I feel as though I haven’t written a single thing in forever, but it’s only been, like, a month in a half or something. Not much has altered from the last post; no sleep, school, hungry, repeat. The only redeeming quality of this mediocre winter is the presences of interesting and stimulating artwork during these dark, dark, dark times. There has been a surplus of intriguing and cohesive shows the past month and upcoming this month.
Anyway, I would say my favorite visual experience of this New Year would be the solo show of Connor Olthuis at InterAccess entitled “Don’t Drink Flood Water”. The work consisted of 3 objects; a minimal light box “advertisement”, mixed media piece consisting of a print, metal piping and rope and finally cyclical water filtration system, which was by far the most impressive piece in the space, and that I had seen all night. Its function is redundant yet functional, which seems to be a repeating trait in Olthuis’s work, who won the Integrated Media Award from OCAD University last year.
His work has a feel of professionalism with concepts that speak to our basic needs as human beings; it is relatable to anyone who views the work. “Never Drink Flood Water” seems to be a study in branding/marketing strategies and processes within the water industry, specifically bottled water companies. This exhibition provides insight into psychology of pre-packaged products and the industry behind branding basic needs. The rearrangement of the objects abilities seems to reflect on the absurd capitalistic approach to “need” by making it distracting and flashy, into a “want”. Olthuis attention to aesthetics as well as function is very relevant with current contemporary artwork. I feel that this exhibition was very well executed and the space was perfect for the objects, giving each of them enough space to stand on their own but still acknowledging each other seamlessly.
There are plenty of good shows tonight and this weekend,
And its nice out,
So go out side and see something.