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Review: Last Chants at Hermes

Themes of occupying, navigating and accessing space are touched on in this latest exhibition.

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Last Chants
Hermes, 5682 North Street
Closing reception Friday, June 2, 6pm
To June 4

The current exhibition at North Street's Hermes gallery, Last Chants, features works by artists who share studio space above the Army Navy Surplus. The artists, here calling themselves the Last Chance Studios, all loosely touch on themes of occupying, navigating and accessing space.

For some artists this theme is political. In Sam Kinsley's untitled work, the artist collects data, noting the accessibility of washrooms in the city, while Anna Taylor's embroidered triptych highlights the forced eviction of sex workers in Norway.

Other works can be seen to reference the domestic, often indirectly, as though the materials were uncovered in a box in the attic: party favours left over from children's birthdays (Michael McCormack's readymades in Daydream I), home movies (Lou Sheppard, Somewhere over the Rainbow/ Fire Island 1979, 2016), a pair of gloves (William Robinson, Pine, 2017) or old self-help books and relaxation tapes (Helah Cooper and Merle Harley's High Frequency Relaxation, 2017).

Still more works speak to distances, with Andrew Patterson's cryptic grids appearing like something between a Scrabble board and a map, or Jacques Gaudet's brined and latexed Styrofoam panels resembling the surface of the moon.

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