the hole fits the worm, but only as it moves

November 3 - December 3 2023

Ellen Bleiwas & Emily DiCarlo

Curated by Justine Kohleal

the hole fits the worm, but only as it moves brings together new and recent work by Toronto-based artists Ellen Bleiwas and Emily DiCarlo, including a video and sculptural installation with curator Justine Kohleal. Collectively, the artworks in the exhibition mobilize so-called ‘unproductive’ actions, including those associated with stillness and slowness, to interrogate and make felt neoliberal temporality and spatiality. Durational works like Bleiwas’ Got Up (2021-22) and DiCarlo’s Talking Clock Choir (2022) harness repetition as a means to resist immediacy, perpetual growth, and productivity, what DiCarlo describes as the “tents of late-capitalist pursuits.” The very ordinariness of the material—365 photographs of Bleiwas’ unmade bed and four PA speakers announcing noon from various national and international locations, respectively—speak to the artists’ desire to find meaning in the quotidian and highlight the ways in which difference can be preserved and encouraged through iterative actions.

Bleiwas, DiCarlo, and Kohleal’s emergent collaboration Throat (2023) explores the mechanisms that make bodies both invisible and hyper-visible in Toronto’s financial district: invisible through the PATH system, a subterranean, commercial pedway spanning more than 30 kilometres that enables workers to avoid contact with the ‘outside’ world; and, paradoxically, hyper-visible through the creation of the financial district itself, which requires bodily presence to justify its existence. At our current historical moment, which since March of 2020 has seen global inflation, an affiliated cost of living crisis, and a growing labour movement, it is more important than ever, as Anna Lowenhaupt Ting says, to explore “the edges of capitalist discipline [and] scalability,” looking towards the empty(ing) towers and other “abandoned resource plantations” to find life in our capitalist ruins.  This exhibition thus explores the problem of embodiment within late-stage capitalism—from the standardization of clock time and space to ways of seeing and being in the world—drawing upon dissonances in the rhythm of the everyday to provide avenues for glitch and resistance at the level of the sensing, feeling body.

The artists acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Photo documentation by Alison Postma

Ellen Bleiwas, Got Up, 2021-2022. Inkjet prints, ink. Dimensions variable.

Ellen Bleiwas, Peel, 2020-2021. Clementine peels, ink. Dimensions variable.

Emily DiCarlo, Circular T: A Collection of Uncertainties, 2020. Single channel HD video, sound, binders, transmission reports. 51:16 minutes. Dimensions variable

Emily DiCarlo, The Propagation of Uncertainty, 2020. Three-channel HD video, sound, server racks. 5:40 minutes. Dimensions variable.

Emily DiCarlo, Talking Clock Choir, 2022. Four-channel sound installation, PA speakers, modulated talking clock public service announcements every half hour. Dimensions variable.

Ellen Bleiwas, Rip, 2020-2022. Toilet paper, ink. Dimensions variable.

Ellen Bleiwas, Emily DiCarlo, and Justine Kohleal, Throat, 2023. LED screen, video, sound. 37.75 x 31.25”.

Ellen Bleiwas, Emily DiCarlo, and Justine Kohleal, Prompt, 2023-ongoing. Cards, rolodex. Dimensions variable.

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