Regarding the Pain
of Susan Sontag
The late, great Susan Sontag had a lot of uneasy things to say about photos, such as her call in On Photography for an "ecology of images," a widespread effort to re-sensitize ourselves to media representations of horror and suffering. In its first show, the Fennel Plunger Corporation (FPC) — a collective composed of Steve Reinke, Jean-Paul Kelly and Anne Walk — takes up Sontag's challenge, as well as her later elaboration-cum-retraction in Regarding the Pain of Others, which stated that an ecology of images is likely impossible.
In essence, FPC's goal is to reinvigorate the immediacy of the still image through any means possible: Kelly tries cheesecake shots of hospital patients (pictured); Walk does porny performances on the web, where the still becomes interactive (you direct and titillate it as much as it directs and titillates you). Reinke provides imperious texts inspired by his peers' noble progress.
"Regarding the Pain of Susan Sontag (Notes on Camp)" opens June 11, 2-5pm. To July 16. Tue-Sat noon-5pm. Gallery TPW, 80 Spadina Av., ste. 310. 416-504-4242. www.photobasedart.ca.