Friday, September 21, 2007

ENDGAMES, TRUCK Gallery, Calgary, September 7 to October 6, 2007

Refering to the most rewarding and challenging portion of a chess match, Endgames as a group exhibition plays upon the perception of individualized strategy and outcome of gaming culture.
Housed in the raw basement that is TRUCK Gallery, Craig Le Blanc's astute floor-based sculptures fuse the plastic fun sensibility of toy and game culture with the precision of architecturally sound designs and moldings. The world created is one for the future and emanating from each piece is the urge to step into this world and play (as it were).
Michael Coolidge's photographs depict an abandoned world where the game (what appears to be a set of multi-coloured lawn bowling balls) can occur anywhere and does exist everywhere. From side walk curbside to interior abstract spaces, the absence of players in each photograph arouses a sense of conflict in our collective culture's representation of games as solitary activities that were once about interaction.
The other two artists, Laura Wilson and Mike Paget, directly invite you into their pieces as interactive games. Though lightly impressive for their constructs, the works on their own do not engage with the audience as much as their non-interactive counterparts.
Though the title and artist statement may have been more clever than the pieces, the show as a whole was a well-balanced exhibition that hit its theme from all different perspectives and mediums.

Image courtesy of TRUCK Gallery

Artists Michael Coolidge, Craig Le Blanc, Mike Paget, Laura Wilson

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