Dog Eat Dog
April 18 – May 17, 2003
The Helen Pitt Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of Vancouver based artist Toni Latour. Working in a variety of disciplines, the content of her practice focuses on her identity as an artist. With humour as its vehicle, her work addresses many of the drives, desires and difficulties involved in art production.
Toni Latour has upcoming exhibitions at SAW Gallery in Ottawa, Gallery 44 in Toronto and ArtSpeak in Vancouver. Latour is also producing and contributing to a CD compilation of audio art by Canadian visual artists. Her video work is available from Art Metropole in Toronto. She teaches Interdisciplinary Media at the University College of the Fraser Valley.
Often depicting the carnivalesque quality of the artist/performer, her work seeks to be both satirically funny and poignantly honest. It describes the self and social scrutiny that go hand in hand with keeping up in the fast paced worlds of art. It also depicts many of the coping mechanisms that accompany such scrutiny. With an air of sincerity, You Can Do It! attempts to satirize the industry of motivation, while it ultimately confronts Latours own artistic anxieties. Through animal imitation, the video and photographic work depicts interior thought processes. In the spirit of General Idea, Latour has often aligned animal behaviour with her own activity as an artist. Dog Eat Dog World becomes a closed, self-referential circuit–an internalized ‘dog fight’. It also makes reference to the ever-evolving pecking order of art communities. Finally, Andy, Andy, Ed, Marcel and Me makes historical references to the labour of artists.
Through a cumulative language her practice simultaneously gives voice to self-deprecation; pathos to ambition; value to sincerity; and encouragement to failure. From pep talks to public posturing, her work encompasses both the excitement and apprehension that surround art making today.