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Adrian Stimson | Jeremy Laing & Will Munro


  • Paul Petro Contemporary Art 980 Queen Street West Toronto, ON, M6J 1H1 Canada (map)

Adrian Stimson "Naked Napi Big Smoke"
Jeremy Laing & Will Munro "Virginia's Room"

June 7 - July 6, 2019
Opening Reception Friday, June 7, 7-11pm

Paul Petro Contemporary Art is pleased to present new work by Adrian Stimson, "Naked Napi Big Smoke", and Jeremy Laing and Will Munro "Virginia's Room", based on their collaboration "The Wall of Virginia Puff-Paint" from 2003.

Adrian Stimson's Napi are coming east after a debut on the west coast in an exhibition at the SUM Gallery, Vancouver, in 2018 and in Edmonton at the Art Gallery of Alberta this year.

"While Napi Stories are often told by elders who have been the recipients of these stories from time immemorial, a new generation of Blackfoot artists, actors and story tellers have started to create new Napi stories, Napi is not static, he is dynamic. In creating these stories, I hope to reimagine Napi in the present, to Queer him, to create new stories and ideas based on our past yet reflect our present and future. As a part of creating these paintings, each painting will come with a story, a story in English, to be translated into Blackfoot. Stories that tell of moments in our time, our struggles, our hopes, both funny and tragic. Hopefully this creates a space where we can imagine a future where Napi still gives us insight into our human condition and be a continuum of Indigenous/Blackfoot knowledge."

— Adrian Stimson, full text: http://www.paulpetro.com/exhibitions/536-Naked-Napi-Big-Smoke

The promotional text for the Art Gallery of York University publication, "The Pavilion of Virginia Puff-Paint" reads as follows:

"Combining costumes that look like evil mirror-universe King Louis XIV courtiers with ritualized hentai tentacle-porn fornication, Will Munro and Jeremy Laing’s performance for ‘Sinbad in the Rented World’ at AGYU (2004) is about as twisted as things can reasonably be expected to get. The two participants (sheathed in full-body, phallus- and orifice-covered lace and silk) go through the highly sylized motions of almost every type of erotic behaviour known to civilized man in an intriguingly passionless manner, all to a perverse casbah-like soundtrack."

In "Virginia's Room" we revisit "The Wall..." on our second floor, in an augmented installation by Jeremy Laing in collaboration with the Estate of Will Munro. Included is the original VHS documentation of Laing and Munro's performance.

Jeremy Laing has provided the following words for the exhibition, Virginia's Room.

"Will Munro and I spent the summer of 2003 crafting costumes and a set for an interactive performance — The Wall of Virginia Puff-Paint — that we presented at Zsa Zsa Gallery, on Queen Street West, in September of that year.

"So much of the project was informed by queer erasure, and sought to forge connections to departed forebears, which now also include Will. It has been personally meaningful to unpack Virginia's effects so many years later, and, as collaborator originally, now custodian and solo artist, to refigure the installation in the context of his absence. It feels fitting that a project centred around revelling in and revealing queer legacies should now come back around to remind us of Will's own.

"Please join me in Virginia's Room."

— Jeremy Laing, May 2019