You just hold your breath

July 1 – July 27, 2021

Meech Boakye, Alex Borkowski + SHELL LIKE, Olivia Boudreau, Julien Fisher, IvanovStoeva, Jovian, Izzy Mink, Celia Perrin Sidarous, Laurence Pilon

Curated by Laura Demers

Video documentation by Miles Rufelds can be seen here.

Full exhibition essay available here.

From lavish roman baths, to natural geothermal springs, to chlorinated waters of public natatoriums, humans have long sought democratic spaces dedicated to rejuvenation, gathering, and leisure. Wet architectures can offer the novel promise of rest, community, and sensuous pleasure, all necessary escapes from toil, entrenched individualism, and the overall feeling of profound disconnect that seemingly prevails in our current world. These spaces also open up possibilities for envisioning a shared corporeality, and experiences of liminality and transformation.

You just hold your breath is an exhibition that focuses on aesthetic experiences of bathing, swimming and states of bodily immersion, invoking the porous and soluble relationships that exist between self and environment. Together, the works included in this exhibition create a moist ecosystem where fluid fantasies, rituals of self-care and corporeal rejuvenation, ethics and problematics of "purity”, and the history of baths as sites of public intimacy are foregrounded.

Presented with the support of Le Labo - Centre d'Arts Médiatiques Francophone de Toronto

Photo documentation courtesy of Alison Postma

Alex Borkowski, The Hydrocephalus Suite, 2018, three-part audio recording, 13 min 49 s

Izzy Mink, crestfallen, 2021, glass, beeswax, hand harvested clay, water, 3”x3”x3 ½” (left)
Izzy Mink, mouthwash, 2021, soap, 3 ½”x2”x1” (right)

Izzy Mink, curly-haired soap, 2021, soap, human hair, 4”x2”x2 ½”

Izzy Mink, slower/stopper, 2021, drain stopper, beeswax, paint, 2”x2”x1”

Izzy Mink, lazy phase, 2021, hand harvested clay, snail shells, beeswax, medicine, 3” x 1 ¾” x 3” (left)
Izzy Mink, untitled (spent tube), 2021, hand harvested clay, 7 ½”x3”x1 ½” (right)


Julien Fisher, pumphouse, 2021, wood, metal, foam, air dry clay, glue, sand, 36” x 84” x 60”

Laurence Pilon, Critter Cluster, 2020-2021, oil on canvas over panel, 17” x 19” (left)
Laurence Pilon, Reef Gap Mood, 2021, oil on canvas over panel, 40” x 33” (second from left)

Laurence Pilon, Proto Turnover, 2020-2021, oil on linen over panel, 17” x 14” (left)
Laurence Pilon, Feeling the Bivalve Turn, 2020-2021, oil on panel, 17” x 14” (right)

Laurence Pilon, Critter Cluster, 2020-2021, oil on canvas over panel, 17” x 19”

Meech Boakye, DIY Bath & Body Works Imitation Cold-Process Soap Tutorial!, 2021, video,  4 min 38s

IvanovStoeva, Espace tangible, 2015, PVC tube, mister and water, LED light, motion sensor 

Celia Perrin Sidarous, Bronze mirror with ivory handle with rosette decoration, Tholos tomb 2. Myrsinochori, Messenia. 15th c. BC, 2018, inkjet print on matte paper, 30” x 40”

Izzy Mink, untitled (Wurmhaus II), 2021, stick, snail shells, beeswax, clay, hospital sock, 6’x9”x9”

Izzy Mink, untitled (Wurmhaus II), 2021, detail (left)
Izzy Mink, untitled (socket), 2021, hand harvested clay, snail shell, beeswax, paint, 5”x5¼”x ¾” (right)

Alex Borkowski, The Hydrocephalus Suite, 2018, excerpt from I’m in the bath on all fours, toward blue water (my nose is bleeding)..., published by Well Projects & SHELL LIKE curatorial collective (UK)

Jovian, POOL, custom blended diffuser oil

Olivia Boudreau, L’étuve, 2011, HD video, 20 min 38 s

This curatorial project was generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

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