Nature’s Wild: Now At The NAC

Photo by Austin Evans

On Sept. 9, the Niagara Artists Centre (NAC) unveiled a new exhibition titled Nature’s Wild (Duets), a show of work by scholar Andil Gosine and several other collaborators. 

Having just concluded his previous exhibition, everything slackens in a wreck, on Aug. 20, Gosine’s newest exhibit is themed around anxieties about the line between human and non-human animals. Additionally, many of the pieces explore how to manage these anxieties through the discipling of sex. 

Upon entering the room, the first thing that draws the viewer’s attention is the video being projected onto the back wall. This video is Gosine’s “Bathwater: A Sur (Rodney Sur) Story,” a reading of Sur’s story of bonding with a handsome stranger as he used Sur’s bathtub. The footage cuts back-and-forth between a shot of a man’s legs in a tub and a shot of a horse peering over a fence, drawing similarities between the man Sur is describing and a majestic stallion.

One of the less noticeable pieces is a small ceramic sculpture up against the right wall; it is so small that it barely hangs over the baseboard on the bottom of the wall. This is The Rhino I Know – The Explorer, a piece by Aitak Sorahitalab, and a new addition to her The Rhino I Know series of figures. This rhino appears to be attempting to climb up the baseboard it has swung its arms onto, and despite the lack of a mouth, the shape of its eyes makes it seem as though it has a cheeky smile.

While most of the pieces on display are either collaborations with Gosine or independent work from other artists, he has some of his solo work on display as well. Throughout the exhibit there are framed pictures which contain photos taken by Gosine. Most of these follow the same format: a series of four photos with the caption reading “You want ____? I’ll give it to you.” The objects listed range from an armadillo to a bank loan to a unicorn, with the caption promising it regardless, though none appear in the photos themselves.

His other photographed piece is a series of three large portraits titled Les trois homme de Paris. Each of them is in black and white, with one key feature being coloured for emphasis. 

They all include some form of plant: the first has a bunch of bananas (with one navy one sticking out), the other has a bouquet held by a well-dressed Indian, and the last has branches of berries in the background of the quote, “Everything for a boy who sings Celine Dion in the shower.” Interestingly, the plants are highlighted in the first two portraits but not the third.

While the graphic nature of some of these pieces makes it ill advised for younger audiences, more mature viewers may find something in this exhibit that intrigues them. This exhibition will be at the NAC until Nov. 5, so those interested have some time to pay the centre a visit.

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