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Chris Curreri:
A Surrogate, A Proxy, A Stand-In
Essay by Emelie Chhangur
Year: 2022
5.5" x 8.5"
ISBN: n/a
$0.00 PDF, digital file

Chris Curreri is a Canadian artist working in photography and sculpture. His work lingers in liminal states, capturing processes as they unfold and focusing in on moments before identity is fixed or concepts come into light as fully intelligible, and thus taken as normative. For Curreri, things in the world are not defined by essential properties or essentializing dichotomies (tenderness/violence, beauty/abjection, self/other); they are constituted through relational exchanges with other things. To what extent do we open ourselves up to, or close ourselves off from, such penetrations? This exhibition performs as an allegory of these issues as if they have emerged between the closure of the aperture and the exposure of the photographic image.

A Surrogate, A Proxy, A Stand-In connects, through the artist’s own history, the experimentation of the dark room to the nighttime freedom of the gay bar. The latter is represented by the solarized photographs of the interior of the defunct Beaver, Toronto’s legendary Queen Street queer bar. Thus, the exhibition places itself on a continuum of intimacy and exchange, of haunting and helping, with Canadian Queer art history—Rodney Werden, General Idea, Will Munro and their contemporary avatars: Luis Jacob, partnering in one of the works, and Curreri himself.

This exhibition is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, and the Toronto Arts Council. Special thank you to David Clare for his generous support of Curreri’s upcoming Agnes published monograph and for facilitating the recent acquisitions of the artist’s work for Agnes’s permanent collection.

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