)

The Nothing Else Press is pleased to announce an new edition by Robert Fones: three cloisonné pins, available individually in an edition of 50 (each design) and as a signed set of three, also an edition of 50. Launching tomorrow at the /edition Toronto Art Fair, the pins will sell for $10 each or $25 for the signed set. They are also available on the website, here.

"The G, S, Y Types represent the only three possible configurations that can be constructed on a nine-square grid by tracing a continuous pathway through all nine squares. Additional variants can be generated by flipping or rotating the three basic types. The bevelled pathways were inspired by overhead views of gabled roofs and by First Style paintings from Pompeii. The three types are named after the letterforms they most closely resemble: G, S and Y."
- Robert Fones

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

/edition Toronto: Bookclub

Above are a few images from the Powerpoint slide show that I'm currently compiling for Bookclub's  Saturday presentation at /edition Toronto. Included so far are samples from postcard sets from the collection of Michael Klein, an Endre Tót work from Micah Lexier, Bill Clarke's Dieter Roth book, and the Smallest Book, by Himaa, from Derek McCormack's collection of packaged items.

Bookclub events are typically held in the member's homes, but periodically the group ventures out to give public presentations, using the speaker fees to fund the yearly production of a Book bag (Michael Dumontier, Kay Rosen, Claude Closky, Sara Mackillop, etc.)

Details for the event are below, or at

Book Club
SAT OCT 29 at 4:00 PM
Since 2008, ten of Toronto’s most dedicated collectors and aficionados of artist’s books, editions and ephemera have been meeting as Book Club. At these meetings, the curators, collectors and artists who make up the group share their latest acquisitions with each other in what they describe as “show and tell for book-loving grown-ups.”

Members of the group have agreed to do a public “show and tell” of rare and interesting items from their collections. Book Club’s presentation will be a unique opportunity to see and learn about rare artist’s books and editions that usually remain securely under glass when exhibited in galleries and museums.

The members of Book Club include: Micah Lexier, Sarah Robayo Sheridan, Derek Sullivan, Bill Clarke, Dave Dyment, Roula Partheniou, Paul Van Kooy, Wendy Gomoll, Derek McCormack and Michael Klein. Members of Book Club have presented items from their collections in talks at The Power Plant and the London Art Book Fair (Whitechapel Gallery, U.K.)

/editon Toronto: The Persistence of Print

Moderated by the Art Gallery of Ontario's Manager of Publications and Special Projects Jim Shedden, The Persistence of Print is a panel of four "web-positive artists and publishers", discussing their ongoing work in the print medium and the myriad ways that print has been transformed by the web. Their bios are below. The event takes place at 6pm on Saturday the 29th of October. For more information, visit the /edition fair site, here.

Ana Barajas is the Director of YYZ Artists’ Outlet, a non-profit artist-run centre, and Managing Editor of YYZBOOKS. As the Director of YYZ, Barajas has managed more than one-hundred exhibitions to date.

Robert Dayton is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. As The Canadian Romantic, he manifests as a series of videos, live performances, a doll, an art book and a winking photo to make people in Canada and everywhere feel more attractive.

Annie Koyama is a Toronto-based former film producer who, after a health crisis, accidentally fell into publishing art books and alternative comics. She believes that print is not dead.

Flavio Trevisan is an artist and designer. His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions, including Museum of a Represented City, presented by the Koffler Gallery in Toronto. He was a co-founder and co-director of the now defunct Convenience Gallery in Toronto. He has been publishing books as Hex Editions since 2013.

Jim Shedden is the Manager of Publishing at the Art Gallery of Ontario, where he also curates film-related exhibitions. Shedden has been producing publications since his first zine, Gratis, at age 14, and loves print just as much as he loves html. He also occasionally makes films, programs music, writes, and blogs.

Monday, October 24, 2016

VSVSVS | Kettle Bells

Kettle Bells
Toronto, Canada: Nothing Else Press, 2016
Sizes and weights vary
Unlimited edition, signed

Eight new Kettle Bells from VSVSVS, the first five of which have sold. The remaining three will be at the /edition Toronto Fair beginning Thursday. The Kettle Bells are made from water eroded rubble from the Leslie Street Spit - a dumping ground for sand, broken bricks, cinder blocks and earth dredged from construction projects across the city. They are functional floor sculptures from Toronto's finest collective.

The Bells are available for $100 CDN each.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

/edition Art Book Fair: Rutherford Chang

Four years ago at Art Toronto, I hosted an informal "In conversation" presentation with Beijing/New York artist Rutherford Chang on the topic of "Re-Translating Popular Culture in Contemporary Video Art."

Chang is back this year, as part of /edition Toronto, this time in conversation with the fair's director Bill Clarke. On Saturday October 29th, at 12:30pm Clarke and Chang will discuss "the personal, art-historical and conceptual aspects of the artist’s installation We Buy White Albums and some of his recent projects, such as his participation the New Museum’s Real Live Online series."

The conversation will take place in the We Buy White Albums project at the fair: an installation resembling a record store, stocked with over 1,500 first pressings of the Beatles' eponymous double LP.  The albums are arranged in bins by the 'edition' numbers on the cover. Visitors can flip through the LPs and see how previous owners have personalized the ‘blank canvas’ of the record jacket with stickers, doodles, and even some love letters.