In the foreground is The Glass Dress, by Aganetha Dyck, and in a way, the original artists were 20,000 Manitoba bees. The piece is made of honeycomb, with some glass inserted to suggest the bodice of a strapless dress.
Dyck comes from a rural Mennonite community. For years, she has produced remarkably original installations using beeswax from her farm, infusing the homely natural material with mystery and great sophistication.
The hulking shape in the background is Hypnos Between Two Places, by Montreal artist Sarah Stevenson. It is made of dark mesh stretched around a curving framework, and though large, it is as light as air, and must be kept from drifting across the gallery with weights. In text accompanying the piece, the artist describes it as a dream chamber, submerged in sleep, weighted by memory. Hypnos is Greek for "sleep."
Other pieces in the show include a wry reference to anorexia in the form of an impossibly elongated "little black dress," big plastic cylinders that puff up and down like a calliope, delicate skeletal feet on a classical plinth, and the echoing sound of a human heartbeat. Gallery director Karen Antaki described them as "parts of ourselves that we encounter in dreams or nightmares."
The show is a two-gallery affair co-curated by Antaki and alumnus David Liss; the other half of the show is at the Liane and Danny Taran Gallery of the Saidye
Bronfman Centre, 5170 Côte-Ste-Catherine Road. The exhibition ends December 18, but a catalogue is in preparation. Free guided tours are being given Tuesday and Thursday at noon (English) and 1 p.m. (French). -BB