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Indepth Arts News:

"d.a.r.e. (daring artists reveal everything)"
1999-11-12 until 1999-12-20
Forest City Gallery
London, ON, CA Canada

In d.a.r.e, the participating artists address what is often referred to as challenging subject matter. With varying approaches these artists address difficult, or taboo issues directly and boldly, using humour, trickster personas, and critical reflection. It is with a great deal of integrity and willingness that these artists dare. Dare to reveal everything.

Among the themes investigated in this exhibition are identity, gender, sexuality/ desire, consumer values, and ownership/authorship.

Toronto-based artist and writer Sandra Haar's work concerns textual and visual representations of sexuality, ethnicity and gender. In SNAPSHOTS, Haar draws upon the languages of pornography, autobiography and critical visual methods. I wanted to make bold, sexy and empowering images, and to offer reflection on them; to be at once transparent and critical, arousing and thoughtful. SNAPSHOTS has been exhibited in Toronto and Montreal. In a review on SNAPSHOTS Michael Balser in Fuse 21:3, 1998 describes [t]hese drawings as mimic[ing] vintage porno peepshows. They have an elegant quality that remind me of early David Salle paintings. The drawn layer of porn is like a transparent text that constantly reminds us that we are looking through, not at, the work-helli-olike a private booth, a peep show, a masturbatory world - intimate - meditative. . . Sandra Haar recently presented a paper at Trent University on the topic of women as producers and consumers of pornography.

London-based artist Olexander Wlasenko's conceptual work KLEPTO raises a gamut of criminal, cultural and moral issues. These range from theft, defacement, ownership/authorship...veracity and authenticity. Personifying the character Ollie, Ollie Ox and Free Wlasenko describes this performative action: KLEPTO I got a problem. I like to steal things-art to be exact. I've plundered galleries and museums. Across North America and Europe. I pinch, filch, pick and pluck. Every chance I get I get. I get a rush. Dodging surveillance. Cameras, guards, gallery people. I continue to collect.

London-based artist Bev McNaughton alludes to modern surgical techniques and their role in redefining bodies. Through a variety of media, McNaughton cuts, melts, sews and sutures objects to alter, modify, mutilate and transform their original form. In Alchemy: Blown Glass Sex Change, McNaughton describes the process The blown glass, once a solid becomes molten, then shaped and turns solid again. This enables me to create my own sex change operation. The vessels are shaped into phalli then transformed and shaped into bizarre genitalia, referencing plastic surgery and its role in recreating body parts.

Cornwall Ontario artist René Price describes himself as an IdeaGuy/Inventor, Quirky Mockartist, Scribbler and Rascal. I'm a nice guy,............really! Just a bit of an artease sometimes. I maintain my amateur status by working as an exhibition designer, for Parks Canada in Cornwall, Ontario. Working in a variety of media Price states that It all just shoots out of me like diarrhea.D.a.r.e. will feature works from Price's eclectic Suburbiaart, Minorityart, and Crossart series. With a Bambie meets Godzilla approach to his work, Price uses humour like a whip, and shares his critical perspective of consumer values and conditions in contemporary life.

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