TORONTO: Susan Hobbs: “and, something like fire dancing”

And holding in, a plant infects the trunk of a tree, displaying itself as tiny yellow fruit. It is both guest and host. A mass of ants play bodyguard and caretaker while caterpillars relentlessly chew. As the caterpillars grow, the ants lick a honeydew that spills from their backs. And, when the butterfly finally presents itself, its wings blaze with the mark of an ochre orb. An image of home. An image of process called colour. Each entity is held to each other through the dynamics of infection. Taken out of the context of an artists’ practice, individual works lose their self-sufficiency. Within the space of exhibition, a brief inter-dependence is created―held together by a viewer’s gaze―in which each work valorizes the other (shapes the other, attributes a role to the other). “and, something like fire dancing” is composed of a relationship between four artists: Amy Brener, Patrick Cruz, Barbara Kasten, and Scott Lyall; each artists’ work loosely mirrors plant, ant, caterpillar, or butterfly. As such, the exhibition becomes a type of portrayal. However, it is a portrait that follows the rules of mimicry over representation.

Image Credit: Patrick Cruz, “Stranger than Paradise”, 2015