The Way I Are Valerie Blass, Anthony Burnham, Robert Fones, Martin Golland, Jen Hutton, Kelly Jazvac, John Massey, Elizabeth McIntosh, Planningtorock & Tony Romano

January 21 - March 1, 2009

Curated by Katie Bethune-Leamen

Photos by Toni Hafkenscheid
Special Events

Opening Reception
Wednesday January 21, 2009
A free bus leaves the Gladstone Hotel at 6 pm, returns at 9 pm.

FREE Contemporary Art Bus Tour
Sunday February 1, 2009
A free bus leaves from Honest Eds (581 Bloor Street W.) at 12pm, visiting the Koffler, Blackwood Gallery, AGYU and Doris McCarthy Gallery, returning at 430pm.

Exhibition Statement

In my first Voyages, while I was young, I was instructed by the oldest Mariners, and learned to speak as they did. But I have since found that the Sea-Yahoos are apt, like the Land ones, to become new fangled in the Words; which latter change every Year; insomuch, as I remember upon each return to mine own Country, their old Dialect was so altered, that I could hardly understand the new.

- Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (as quoted in Daniel Heller-Roazen, Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language)

Here was my confusion: upon hearing hip hop artist and producer Timbaland’s 2007 single “The Way I Are”, and being taken in by one of his usual, catchy hooks, I couldn’t adequately repeat the name of the song to anyone to whom I wished to communicate my appreciation of it. Eventually I discovered that what I first thought was my brain and mouth’s inability to recreate this grammatically challenging proposition was in fact the distance between the song’s chorus, “the way I’m are”, and its title, “The Way I Are”. But my lack of facility with the name of the song only added to my pleasure in it, and the allure it had for me. Trying again and again to communicate “the way I’m are” regularly resulted in a pleasing, momentary inability to speak at all, and at the same time, presented a phrase I desperately wanted to be able to repeat. It is this moment of allure and openness that is contained in all of the works in this exhibition. Working in sculpture, painting, digital photography, video, sound and print, Valerie Blass, Anthony Burnham, Robert Fones, Martin Golland, Jen Hutton, Kelly Jazvac, John Massey, Elizabeth McIntosh, Planningtorock and Tony Romano all present the viewer with propositions that encapsulated each artist’s investigations into formal and conceptual concerns that extend and open up the lexicons of art.

- Katie Bethune-Leamen


Artists' Biographies

Based in Montreal, Valérie Blass completed her BFA and MFA at l’Université du Québec à Montréal. She has had solo exhibitions at Montreal’s Parisian Laundry, Circa Gallery, Gallery B-312, and Gallery Dare-Dare, with upcoming exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and Bishop University’s Foreman Gallery, and was included in the inaugural Quebec Triennial at Montreal’s Museum of Contemporary Art.


Anthony Burnham studied at Concordia University and currently lives and works in Montreal. Burnham’s solo exhibitions have included presentations at Montreal’s Darling Foundry and Clark Gallery. During the past years he has exhibited his work in groups shows in Québec, Spain, Austria, and France, and was included in the inaugural Quebec Triennial at Montreal’s Museum of Contemporary Art.


Born in London, ON, Robert Fones was part of the art scene there that would later prove to be integral to Canada’s conceptual art movement. Based in Toronto since the mid-70s, he exhibited at the renowned Carmen Lamanna Gallery, then the Sandra Simpson Gallery. Fones has exhibited extensively in Canada, the USA, and Germany, and has published several artist books with Coach House Books and Art Metropole.


Martin Golland received his MFA from the University of Guelph and his BFA from Concordia University. Born in France, he lived in Turkey, Puerto Rico and Miami before moving to Ottawa. He now lives and works in Toronto. Golland has exhibited nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at Toronto’s Birch Libralato, the Felix Ringel Galerie in Dusseldorf, and the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph.


Based in Toronto, Jen Hutton completed her undergraduate degree in fine arts at the University of Guelph. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, most recently at Gallery Stratford in Stratford, ON, Truck Contemporary Art in Calgary, and the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.


Based in Toronto, Kelly Jazvac received a BA from the University of Guelph and MFA from the University of Victoria. She has exhibited across Canada, the USA, and abroad, with solo shows at Toronto’s YYZ Artists’ Outlet, and Diaz Contemporary. She recently completed a residency at the Banff Centre for the Visual Arts, and is currently completing the Canada Council International Residency Program in London, UK.


John Massey is a Toronto-based artist, and received a degree in fine arts from the Ontario College of Art & Design. He has exhibited extensively across Canada, and internationally including shows in Germany, France, the USA, and Australia. Recent solo exhibitions have included presentations at the University of Toronto Art Centre, the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, and an upcoming exhibition at Georgia Scherman Projects, Toronto.


Based in Vancouver, Elizabeth McIntosh received a BFA from York University and MFA from Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, UK. Recent solo exhibitions include Diaz Contemporary in Toronto, Parisian Laundry in Montreal, and Blanket Gallery in Vancouver. Recent group exhibitions include the Vancouver Art Gallery, Dalhousie Art Gallery, Perugi Artecontemporanea (IT) and Galleri Susanne Hojriis (DK). She is represented by Diaz Contemporary, and Blanket Gallery.


Janine Rostron is a videographer and musician best known by her artist name, Planningtorock. Rostron studied music, videography and visual arts before moving from England to Berlin, where she is now based. Rostron directs the videos that accompany the music she composes, and runs her record label, Rostron Records. She has made several releases as Planningtorock, and has performed live shows worldwide under that moniker; her videos have been extensively screened and exhibited internationally.


Based in Toronto, Tony Romano received his BFA from Vancouver’s Emily Carr College of Art and Design. He has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally with recent group shows at Vancouver’s Charles H. Scott Gallery, Trianon Gallery in Alberta, Tokyo’s Remo Gallery, and the Kulturhuset in Sweden, and recent solo shows at Articule Gallery in Montreal and Toronto’s Diaz Contemporary.

Installation Views
Opening Reception