Thank you!

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For 10 years, 1273 Dundas West was our home — unfortunately, that time is coming to an end with the close of our current shows on June 23. After that, we’ll be living a nomadic existence, at least for the time being. Be on the lookout for more news, however, as we’ve got some exciting things on the horizon.

If you’re in town this week, we hope you’ll be able to make it out to the gallery one last time. We’re honored to have work by Thelma Rosner and Kimystreeloves on display — two shows that truly illustrate the range and diversity of talent in our membership. We’ll be open our regular hours, Wednesday/Thursday 12-5, Friday/Saturday 12-6 and Sunday from 1-4.

On behalf of all our members, thank you for making what we do worthwhile. We truly appreciate your support and patronage over the years.

  • the Loop crew

The Problem of Having Pets: A Response to the Artwork of KimystreeLoves

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Zach Pearl | May 2019

“Just don’t pet the freaks!”

This was the sole advice my mother gave me on the first day of school. While the other moms were clutching their budding ingenues to their breasts and showering them with kisses, mine was lecturing me from the driver seat about pets. What was she talking about? At six years-old, “pet” was something furry and cute. It peed on the freshly-laid carpet and slobbered on Grandma’s good shoes. Nothing so exciting would be found in the beige hallways of Lakewood Elementary.

Regardless, like so many have learned the hard way: Always take Mom’s advice, even when it doesn’t make sense. Ten brisk minutes later, I found myself surrounded by a motley crew of milk-and-cookie imps—one of whom had just set fire to his house while trying to “cook cereal,” and another in snow pants (in September). Like moths to a flame, the strangest souls in Mrs. Spunkmeyer’s grade 1 class emerged from the padded playsets and slid into my orbit.

They were determined to make me: mother/father/sister/brother/caregiver/guardian/lover/their God. Who were these creatures that seemed suddenly stitched to me like new appendages? Were they friends? Were they my pets? Just how was I supposed to care for them, and for how long? What if they died?! What would happen to me then??

By the time my own mother pulled into the parking lot, I was pinioned to the lot of them. My form was completely obscured by a plurality of pint-sized bodies. All of them flailed about in miscreant adulations as I tried to raise an apologetic hand. Shaking her head steadily like a metronome—what | have | I | made—Mother flung open the passenger-side door and began cleaning out the backseat until the collective body could fit.

Fast forward to middle-age, and my orbit is much larger. Comparable in size to thirty-five years of psychological baggage, this charismatic magnetism I’ve been ‘gifted’ with trails behind me like an industrial fishing net—combing and collecting all kinds of unsuspecting pets in its wake: Big pets, teeny pets, heavy pets, hollow pets, pets with claws, pets with privilege, pet actors, pets with addictions, eco-conscious and politically woke pets, white nationalist and neoliberal pets, occasionally uncanny and symbolically violent pets.

It doesn’t matter the time of day, or the weather. Without fail they follow me home in a silent but vibrant parade of matter. Then they scurry inside when I’m not looking. One might think that I would get mad, or, at the least, defensive about this ongoing influx of unrequited obligations. But then one of them will whimper, or cry, or bat its lashes in a coy display of helplessness, and then I’m helpless to its ethos of co-dependence. So, I let them all stay, accepting more and more pets to the party until no one is really in charge anymore, until hierarchy exists only in the abstract, and we exist inter-dependently—an ecology of pets-becoming.

By now, I know what you must be thinking: How can a person go on like this, swimming in a sea of exponential affinities? Different bodies and biologies all layered like living sediment in a two-bedroom brownstone—it doesn’t sound very comfortable. But then you’d be missing the point.

The virtue of having pets is the problem of having them at all—the unwavering commitment to subtle discomforts, to consistently caring for and communing with your Others. I don’t mind so much that they’re eating me out of house and home, or that the flying ones lay their eggs in the chandelier. It’s the communication factor—that Sisyphean task of achieving some kind of meaningful exchange—that continues to evade me.

Yes, I talk to my pets. We all do. I yammer on and on while I circle the living room in a holding pattern of damage control, addressing them directly with names I’ve imposed on them. I look them square in the eye (or where I assume their eye would be) and I point in a way that is reaching more than locating something, like the desperation of that child actor at the end of E.T.

What is it that you want from me? What are you trying to say? Are you happy living here? Am I your mother??  Are you hungry? Are you in pain? How can I know what you’re feeling? Are you capable of feeling what I feel?

It’s very difficult, you know, mapping the knowledge of one body—one modality of -ness—onto another and hoping for overlap, as if consciousness itself were a territory with its own topographies, its own ports of entry, flanked on all sides by mythical foreboding sirens…

“Uuuuuuuaaaahhhhgggrrwuaaaawuaaaawuaaaaahhhh! OOooorrrrraahhhhhhmmmmmnnnnnnniiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

I howl from the top of the stairs down at my pets like an ancient Greek orator addressing the polis. I’ve given up now on words and even distinct syllables. I make black noise[1]. Maybe, if I try to think about creating an alien sound then some prelinguistic heuristics will emerge? But try as I might, there’s still no response. My pets only stare back at me in silence, offering what I can only interpret as criticism-by-omission of my attempt at a breakthrough.

Lately, I’ve taken to gesturing at them—speaking psycho-choreographically. Pets seem to understand this world better, the one based upon and in the body. It’s a language of materials before anything else. The gesture that they seem to respond to best is the offering. Food was a given in this matter, but soon I found that offerings don’t even have to involve pleasurable outcomes. Sometimes, it’s simply that something is being given, that a legible act of exchange is taking place. Beer boxes, coffee cups, hot water bladders, fingernail clippings and unwanted phonebooks were all met with zeal and avarice as each pet stored away its newfound booty. This meant accepting that my house was now a landfill more than a pet sanctuary, but the polis seemed to like it. In the offering, I found a vehicle in which to travel back and forth between material and symbolic worlds[2]—to ‘walk between’ worlds.[3]

Unfortunately, this vehicular bliss was short-lived, as I soon noticed how capitalistic my little landfill had become. Offerings were no longer neutral affairs. They were perverted into sites of struggle, conflict, disproportion and privation. Pets were forming gangs and extorting other pet-gangs for a considerable share of their bounty. We had to designate the laundry room as a penitentiary. The situation was also quickly leading to environmental collapse. Our ecology of pets-becoming was growing unsustainable as we began asphyxiating from the off-gassing of our materialistic rituals. I needed to find something else, some other gesture that would level the fields of status and goods and property. If I was to continue communicating with my pets, I needed a flatter ontology[4].

While on guard-duty in the laundry room, I rummaged through the linens and found a massive outdoor blanket. Without much of a plan, I threw it into my knapsack and headed out the door, proceeding tediously slow so that the agency of my assemblage[5] could keep up as we crept towards Trinity Bellwoods Park. Mid-ambulation, it began to dawn on me: a carnival, a picnic. Coming down the centre hill, we spotted a massive maple tree and spread out the blanket underneath, meticulously pressing the edges down until the ground was a unified field. One by one, pets climbed on and staked out their individual piece of real estate. Eventually, all and everyone was sitting, imbricated and entangled, grounded and connected by the same material thing. This was the gesture that I was looking for! And then the polyphony of the narrative plane[6] erupted; all my pets lit up in a frenzy of different utterances, as if they each had been busy cultivating a private language all this time. Now, gathered together yet finally decentralized in a carnivalesque moment[7], they spoke for the ecstasy of speaking—for the jouissance of granularity[8]. And I closed my eyes, and I listened to them for hours—for days it seemed—until the next thing I remember was waking up. My eyes shot open just in time for the morning sunrise and the stranger about to pickpocket me. “No pets!” I sat up and shouted. (The stranger quickly receded.) They were gone! All of them gone! But, the longer I sat there the less anxiety I felt. I wasn’t panicked or grief-stricken. In fact, I felt…liberated. I was liberated from them, and they were liberated from me. There was something about the way in which it happened—a letting go that was entirely about coming together—that seemed so consensual, so…right.

As I walked home, I looked around with imaginal eyes. There was no “between worlds”. I had shed some old skin of the mind, and I looked at any kind of difference or border with a renewed skepticism. Rather than seeing separate leaves or stones, I saw only different strata, different articulations of a singular flow. As I neared my neighbourhood, I came across a little boy no more than six pulling a wagon, and in the back was a puppy with a hastily fastened leash around its neck. As the child approached me, he slowed down and grinned ear-to-ear. He was obviously proud of his brand-new pet. We stood there for a while, not saying anything, and then again without much thought, I casually leaned over, picked up the boy, and placed him beside the dog in the wagon.

“Now, talk it out,” I said, patting them both on the head, and I disappeared down the laneway.



[1] Ian Bogost. Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be A Thing. University of Minnesota Press, 2012. 33.

[2] Here, I’m referencing Pierre Bordieu’s concepton of the gift as a “paradigm” of exchange, though he

explicitly frames this transcendental process in economic terms. See his Esquisse d’une théorie de la pratique, précédé de trois études d’ethnologie kabyle. Switzerland: Librairie Droz. (Rep. 2000., Paris: Seuil), 1977. English version: Outline of a Theory of Practice. Translated by Richard Nice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977.

[3] Kim Stanford. Interview with Zach Pearl. Studio Visit. Toronto, Ontario, 14 May 2019.

[4] Levi Bryant. The Democracy of Objects. Ann Arbor, MI: Open Humanities, 2011.

[5] Jane Bennett. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Duke University Press, 2010. 20-38.

[6] This is a passing but respectful nod to Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of “polyphony” in which multiple voices are allowed to speak simultaneously and unevenly. He first elucidated this concept in regard to the novel and his analysis of Dostoevsky’s writing. See M.M. Bakhtin. Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics. Ed. and trans. Caryl Emerson. University of Minnesota Press, 1984.

[7] I am again referencing one of Mikhail Bakhtin’s enduring concepts. His theory of the “carnivalesque” describes how large-scale celebrations and events held in the proverbial public square engender the breakdown of societal conventions, hierarchies and boundaries. In particular, matters of status, class, authority and moral duty are forgone during carnivalesque moments in favour of egalitarianism and freedom of expression.

8 Roland Barthes. “The Grain of the Voice” in Image-Music-Text. Trans. Stephen Heath. New York: Hill and Wang, 1977.



Barad, Karen. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Duke

University Press, 2007.

Baudrillard, Jean. “The Ecstasy of Communication.” (1983) The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture.

Hal Foster, Ed. New York: The New Press, 1998.

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian

Massumi. University of Minnesota Press, 1987.

Haraway, Donna J. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. London, UK: Free Association

Books, 1991.

Hayles, N. Katherine. How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics.

University of Chicago Press, 1999.

________. My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects And Literary Texts. University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Jarratt, Susan C. and Nedra Reynolds. “The Splitting Image: Contemporary Feminisms and the Ethics

of êthos” in Ethos: New Essays in Rhetorical and Critical Theory. Eds. James S. Baumlin and Tita French Baumlin. Southern Methodist University Press, 1994. 37-63.

Morton, Timothy. Hyberobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. University of Minnesota

Press, 2013.

Shaviro, Steven. Discognition. London, UK: Repeater Books. 2015.

The Gift of Bread: A Response to Recipes From Auschwitz (2019) by Thelma Rosner

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Zach Pearl | May 2019

Every story has at least two sides—two faces to gaze upon. First, there is a face that looks elsewhere (avoiding the gaze) and, in the process, articulates a trajectory or line of flight[1] along which ideas travel and multiply. Second, there’s a face of reflection—a pointing backward and gazing within that seeks to identify its own vanishing points. We see this dialectic in motion every time we crack open the spine of a book. Stretching like taffy between the widening planes of the codex is a miniature world of multiplicity—flying lines and mirrored glances—neatly contained by the borders of pages. It is an entire space-time unto itself. The tête-à-tête of the double-spread then does not participate in the logic of nature[2] where borders are indistinct if not imaginary. Instead it offers us an opportunity to remain, to revel in the messy matrix of exchange as two faces gaze intensely upon each other and become transfixed, interlocked in a symbiotic stare. We will not be turning any pages here. We will remain in the messiness. Our trajectory is bread (specifically, the sticky sourdough variety) and staring us down is an imminent reflection on the gift, or rather the difficult nature of giving:

It must be twenty years ago now that I first made bread. Until then, I had a limited understanding of the stuff. Bread was, or so I thought, a simple thing; most of all a material thing. Before baking it myself, it was also a neutral thing like blank canvas onto which more flavourful comestibles were piled high. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. I know now that bread is a gift, and like all gifts it remakes the world as it circulates within it[3]. It shapes us inside and in-between our relations to other things, fortifying symbolic bonds of kitchens, communities, and cultures. Despite doing my fair share of ingesting the stuff, I was oblivious to the true viscosity[4] of bread; sticking to everyone and everything, encompassing us all in some kind of gluten-y apparatus[5]. It took the sudden arrival of someone else to hold a mirror up to my blindness. Then for that someone to angle the mirror, and, in the resulting glare, force me to look elsewhere.

Moira Blumenthal was a moving target of a woman. She blazed into our sleepy Ontarian town on a mid-April morning, cutting the fog right in two. At seventy, Moira was starting over (again), after the recent loss of her husband. And, from the moment she arrived on our street, she made her presence known: She hosted dinner parties, joined the local chapter of the Civitans, and even led a Jane’s Walk down Main Street (!) At the same time, there was also something diffident about Moira. The colossal brim of her sun hat demanded a minimum distance. Even her illustrious vegetable gardens, with their towering vines of tomatoes, zucchinis and long beans seemed strategically planted to obscure the living room windows. As her next-door neighbour, it was palpably odd that we shared over a hundred feet of property line and never more than a few words. After several months, it began to irk me: How could I go on living my life in zero-point proximity to a person I barely understood?

One morning in June, I woke early; determined to beat the cavalry of squirrels that ravaged my cucumbers like clockwork at 6am. As I waded bleary-eyed into the patch, I couldn’t help but notice how the fruits of my labour paled in comparison to the size of Moira’s. It was like an impressionist painting sat beside a photograph, or the lushness of real lips versus lipstick traces. Deflated, I began collating my ‘cucumber sketches’ into a bin until a scent so warm and sharp flooded my nostrils, and it lapped against the edges of my medulla. Bread! The distinctive, primordial smell of freshly-baked bread. It was an odour so simple yet multitudinous; modest in its directness while alluding to an intricate (internal) world. I shot up like a mortar (scaring off the approaching squirrels) and looked around for the source. Across the lawn, a golden loaf of bread was cooling on the sill of Moira’s kitchen window, swaddled like a newborn in tea towels. Before I knew it, I was on the move—trespassing into Moira’s yard, trying not to trample the cabbages. As I got closer, the scent intensified and ignited my body memory. I was six again, tugging at the apron of my Nan as she artfully formed boules of rye. As I reached the sill, I momentarily became one with the flaxen bâtard, losing myself in its propitious texture. And as I raised my eyes above it to settle on the glass of the window, I no longer recognized my own reflection. All my angles were in flux. Who was this strange being staring back at me? Was it my reflection or an apparition?

“Are you just gonna stand there all morning or are you gonna come in an’ have some?” exclaimed Moira, throwing open the window.

Slack-jawed, I stuttered an awkward, “Ssssure. Llllove to…” as I processed mistaking Moira’s features for my own in the glare of her half-open window.

We had coffee in her kitchen, which was filled with jars of canned goods arranged meticulously by colour, like a visual archive of pickles. Notably there were no family photos or knick-knacks on the walls, only a series of still lives. Alongside the bread, she set out a pad of butter and some jam. “You probably won’t even need these. Go ahead, try some on its own.”

I popped a piece into my mouth and felt my eyes bulge as the complexity of flavour washed over my tongue.

“Good, right? You’ll have to take some home with you.”

“What is this?” I asked in rapture, like a new convert to Moira’s cult of baked goods.

“Sourdough,” she said coyly.

“Yes, but what kind???”

“This kind” Moira said as she waltzed to the cupboard, threw open the door and nearly climbed inside. She emerged with a single but sizeable mason jar half-filled with soupy brown liquid. “My family’s sourdough starter—our own recipe going back to 1944”.

I just stared at her, visibly bewildered—partly because I had no idea what she was talking about, but also because I had gone from being a total outsider to hearing about Moira’s sixty-year-old science experiment in a matter of minutes.

“1944? Is that safe?” I exclaimed.

Moira chuckled to herself, and her glasses jittered. “Well I haven’t dropped dead! Seriously though, it’s perfectly safe. The fermentation is a natural preservative. As long as you keep feeding it and make sure it’s getting enough air, it’ll treat ya good.”

My face contorted into a look of horror. “Feed it? Air?! You mean it’s alive?”

She chuckled again. “Everything is alive, Dear. But, yes, it’s nearly as old as I am, and, with any luck, it’ll outlive me yet.”

As I continued to look a mixture of puzzled and petrified, something sparkled in her iris.

“Say, would you like to have some?”

Before I could answer, she began dividing the starter into smaller jars. Then she dipped quickly into the pantry and returned with a single notecard.

“Here,” she said warmly yet firmly. “Follow these instructions to the letter, and you’ll be able to have bread like this anytime you want. But, you have to promise me that you’ll take good care of it…try to think of it like a pet.” Then she placed the mason jar in my palm, whispering, “My gift to you.”

A few days later, I was back at Moira’s in an absolute panic. No sooner had she opened the back door than I shoved the flattest, saddest, rock-hardest loaf of bread in her face like a child presenting its broken toy.

“Uh oh,” she said calmly, showing me into the kitchen. “You forgot to feed it?”

“I remembered. I swear! Every night before I go to bed. I’ve followed your instructions to a “t”, and it’s still no use. This is the fifth one like this!”

“What all have you tried?” she asked, stroking her chin like a detective.

“Everything! Moving it away from the stove, closer to the window… I’ve tried distilled water, holy water…”

“Have you tried singing to it?”

“Singing to it? It’s not a houseplant.”

“No, it’s not,” she said patiently, “but it is alive. All living things like being sung to.”

She again thrust her body into the cupboard and retrieved the sacred starter. Leaning over it like an oracle, she began to sing:

Madárka, madárka ne zavard a vizet,
Hogy igyam belőle, hogy írjak levelet.

Apámnak s anyámnak, szívbeli mátkámnak,
Hogy tudják meg ők is kinek adtak férjhez.[6]

“How do you know it’ll work?”

“You don’t” she punctuated. “But anything meaningful requires a sacrifice of some kind. Though, exactly what that looks like varies. My starter likes Hungarian folk songs. Yours may like violin concertos. You just have to keep trying things until you get a response.”

“Okay…and what if I get a response, but I can’t understand that it’s a response in the first place? Where’s the meaning in that?”

“I don’t know. Maybe, there’s meaning in the struggle for meaning itself?”

I scowled. “No offense. But that seems awfully unproductive.”

“Well, sometimes the unproductive is necessary[7]. Living in the present moment is unproductive, if you never give any regard to the future. But if we always thought about the future, then what kind of life would exist for us here in the present? You see, between any two values there has to be some kind of incoherent middle-ground. Care for some tea?”

Still perplexed as she put the kettle on, my daze quickly dissipated when she reached into the breadbox and brought out another half-loaf for us to share.

“Where did you learn Hungarian?” I asked between mouthfuls.

“It’s my first language, actually. My family is from tiny farming village there. I came to Canada to escape the War.”

“Your family, too?”

Moira didn’t respond. She was suddenly frozen, staring into the abyss of the sourdough. Her eyes turned pink and watery.

“They were taken to the camps…I never saw them again. I managed to escape with my mother’s rucksack, and inside was a tiny jar of starter…Can you believe it? We were in the middle of a war—bombers flying overhead—and she still thought to bring the starter. Out of all things! I didn’t understand it then, other than feeling a sense of duty to protect it and to keep it safe. But now, I can look back and see that, for her, it was a way of preserving our culture—all her memories of home, her recipes, her love. They were in that jar. They still are. Which is why it’s so important that I keep it alive, and why I’ve passed it on to you.”

I sat stunned, unsure whether to cry or to run away. “Me? Why me??”

“Because you chose it. You gravitated toward that bread like a moth to a flame. I knew from the minute you stepped up to my window that you’d be the one to carry this forward.”

“Moira, I want to help you. Really, I do. But, as you can see, I’m not cut out for this. I can barely keep the thing alive, and now that I know how much it means to you… When you gave the starter to me you called it a ‘gift’, but frankly, it seems like more of a burden…”

Moira straightened up in her chair. “Indeed! Every gift is its own kind of curse—that is its double truth[8]. When you receive a gift, you’re not just accepting a thing; you’re entering into a contract with the person who gifted it to you to give something back, to create a symbolic good between you both, which is easier said than done. You have to work at keeping a gift, and, occasionally, give back to it. There’s nothing on this earth that doesn’t take as well as receive.”

“And so, you’ve cursed me with the gift of bread? Is that what you’re telling me?”

“If that’s how you prefer to see it…I prefer to see it as an exchange. I’m giving you my family’s recipe, our history, our memories. In return, you’re providing care, stewardship, and most of all, a way to remember, a way forward.”

Suddenly, something warm and wet hit my forearm. I was crying. Although part of me resented Moira in that moment for not saying all this before, her honesty and her faith in me touched me deeply, and chased out any urge to shrink away from this responsibility.

“You’re a wise woman, Moira,” I said, squeezing her hand once more. “Where did you learn to see so clearly?”

She pushed her glasses up from the ridge of her nose and said, “When you get to be my age, Dear, you see everything through a bifocal perspective[9].”

I went home that evening with a new batch of starter in one hand and a handwritten sheet of folk songs in the other. The next day, I baked a loaf of bread so delicious it could have ushered in world peace.

Only a few years later, Moira passed away. I’ve continued to make bread every day since in her memory. Not surprisingly, she also gifted me many other of her things, including a small handmade recipe book. Its pages were weathered and thin from age, and most of it was in Hungarian, but it felt so alive—its margins brimming with loving corrections, notes for the family and future cooks. Resting quietly in the middle, however, was a much newer note—a recipe card in familiar handwriting and addressed to me. On it, a short but powerful message that seemed to make all the burden worth it:

You and I are:

A simple codex opening wide in a complex gesture of exchange.

Love always,




[1] This is a central concept in Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s critique of capitalism. Much like the analog of the rhizome, Deleuze and Guattari use the “line of flight” to describe a way of being that is outside or otherwise able to circumvent the logic of capital and, therefore, produce alternative “trajectories” of knowledge and power. This concept is akin and often mentioned in relation to deterritorialization. See A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. University of Minnesota Press, 1987.

[2] Ibid. p. 5: “How could the law of the book reside in nature, when it is what presides over the very division between world and book, nature and art?”

[3] This is the first of many references to Pierre Bordieu’s lifelong project to enunciate a “paradigmatic” theory of the gift that would position it as central to social practice. See Ilana F. Silber. “Bordieu’s Gift to Gift Theory: An Unacknowledged Trajectory”, Sociological Theory, vol. 27, no. 2 (June 2009): 175-190.

[4] Timothy Morton. Hyberobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. University of Minnesota Press, 2013. 27-38.

[5] Here, I’m invoking a term used by physicist and theorist Karen Barad that she uses to describe the ‘discursive material’ that connects and constructs a particular set of dynamics between the agency of subjects and objects—the weather apparatus, the political apparatus, etc. In her conception, an apparatus is much like the invisible ‘dark matter’ in space, which seems central to constituting the universe as we know it yet is fundamentally hidden from view. See Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Duke University Press, 2007.

[6] Little bird, little bird, don’t trouble the water / So I can drink, so I can write this letter. / To my mother and father, to my beloved, / So they know to whom I’ve been given. —Translation by Songbat Records. Retrieved from:

[7] See Nuccio Ordine’s discussion of George Bataille’s conception of “the gift” in The Usefulness of the Useless. Trans. Alastair McEwen. Philadelphia: Paul Dry Books, 2017.

[8] Bordieu quoted in Silber, p. 175.

[9] Ibid.


Barad, Karen. “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to

Matter” in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol. 28, no. 3 (Spring 2003): 801-831.

Bennett, Jane. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Duke University Press, 2010.

Bogost, Ian. Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be A Thing. University of Minnesota Press, 2012.

Bordieu, Pierre. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Trans. Richard Nice. Cambridge University Press, 1977.

Bryant, Levi. The Democracy of Objects. Ann Arbor, MI: Open Humanities, 2011.

loop elsewhere FALL EDITION

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installation view of Pink Cities; Green Branches, Yael Brotman and Libby Hague, 2018.


Yael Brotman and Libby Hague

Yael and Libby exhibited a collaborative installation Pink Cities; Green Branches at the Centro Cultural Doctor Madrazo, in Santander, Spain as part of the Impact 10 Print Conference.

Adrienne Trent and Marian Wihak

Adrienne and Marian, along with Toronto artists Ellen Bleiwas, Emily DiCarlo and Gunilla Josephson, have created a site-responsive art installation, OUROBOROS, situated within the stunning interior of the Byzantine Revival gem, St. Anne’s Anglican Church, 270 Gladstone Ave, at Dundas.

September 22nd until Oct 14th, Friday – Sunday noon – 5pm
Opening Reception: September 27th, 6 – 9pm
Nuit Blanche: September 29th, 7pm – midnight with musical performances: Turkwaz at 7:30pm and Darbazi at 8:30  (free will donation)
Artist talk and tour: October 14th at 2pm

Known as the oldest allegorical symbol in alchemy, the ouroboros represented the concept of eternity and endless return. The symbol of a snake eating its own tail in a closed circle has been found in varied contexts and geographies. The artists in the exhibition Ouroboros at St. Anne’s Anglican Church, pose an inquiry into the cyclical themes of connectedness and continuity within each artwork.
Toronto artists Ellen Bleiwas, Emily DiCarlo, Gunilla Josephson, Adrienne Trent and Marian Wihak share a network of overlapping relationships. The arc of time, space and history, and the connective impacts and resonances activated are shared drivers of their practices.  Each one shares a world view that includes the evanescent, the ephemeral and the past with the subsequent talismans, relics, and vestiges of these histories used as markers and reminders of a larger realm of connectedness.
Jennifer Rudder.

loop elsewhere SUMMER EDITION

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image: Jane Lowbeer, Small Things, found objects, 11″ x 4″, 2018


Last chance to catch Kelly’s exhibition at Hatch Gallery in Prince Edward County until June 15th, 2018. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday – 11am to 5:00pm.


The catalogue for INTERVENTION: 31 WOMEN PAINTERS,  the Montreal painting show at the McClure Gallery which was curated by Harold Klunder is now available from ABC Art Books.


Jane’s exhibition, Preponderance of the Small, will be at the Visual Art Centre of Clarington  from June 3 to July 1st.
Unusual gallery hours are 10am – 9pm Tuesday  to Thursday and 10am to 4pm Friday-Sunday. Jane will also be giving an Artist Talk on June 17th 2pm – 4pm.


Ava has a solo exhibition coming up, from July 6-August 25th, at the Agnes Jameison Gallery in Minden, ON. Opening reception is July 6th from 4:30 – 6pm. Layer Landscapes: Wax and Thread, explores the tension between permanent and temporary, solid and delicate and transparent and opaque.

loop elsewhere SPRING EDITION

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                  detail from Elizabeth D’Agostino, Makeshift Tales, 2018


Elizabeth’s new work Makeshift Tales opens April 20th at the Alberta Printmakers Gallery. It includes an essay by loop member JENN LAW, which you can read it here. Opening reception is April 20th from 7 pm – 9 pm -and the show runs until June 1st.


Martha’s show Before Tomorrow opens at the Art Gallery of Bancroft and runs from May 2nd until May 26th.
Opening reception May 4th at 7:20 pm.
For more information visit:


Sandra is currently doing a two-month art residency at SIM (The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists) in Reykjavik, Iceland.


Jane’s work is up until April 21st in the group show Revisiting the Landscape at Open Studio, 401 Richmond St. West, Toronto. Opening April 6th is, Periphery, an installation in the foyer of  StarX gallery in Peterborough, Ontario.

Also, opening June 3rd is a solo show of Jane’s work, Preponderance of the Small, at the Visual Art Centre Of Clarington (VAC)

loop elsewhere NEW YEAR EDITION

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 left to right: Marian Wihak, detail from Excavation(…closer to where we began)
and Libby Hague, detail from. Nov 8 Double Vision, 2008, 11 x 14 in. Oil and acrylic on canvas


Libby’s retrospective, The Past is Never Over, closes January 1, 2018 at the Art Gallery of Mississauga.
and the exhibition brochure can be downloaded here

Also, her work is included in Intervention: 31 Women Painters at the McClure Gallery of the Visual Arts Centre in Montreal.
Invited Curator: Harold Klunder
Vernissage: Thursday February 1 at 6 pm
Exhibition: February 2 to 24
Conference: Friday February 2 at 7 pm


David will be leading another summer studio art workshop for practicing artists in Orvieto, Italy, exploring connections between art and religion. The workshop will run from July 15 to August 4, 2018 and will take advantage of the area’s rich historical tradition of religious material culture from its Etruscan origins onward. Also available are a Seminar in art history, religion, and theology. Graduate level university credit available.
For more information about the Residency for Artists, Writers, and Graduate Students and how to participate visit:


Marian’s installation EXCAVATION(…closer to where we began) is  part of this year’s Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TODO). This work was originally commissioned by LabSpace and Sculpting New Reads and was shown as part of the long-stranding one-day event, Word on the Street held at Harbourfront Toronto in September 2017. Wihak was invited to respond to Lisa Richter’s new book of poetry “Closer to Where We Began” and it was an auspicious pairing that has enriched both artists’ work.

Opening Reception is Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 6-9pm
with Lisa Richter reading from her new book of poetry, Closer to Where We Began
The exhibition is being staged in collaboration with Pekota Design under the joint title ElevationExcavation as part of the 2018 Toronto Design Offsite Festival.
Pekota Design, 406 Pacific Avenue (in the Junction)
Exhibition runs from  JANUARY 16th to 21st, 2018

Loop Members and Guests Lighten Up

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A celebratory exhibition including small works by John Abrams, Jackson Abrams, Mark Adair, Gilles Arsenault, Yael Brotman, Gareth Bate, Catherine Beaudette,Diana Birkenheier, David Brown, Andrew Cripps, Carolyn Dinsmore, Andrew Duff, Maria Gabankova, Sarah Gibeault, Alexandra Greer, Colwyn Griffith, Libby Hague, Linda Heffernan, David Holt, Nikolette Jakovac, Vladyana Krykorka, Kyungmin Kate Lee, Jane Lowbeer, Ingrid Mida, Richard Mongiat, Patrick Moore, Mary Catherine Newcomb, Ruth Pak Regis, Ava Roth, Rochelle Rubenstein, Richard Sewell, Lanny Shereck, Roch Smith, MJ Steenberg, Suffield, Adrienne Trent, Connie Van Rijn, Christine Walker,  and Marian Wihak.

Gareth Bate In the Garden

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November 4 – November 26, 2017

Reception: Saturday, November 4th, 2-5 PM


“No guru, no method, no teacher 

Just you and I and nature”

(In the Garden, Van Morrison)


Loop Gallery is pleased to present In the Garden by Gareth Bate, a collection of recent and new works. In Gareth’s own words:

Standhal Syndrome: Last year I visited an exhibition that I found so overwhelming I had to leave, twice. It felt like I was in an altered state of dizzying awareness. The condition of being completely overwhelmed by art is known as Standhal Syndrome. Plants and flowers were bursting, swirling and growing in every direction. The show was a whirling excess of patterns and complexity. It was like life itself, nothing simple about it. What resonated most for me, was the feeling that in my own work, I was tapped into something archetypal. It was clear that many artists from around the world, and throughout time, had felt the same intuition. The universe is like a garden.

A Cosmic Garden: These were gardens with a higher purpose. To me, these artists were making images that were like metaphors of the universe. Tiny images of the cosmos. Perhaps as humans we desperately want the universe to be like a garden so that it all makes sense. A garden has a gardener, who shapes nature, and makes order out of chaos.

Bliss: Gardens Real and Imagined: I was very moved by this exhibition curated by Natalia Nekrassova at the Textile Museum of Canada. It featured centuries of textile works from around the world. All of them unified by an exuberant love of plants and flowers. The time and craftsmanship that went into these works was mind blowing. I think we need more shows like this that emphasize what we have in common on a deep human level rather than everything that’s different.

What I see: When I look at In The Garden I see life swirling around. I feel energy and vibration. Plants growing and blossoms exploding. Particles and atoms zipping about. I see the heavens, planets and galaxies. I feel a world bubbling and blooming, evolving and fucking. Like Toronto, I see a beautiful mess. A vibrant crudeness, crowded and busy, filled up to the brink. Trying to punch holes. Packed with stuff to do and endless projects. Distractions and updates. Chaotic and unordered. Anxiety. Endless lists. I see a desire for an ordered world and a cleared out space. A need to always prove something. Or is that just me?

Blender: My work is like a blender with the same ingredients added in different combinations and then mixed together into new drinks. The cosmos has been a central theme in my work for years. So have storms, clouds, grasses, plants and flowers. Finding order in chaos, shifting perspectives and current news events. But until now the cosmos hadn’t mixed with the plants and flowers. Since Cape Flora, my last exhibition at loop Gallery, I’ve spent the last year out on the streets of Toronto photographing constantly every day. I’m always shooting details of colours, street life, plants and flowers. The result is thousands of photographs.

Colour Charts: Art School Untangled is my private studio art courses. I teach an intensive eight week course devoted exclusively to mixing paint called The Colour Mixing Detective. As I’ve developed this course I’ve created hundreds of complex colour charts and mixed an exhaustive amount of colour combinations. The process has been fascinating and I’ve learned a lot. I’m using colours I’d never have touched and discovered a remarkable level of nuance.

Byproducts: In the Garden emerged over time out of a process I’ve used in the past. While I was doing hundreds of colour charts, instead of squirting my paint on a palette, I used a wood painting surface. I’d continually turn it around, and randomly wipe my brushes on it. Essentially, these paintings are the accumulation of my wiped brushstrokes! Layer upon layer, built up over time, until something suddenly happened. A spark of life. It became a painting! Over a year this process grew into a body of work with over 25 paintings.

Emergence: The process was like improvisation or jazz. There’s a set of limits or rules, but then it’s all about letting surprising things emerge. I never set out to make paintings that evoked a garden, or the cosmos or anything like that. These paintings are totally abstract, yet I still feel those things. It just happened on it’s own without even trying. It’s not about thinking, it’s about trusting. Knowing without knowing. Letting it flow like nature. The key is recognizing it when it happens!

Changes: When I used this process in the past in my Cosmos and Anarchy series, I took the mess of paint that accumulated and added all sorts of imagery on top. For In the Garden I mostly left things alone. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t continue to work on them. I’d edit things out. Exaggerate or clarify. Create more volume or depth. Maybe pull something forward and push something back. In painting there’s a time for going nuts and throwing it all out there, but afterwards you need to get some perspective and do some editing. Does this actually work?

Lessons: For me the number one lesson of these paintings was “stop fucking with them!” Leave them alone. Let them be what they are. Accept them without feeling the need to fix them too much. I can now go back and look at “unfinished” paintings from the past and know that I can leave them alone. They’re already done, and often better than ones I thought were done. Now I continually ask can I accept this as a finished painting?”

Many Worlds: For a long time I’ve thought about painting as like building a universe. It’s a glimpse inside another world. Like opening windows or punching holes. Alternate universes could exist, but they will always have their own laws. They have to be internally coherent, You can’t just throw anything in there.

Joan Mitchell: I’ve grown to love the paintings of abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell. I admire her rawness. She was willing to let things sit there in a messy state. She didn’t finesse the life out of it or feel the need to present a well done painting. She knew that the mess was filled with energy and excitement. Leave it rough. The crudeness is the power.

loop elsewhere FALL EDITION

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Yael, Brotman, Blackfriars, etching on Kurotani and Taiwanese papers, foamcore, acrylic, 2013


Yael’s exhibition, Waterfront opened September 8th and runs until October 21st at the Martha St. Studio in Winnipeg.


Maria’s current exhibition Sculpture Time is on at the Rentz Museum, in Kuks, Czech Republic and runs through till April 2018.
Her paintings are interpretations of Baroque sculptures representing Virtues and Vices. Through visual interventions she poses questions about how relevant or redundant are issues of moral and ethical values in today’s world influenced by technology, human greed and consumerism. In August 2017 this show was part of a yearly baroque/ contemporary multimedia festival Theatrum Kuks featuring concerts, theatre, puppets and other on site performances and presentations.
For details about the festival: 
and for details about the exhibition: or


Libby’s work can be seen at the following:
Kyoto Hanga, International Print Exhibition, Japan and Canada, curated by Liz Ingram and April Dean, Art Gallery of Regina, September 1st – October 5th.
2017 Departures – Masterpieces of Canadian Printing, curated by Walter Jules, Ardell Gallery of Modern Art, Bankok, October 19th – November 26th, 2017
Open Studio’s booth at Editions, Art Toronto, October 27th – 30th.
The past is never over: A Libby Hague Retrospective, Art Gallery of Mississauga, curated by Kendra Ainsworth, Nov. 2, 2017


Jenn has recently established a new publishing platform, Arts & Letters Press, with artist friend and colleague Penelope Stewart. The duo are looking forward to representing this initiative at the 2/edition Art Book Fair in Toronto, October 27-30, 2017, where they will be exhibiting artist’s books and multiples, as well as promoting the 2018 launch of the biannual publication Art + Reading.

For further information, please visit their website:


Jane’s exhibit of drypoint mono prints and wall sculptures, Hills and Lines, has been extended until October 21st, 2017 at the AH Centre.


presented Anxious Space an off-site temporary exhibition which considered how the threat of environmental destruction changes the way we experience everyday spaces.
Featuring Loop members: Yael Brotman, Sheryl Dudley, David Holt, Adrian Fish, Ester Pugliese, Sandra Gregson, Tanya Cunnington, Mary Catherine Newcomb, Rochelle Rubenstein.
The change in perception of everyday spaces brought about by environmental threat could be anything from premature nostalgia to zealous protection, in other words, the threat of destruction highlights the fragility and importance of spaces typically taken for granted, rendering them sacred. In exploring the tension between sacredness and destruction, two important questions must be asked: what amount of threat to a space makes it sacred?; what amount of damage to a space it eliminates that sacredness?
 Curated by: Salena Barry