Caves of forgotten dreams – Review

by R.M. Vaughan

Excerpt from article…

Laurie, Moores, Vickerd and Hall at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery

Meanwhile, down the road at University of Waterloo Art Gallery, two no less investigative (but more laugh-out-loud funny) exhibitions pit everyday materials against the overstimulated imaginations of four very playful artists.

In the first gallery, Steven Laurie, Zeke Moores, and Brandon Vickerd make some noise with machine culture, gear-head sculptures any 12-year-old will be hard pressed to keep his or her fidgety little mitts off of.

Laurie’s post-industrial contraptions look like Transformer hybrids of lawnmowers, scooters, and chainsaws. And they work. They do utterly useless things, such as making circular skid marks on pavement, and making an enormous amount of noise. The videos of Laurie playing with his cockeyed devices are hilarious and a little bit abject; miniature monster truck rallies complete with all the metaphors of diminished masculinity.

Vickerd’s work moves in the opposite direction. Stripping down motorbikes (the long, hyper-phallic kind commonly called choppers) until they are rendered into quite lovely skeletons of their former powerful selves, Vickerd resignedly embraces the impotent gesture.

While Laurie’s work bellows, Vickerd’s work sighs. Call it rust belt poetry.

Moores’s work, particularly his colossal cut steel replica of an SUV, straddles the same hopeful/foolish divide. The task set out by Moores– can I build my own SUV? – is answered with a qualified yes. The shell of the desired object is replicated, but, of course, the model is, functionally speaking, useless.

Again, expenditure and result collide. When the Great Recession passes and needs a commemorative sculpture, Moores is the man.

In UWAG’s Gallery Two, Lauren Hall blends long pearly blue-grey triangular spikes (hung from the ceiling and mounted on the floor) with hotly coloured pink and blue sand, white thumb-sized pellets made of salt, and shiny hunks of semi-transparent glycerin soap, to create a cross between a disco, a grotto, and an alien fortress set from the no-budget TV classic Space 1999.

Hall’s installation is so abundantly joyful, so enthused by its own high artificiality, it practically gives you a sugar rush. All that’s missing is a dance soundtrack and cocktails made with grenadine.

CLUTCH Review 2012 – Globe and Mail

Until March 3, 200 University Ave., Waterloo, Ont.;

Globe and Mail – Saturday February / 25 / 2012

Link to full article – Globe and Mail Article