Monday, April 07, 2008

galleries, giambrones, and goodies

Opening Night at the Toronto Free Gallery
Toronto Free Gallery launched its new space at Bloor and Lansdowne two weeks ago, opening with an exhibit focusing on creativity in urban activism, Creative Activism.

The gallery was jammed, the common joke being you come to an opening for the food and booze and return several days later to carefully observe the art.

Dog Taking a Rest
A dog watched the goings-on from a safe spot underneath one of the pieces. Either the view was good or it was out-of-the-way enough to dodge the crowd.

Post No Bills You Can Quit Driving
Some of the works on display, ranging from a collection of "bills" to an assortment of signs and photos from Streets Are For People.

***

The opening also served as a starting point for that week's psychogeography walk. From the gallery we headed south along Lansdowne, past a block of front yards that belonged to members of the Adam Giambrone Fan Club...

Lansdowne Avenue Adam Giambrone Fan Club (2)
The signs stemmed from the Lansdowne Renewal Project, a reconfiguration of the street with measures to narrow the street incorporating wider sidewalks and the removal of parking spots on the east side of the street. How much consultation was made with the neighbourhood is debatable, but the fact that the signs have not come down after a year indicates the bitterness that arose from the project.

Smarties Door
We wandered over to Sterling Avenue and walked by the Nestlé chocolate plant. Originally Cowan's Cocoa (1922 photo), the plant was purchased by Rowntree in 1926 (Nestlé took control in 1988). Products such as Smarties are honoured with their own receiving door.

Wafer Flour Silo #2 Fruit Education Centre
Left: Doesn't everyone need a wafer flour silo to dive in? Presumably this is where the flour for Kit Kat bars is stored.

Right: North of the silo was a building whose faded words indicated that it was once a condiment plant or distributor. Nowadays, it's a Fruit Education Centre.

Icy Tree
Nearby stood spectacular icicle-covered trees and shrubs, the kind of thing one would expect on the first day of spring.

Creative Activism is on display at the Toronto Free Gallery (1277 Bloor Street West) through April 13. All photos taken March 20, 2008 (full set) - JB

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