Monday, July 7, 2008

Latitude 53 June 13 - July 12, 2008, REVIEWED by Erin Carter

Mind of a City Judy Cheung

Maybe that job you took didn’t suit your needs so that’s why you quit after two weeks. Or maybe you don’t even know what your needs are right now. If not Judy Cheung Mind of a City exhibition at Latitude 53 might have something to say about your inner turmoil.

Pop psychology for the confused and lost, thinking “outside the box”, prioritising your core values and developing skills are placed in a funny way within Judy Cheung’s installation. These are developmental processes that most of us are taught in Junior High health class. I enjoyed the Myers Briggs personality description that was translated from other languages. It’s funny how we all get so caught up in categorizing ourselves we forget how to truly just be ourselves. These are the thoughts that Judy Cheung shed some light on while I was walking through her show.

I had a hard time reading the core value etchings on the translucent bars of soap but I thought it was ironic that these etchings were on clear bars of soap. If we wash ourselves with our own core values, and the etchings disappear, does that mean they will sink into our skin and activate our “core values”? Sometimes choosing the right value is easier than acting on the right value.

With a smile on my face the show ends with a feather chaise and the words “dream here”. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of city life and maybe we all need a friendly reminder that dreams are important, even if those dreams land on the seat of an angelic chaise.

Fancy Corissa O’Donnell

I miss the good old days when we could go to a fancy saloon and look at framed yellowing pictures of our great great grandma’s posing (in the nude) for an artist. You know those days when porn was tamely hand drawn and ladies blushed at the prospect of getting caught in only their corset. Wait a minute…I think Corissa O’Donnell may have captured that moment of old time purity in her vintage framed portraits of lovely ladies. Fancy is the name the exhibition and ladies are the focus.

With incredible detail Corissa O’Donnell has drawn women who are not the clichéd beauties of today’s Hollywood influenced life. I’m glad to see these topless women boldly staring back at me and basically saying, “what the hell are you staring at.” No matter what shape, size or look every portrait O’Donnell has drawn captures the beauty of femininity without the gaudiness of pornography. It’s nice to see that mass production hasn’t destroyed the beauty of the feminine curves.

Launch Pad

Multiple artists submitted to Launch Pad, which is an exhibit that consists of munny dolls, dunny dolls, super munny dolls and long boards. Kid Robot distributes the do it yourself munny/dunny dolls. These dolls stand anywhere from 4-24 inches in height and can be painted, carved, melted into anything your heart desires. Some are calling it the next wave of graffiti art that can be purchased. Looking at each piece in Launch Pad I was pretty amazed at the creations people were pulling off with these little plastic creatures.

I’ve heard about the munny dolls before but I didn’t really know what the rage was about. One of the statues was wrapped in decoupage Chinese newsprint and looked like a Chinese warrior. There were others that looked like they were straight out of a video game and were just waiting to come to life and kick some butt. This is the new wave of Knick Knack and I want one.

As I finished up with the three shows put on by Lattitude 53 I felt a wave of light heartedness wash over me. Fancy, Mind of a City and Launch Pad were three incredibly different exhibits that had one continuous feeling of surprise. I went there not knowing what to expect and walked out with expectations met.

Erin Carter is Prairie Artsters 2008 summer intern.

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