Barbara Astman: Dancing with Che: Enter through the Gift Shop

May 7 to July 31, 2011

The Reynolds Gallery was transformed into a faux gift shop for the duration of this fascinating exhibition by Toronto-based artist Barbara Astman. Astman created her original Dancing with Che series in 2003, after a trip to Cuba where she was impressed by “Che chic,” that is the proliferation of imagery of the face of revolutionary Che Guevara on a range of souvenir products. Her own photographs were created by shooting images of herself dancing to Latin music while wearing a Che T-shirt. For this new gift shop piece, these black-and-white images were plastered onto mugs, tote bags, key-chains, playing cards, etc. But none of this merchandise was for sale. Viewers may have found this aggravating, and were left to muse upon their own thwarted desire to consume.

Comments are closed