Fall In Annie Onyi Cheung, Sophie Bélair Clément, Gillian Collyer, Zev Farber, Alison S. M. Kobayashi, Ryan Park, Roula Partheniou, Joshua Schwebel, Josh Thorpe

October 26 - December 13, 2009

Curated by Christof Migone

Photos by Toni Hafkenscheid
Special Events

Sun Nov 8, 12-5pm. FREE Contemporary Art Bus Tour. Starting at noon at the ROM (100 Queen's Park) with exhibition tours organized by the Institute for Contemporary Culture and the Koffler Gallery, bus departs for Doris McCarthy Gallery, Art Gallery of York University and Blackwood Gallery. To reserve a seat, please call the Doris McCarthy Gallery at 416-287-7007 by Friday Nov 6.

Wed Nov 4, 8pm. Watch Your Step! Blind Duck Pub, UTM Campus. The Blackwood hosts a casual evening featuring a talk on the effects of gravity on the body by Dawn Lim, M.D., an artist talk by Simone Jones, and a performance by the UTM Breakers.

Wed Nov 18, 7pm. The Blackwood Talks: Artificial Respiration: On Life, Environment and Machine by Shannon Hoff. Room 112 Kaneff Centre, UTM Campus. Philosopher Shannon Hoff will respond to the works in the exhibitions Fall Out and Fall In. She will extend the process of conversation initiated by the exhibitions and address the ways in which we develop and inhabit environments that both enable and inhibit our freedom and flourishing.

Sun Dec 6, 11:30am-5:30pm. ARTBus. Bus departs at 11:30am from OCAD (100 McCaul St., Toronto) for the Blackwood Gallery, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square and Gairloch Gardens. Lunch will be provided courtesy of Whole Foods. Come join us for the last tour of the season that will include guided tours, festive celebrations and an opening reception! Cost: $10. To register, please call the Blackwood Gallery at (905) 828-3789 by Friday, December 4th.

Sun Dec 6, 1:30-3:00pm. Closing Reception for Fall Out and Fall In. Please join us in celebrating our fall exhibitions.

Exhibition Statement

The search for descent is not the erecting
of foundations: on the contrary, it disturbs
what was previously considered immobile;
it fragments what was thought unified;
it shows the heterogeneity of what was
imagined consistent with itself.
- Michel Foucault (1)

Fall In follows Fall Out, literally. For Fall In, nine artists have been invited to produce works in response to the works presented in Fall Out. The works will be featured alongside the 'original' works. The two exhibitions are thus entwined in a chain reaction. As the dominos fall, an immediate genealogy emerges. Causation is repeatedly retriggered and thus the components combine to form the basic ingredients of a history: a word is added to the preceding one and by cumulative inertia both soon become a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter, a book. To fall, and then to fall farther. But also to fall in, as in inward, inside the Fall Out works. To actualize and further the linkages, the Fall In works employ a plethora of strategies, some subtle and delicate, others loud and invasive. They integrate the work by disintegrating its imagined consistency (Foucault). Thereby each of the works is forced to extend beyond itself. The exhibitions respond to each other and consequently aggregate. They suggest a conversation that will go on and on, Fall Out to Fall In to Fall Through to Fall From to Fall To to Fall With to Fall Under, and on.

The pairings:

Annie Onyi Cheung will respond to the work of Simone Jones
Sophie Bélair Clément will respond to the work of Tom Sherman
Gillian Collyer will respond to the work of Kristiina Lahde
Zev Farber will respond to the work of Valerian Maly
Alison S.M. Kobayashi will respond to the work of Paul Litherland
Ryan Park will respond to the work of Erika Keirulf
Roula Partheniou will respond to the work of Zilvinas Kempinas
Josh Schwebel will respond to the work of Robyn Cumming
Josh Thorpe will respond to the work of Don Simmons

(1) Michel Foucault, “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” in Language, Counter-Memory, Practice, trans. Donald F. Bouchard and Sherry Simon, Cornell University Press, 1977, 147.
Artists' Biographies & Project Descriptions
Annie Onyi Cheung

_scape with 6 and 7, 2009
Video 35:42
This single-channel video is a meditation on the cyclic rhythms abundant in our natural and artificial environments. The recurrent rise and fall of the human body becomes removed from the reality of anatomy and science, and is experienced as an undulating sound and land scape with breath as a persistent and variable force.

My work in time-based and three-dimensional media explores body, identity, displacement, and generational and cultural difference. Working within performance, video and installation art, I find meaning hiding between the folds of unlikely narratives that arise from experimentation and well-intentioned misunderstandings. My art emerges from a blur of real and imagined places, people and actions, where they manifest as factual fantasies. Born in Hong Kong, I live and work in Toronto, Canada.


Sophie Bélair Clément

Hypothetical view from Tom Sherman's perspective as he laid on the floor. Location of the second Hyperventilation piece performance, Eastern Michigan University, Sill Hall hallway, second floor. Photographed by Alex Mandrila. Fall 2009.

Re: Spring 1971 (2009)
3 exhibition panels, 5"x 7"

The artist would like to extend a special thanks to: Tom Sherman, Alex Mandrila, Alexandre Castonguay, David Tomas, Pavel Pavlov, Tom Adair, Andrea Joseph, Lynne Cohen, Jay Yager, John Orentlicher,  Lucinda Devlin, Jennifer Locke and Amy Sacksteder.

Through performances involving video, sound, graphics and text, Sophie Bélair Clément is interested in observational situations and tries to make the gestures and voice of the performative body coincide with those of another body, present or represented. Her work reveals the out-of-synch elements and failures of these matching attempts. She has, for example, invited a chamber orchestra to try to replay the subtle noises coming from the fluorescent tubes in Dan Flavin’s work. Her recent work has featured the contributions of musicians, singers and composers such as Olivier Girouard, Olivier Maranda and the group Kingdom Shore. She lives in Gatineau and Montreal.

Gillian Collyer

Snowflake, 2009
10’ in diameter, crochet

Hierarchies exist in all realms of life. Within the art world there is a clear hierarchy of media, with painting at the pinnacle and craft-based media at the bottom. Within textiles, there could also be said to be a hierarchy, separating fine craft from low craft, with crochet at or near the bottom. Crochet is associated more with kitsch items like toilet roll covers and bad macrame wall hangings than with what you'd see in a gallery. I have been interested in the history of needlework as a
feminized, domestic activity since I began studying art in 1991. The crocheted snowflake in Fall In—a reference to a Christmas tree ornament—is a whimsical response to Kristiina Lahde's lace-like computer paper.

Zev Farber

Middle-Child (Excerpted evidence from ongoing investigation), 2009
Digital Prints,
13" x 19" each

Case #0223 Doc. 1a, 1b, 1c
Hire Date: 09.2008
Status: Ongoing

Findings to-date: So long and (no) thanks for all the math. It's getting more and more difficult to find the information this client is seeking from these odd abstractions that keep floating to the surface. I have located the transcripts belonging to the middle-child, listing the courses in-progress up to the time of the family's disappearance, and additional evidence thereafter in the form of these corrupted "cheat sheets". However, I feel as if I'm just circling the drain, attempting to coax facts from what feels like a fiction...

In my work, elements of the liminal and grotesque are interwoven into the backdrop of an immersive world where stability is relative, and the potential for transformation is constant. Childhood to adulthood, safety to peril and healthy to sick are familiar sociopolitical tropes. The body/mind/organic world and its failings are a significant theme to which I return often, largely in the context of the interdependencies and disruptions between the technological and human, and the larger repercussions of tipping the balance in favour of either one.

Zev Farber is an electronic media artist based out of Toronto. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Visual Art at York University. His work has been shown in galleries and festivals in Toronto and appeared in various Canadian publications.


Alison S. M. Kobayashi

Self-Made Parachute, 2009
Black nylon, thread, nylon string, rotating motor
15’x 30”

Paul is not afraid of skydiving. His sense of confidence and humour is very clear despite the risks inherent in the situation.
Watching Paul’s video Force of Attraction, I could not avoid thinking about what could have gone wrong. The Self-Made Parachute is a symbol of negative possibilities. It is a reminder of doubt, anxiety, contradiction, and fear in the face of risk.

People asked, “You are not going to use it, are you?”
The idea of a do-it-yourself parachute is unpopular.


Ryan Park

Some contact points (for bodies near the surface of the earth), 2009
Audio recording, 1h20. Listen to excerpt here.

A list of contact points (for bodies near the surface of the earth).
Dependent on mass, energy, momentum, trajectory, pressure, tension.
Some observed, some proposed.
Oblique or direct.
Sustained or momentary.
One after the other.

Your chest, my stomach.
My head, your throat.
My hip, your hair.
My armpit, your mouth.
Your nose, my heel.
My shoulder, your nose.
Your thigh, my hand.
Your wrist, my elbow.
My armpit, your neck.
Your waist, my tongue.
Your neck, my shoulder.
Your jaw, my nose.
My face, your face.
Your thumb, my hair.
Your armpit, my hand.
Your eye, my hip.
My head, your rib.
My shoulder, your hair.
My knee, your knee.
Your foot, my nose.
Your knuckle, my chest.
My throat, your shin.
My shoulder, your nail.
Your nail, my hair.

My work is made in response to the processes of apprehension between an individual and the world. Working with sculpture, photography, found materials, or text, I attempt to give form to a state in which identity and function are constantly in flux, contingent on situation, private intentions, and social conventions.

Ryan Park was born in Calgary, Alberta and raised in Langley, BC. He received a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (2007) and is currently in the MFA program at the University of Guelph.


Roula Partheniou

Caution Yellow, 2009
Caution Yellow, 2009
Acrylic paint on Fimo

From Charlie Chaplin to the Three Stooges to Woody Allen, the banana has been at the center of one joke after another, propelling comedians into head-over-heels antics. Slumped on the gallery floor, this to-scale replica of a banana peel implies a narrative or an imagined prat-fall, with a nod to Newton. Caution Yellow requires that the viewer negotiate it both as an art object and as a safety hazard.

A response to O Between Two Fans, both pieces rely on a choreography, whether actual or imagined, and on the tension of an impending drop.

Roula Partheniou is a visual artist living in Toronto and is represented by MKG127. Currently her public art project Circular Logic is on view at Cambridge Galleries; her project 100 Variations is on view at Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, New York and her work can be seen at the Surrey Art Gallery as part of Infinite Egress. In the last year, she has exhibited locally and nationally with shows including: Bookstall, as part of The News at Five, at The Toronto International Art Fair; The Form Itself, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, New York; Black Friday, Printed Matter, New York; Works, Works 1, Twice, *Queen Specific, Toronto; Recent Work, YYZ Artists’ Outlet, Toronto and Literally, Artspeak, Vancouver.


Joshua Schwebel

(Between the Deaths) Vertigo, 2009
Performance documentation (paperback novel)
Realized in collaboration with Jesse Levine and Andy Snider

Some words in anticipation of a fall not yet initiated, but already in motion. Will it be a disaster?
I feel some trepidation, but the thrill pushes me beyond myself.
A play of control, planning, acting, acting, reacting, recording, forgetting…
A machine or a monster that may kill its maker
A rehearsal for a patricide by an imposter
A speculation
A set-up
A made-to-order witness.

It’s too late now.

I work between site-specific performance-intervention and documentation. I create objects that function as catalysts towards, or documents of, events. These can be exhibited in a gallery. However, these objects / documents do not concretely prove whether the event to which they refer has occurred, or if it will occur. Instead, I try to problematize the seeming direct relation between what is certain and what is uncertain in an event and its record. I am interested in creating absences, or generating situations that displace an expected physical presence or temporal present with an erasure or delay. I use the relationship between event and document to resist the spectator's desire to verify the happening that is no longer or not yet present. The encounter with the event itself (if it occurs), takes place outside of the frame of art. In this case the event is inexplicable, unexpected and somewhat disturbing. I try to shift the expectation that things are as they seem. I love being able to cheat and to play with the immaterial aspects of what we take so seriously.


Josh Thorpe

Bachelor Stick, 2009
Enamel on balsa

Bachelor On and Off (Switch for Bachelor Forever), 2009
enamel and acrylic on plastic, electrical work

Bachelor Stick, 2009
The stick came after the switch. It connects more obviously with my previous work, which is often a kind of self-conscious interior decor. I have many times painted sticks to match or relate to their surroundings and leaned them against a wall. But this stick is fallen, a slapstick. It matches the switch's shiny pink but contradicts the verticality of both the switch and the stripe of iron filings. It also falls outside of the conventional exhibition space, potentially leading the spectator behind the wall to inspect the guts of Bachelor Forever and Bachelor On and Off.

Bachelor On and Off responds to a curious situation centering around Don Simmons' work, Bachelor Forever. Because this work's motor is quite loud, Blackwood decided that allowing it to run constantly was too much for docents, spectators, and neighbours. Docents were asked to turn the work on for a short time for each visitor. My switch simply takes it a step further, putting control in the spectator's hands. The paint on the switch aestheticizes it, turning it into something of a minimalist sculpture, but also anthropomorphizes it, which makes it a little lewd.

I'm an artist, musician, writer, and publisher living in Toronto. I teach art and writing at OCAD and UofT, I run a small publishing project called Off Cut Press, which prints small books on the waste paper of commercial print jobs, and, with the help of Art Metropole, I've just put out a guidebook to the pavilions of Dan Graham.


Installation Views
Closing Reception

Generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

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