The Terminal Show
Mar 06, 2005 - Apr 01, 2005
At The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. West
Opening party, Tuesday March 8th, 8 p.m. to closing.
Featuring video projections by Fame Fame and Tammy Forsythe.
Live performance by Vollrath. D.J. Syklona on the decks.
Janieta Eyre Fame Fame Tammy Forsythe Brad Phillips Carlos and Jason Sanchez Seth Scriver John Scott Ron Simon Richard Stipl Vollrath
Curator: David Liss
“We are demented, everyone knows, Misrepresented, coming to blows. Why are we here? We don’t even know. Why are we here at the terminal show?” Motorhead, from the album Inferno, (2004)
Terminal, as in: a final point; the last stages of; as in: the last stages of a fatal disease. These artists, these horsemen of the apocalypse, these Annihilation Angels speak of an age of anxiety, an age eclipsed by an ascendant darkness inevitably brought about when survival itself seems challenged and tenuous in the face of unprecedented greed, destruction and oppression. In other words, it’s a great day to be an artist! A time when the artistic, poetic voice must be deployed as a sharp, poisoned-edged blade for carving and hacking away freely, wildly at the bloated, lumbering corpus of complacency.
In her video Chinese Jet-Fighter Dream, Tammy Forsythe celebrates alienation, loathing and angst by kicking the shit out of a television set in the manner of a ritualistic, back alley slaying. Smash woman smash, smash woman smash…
Seth Scriver’s pathetic, sad-sack cartoon figures dance across the paper surfaces like insects, belligerent and violent in a dance of looming destruction – a destruction of their own making – inflicted upon each other; a species fraught with suicidal tendencies; bodies jerking in nihilistic spasms.
Oblivion through ignorance is also conjured by the burning crosses and covered faces in Ron Simon’s untitledphotograph from 1989. Hear no evil, speak no evil, and see no evil. Though bear in mind: Silence = Death.
The figures and faces produced by Richard Stipl have seen, heard and spoken evil and appear weary and sickened by it all, hysteria and terror etched upon their faces and bodies; angels fallen from grace, grotesque gargoyles in anguish, scalded by intimations of mortality and abjection.
Plundering, sampling and misappropriating the visual detritus of film, t.v., and other celluloid and digitized forms, the group of artists known as Fame Fame sift through the vast dumpster of 20th Century images, re-presenting, without permission of course, apocalyptic cinematic scenarios to throw back into the ugly, rotting visage of mainstream, consumer-based culture. Zombies R Us.
Metal machine music, death metal, doom metal, dark and slow, hard and fast, electric guitar wails screeching and grinding, propelled onward, upward into the night by pounding drums and devil-voiced vox. Vollrath summons the demons forth in a séance/performance – a one-man, multi-pedal, multi-channeled rock devil, rockin’ the ghostly aural equivalent of Dante’s inferno – the soundtrack to where we’re all headed.
Extreme metal takes this evil to new heights of depravity in Nordic countries where gloom-metal followers are known to have committed ritual sacrifice and murder, a cult phenomenon depicted in Brad Phillips’ painting Axantha, (2001). “The Devil made me do it!”
In the series of brooding and foreboding photographs by Janieta Eyre dread and anxiety are made visceral by way of psychically charged images that insinuate themselves, by their nature and their character, just beneath the limned surfaces of consciousness; nightmares so palpable and tangible; struck wide awake in dreamland, perched precariously on the precipice of a dark and haunted abyss.
John Scott once said that if the four Horseman of the Apocalypse, described in Revelation, were to return to the earth today, that they would be driving a big, black muscle car, a mean and menacing Trans Am. For this exhibition, Toronto’s own King of the Apocalypse has produced a motorcycle – a black, mean and menacing chariot, accompanied by the skulls and roses of persecution, transition, life and death. Already the beast is upon us…
The young Montreal lads, Carlos and Jason Sanchez are already well adept at tweaking the slow, menacing and sinister pitch of psychological nuance and understatement. They prefer to penetrate deeper into the murkier, de-stabilized territories of the psyche, to possibly apprehend some elusive, unnamable distress characteristic of this darkened age of apocalyptic anxiety.
The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is supported by Toronto Culture, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, International Trade Canada, private sector sponsorship and individual donations.