September 29 - November 1, 2012
ARTIST WALK-THROUGH & RECEPTION
November 1, 7-9 pm
Erin Finley, Bona Fide Bumster, ink and gold leaf on paper, 2011
Erin Finley / Artist Statement
In my favourite John Cusack comedy, the actor plays a hitman who possesses “moral flexibility.” With its invocation of an unrestrained elasticity between the poles of right and wrong, this term is an apt descriptor for my artwork, which explores contentious themes with calibrated insouciance. This body of work was originally inspired by those infamous 2004 Abu Ghraib torture photographs, still potent years later, their attendant frissons a result of their authentic viscerality and, in some images, a baseborn attempt at humour by American soldiers. That these scenes are uncannily similar to the rituals practised by the buffoons of MTV’s “Jackass” series is intriguing, since the politics of comedy make sadism acceptable. My drawings, thus, offer a sardonic locus for the violent impulse – where invocations of Alexander McQueen’s ‘bumster’ trousers, for example, offer levity to what is otherwise grim. Also present, however, is a kind of heavy-metal machismo, the four-chamber grenade launcher in “Iron Maiden,” for example, having been borrowed from The Terminator’s cold futurism. The Olympian Oscar Pistorius prompted my interest in biomechatronics: he is re-envisioned here as a female action hero on a rococo leg.
Erin Finley wishes to acknowledge the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council for their generous support.
Erin Finley, Guantanamo Girls 2, ink on paper, 2011
Erin Finley / Biography
Erin Finley is based in Toronto and has already received substantial recognition for her work nationally and internationally. Upcoming exhibitions include shows in Amsterdam and Cologne.
The Union Gallery acknowledges the George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund at Queen’s University for their financial support of this exhibition.