The start of a new year usually sees a wave of change/transition, from the ways of old, into something newer and/or better.
Change was the central focus of The Shift, the first OL event of 2016, held at Rally (12 Ossington) this past weekend. Curated by Just John the exhibit featured some of the city’s artists and photographers, and their artwork, which was their representation of how they see or express change.
Aside from change, the exhibit also sported an achromatic theme – all the artwork was void of colour, yet colour wasn’t required for each artist to stand out in a way unlike the rest.
With DJs Bambii and Yobi on the decks throughout the night, the exhibit not only appealed to the eyes, but also to the ears, which had some patrons dancing when they weren’t taking in the art, and a few others who were dancing while doing so.
Of all the artwork, a series of photos from Alexander x Shabazz stood out for its focus on nature. Alexander explained that a lot of his artwork is based around nature, and with his work, Disassociation, the tree(s) represented human nature, as well as its roots. He hopes to help people embrace change, rather than to be afraid of it – especially given the ever-changing nature of the world itself, admist a modern society which tends to ostracize those who try to be “different” – in other words, those who try to be themselves, rather than who/what they’re expected to be by other people’s definitions.
There was a rather resplendent piece – well, it consisted of multiple pieces to make one whole picture – in the back corner of the exhibit, which people constantly gravitated towards. The artist, Harsimran Sira, felt that the name Zeroes and Ones was most appropriate for his creation, since it represents the end of the information age, as we have entered the technology age. For technology, unlike the way in which we simply gained as much information as we could, we are also becoming empowered by it- which is represented by the human head at the top of the pyramid. Harsimran relates all of this to the likeness of Agent Smith from The Matrix, who is constantly absorbing in an attempt to become all-powerful.
To bring not only different styles, but also different forms of art (visual and audible) together in such a manner really broadens one’s perception, and changes how one interacts and takes in what’s being presented to them, regardless of how it is being presented.
Words by: Christian Kwame
Christian Kwame is a contributor for Omit Limitation currently living in downtown Toronto.