Exhibition opening and book signing with G.B. Jones: August 6, 5–7pm
Performance by Nat Pyper and Fifth Column tribute show: September 10
After a brief break, Kunstverein Toronto has returned with a new website created by Laura Pappa and Lotte Lara Schröder, as well as an impending book launch and exhibition with artist G.B. Jones.
Organized in collaboration with D St-Amour.
G.B. Jones (born 1965, Bowmanville, Canada) is known for a variety of achievements, including the popularity of her post-punk band Fifth Column (1981-2002), the wide influence of the queer punk zines she co-authored, such as J.D.s, Double Bill, and Hide, the creation of the term “queercore,” and her prolific work as a “no-budget” filmmaker, scene photographer, and visual artist. Her “Tom Girls” drawing series, which was first featured in J.D.s, co-opted Finland’s objectified, male-on-male eroticism and presented an universe of “nasty female role models” in place of Tom of Finland’s legendary, “hyper-virile studs” and bold, unyielding leather dykes.
G.B. Jones was published in 1994 by Feature Inc. + Instituting Contemporary Idea in New York. The book included Jones’ “Tom Girls” drawings together with show and movie posters, record covers, cartoons, and commissioned writing. It was edited and created by Steve Lafreniere. Copies of Jones’ book were confiscated and prevented from entering Canada in the 1990s as part of a campaign by the Canadian Border Services agency against purportedly pornographic or immoral goods on the grounds that they depicted “bondage.” Later, Jones learned that Border Control officers had burnt the copies they had taken.
27 years later, in partnership with Jones, Kunstverein Toronto is reintroducing G.B. Jones to Canadian bookshops. On August 6, a revised edition of the book will be released along with an exhibition of related illustrations, images, posters, ephemera, and tributes that show the scope and influence of Jones’ varied practice both at the time of the book’s original publication and now.
On August 6 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the artist will sign copies of the book at Cooper Cole.
The project was organized by Kunstverein Toronto, with D St-Amour serving as the publication and research director.
G.B. Jones is an artist, filmmaker, musician, and zines publisher. He was born in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, in 1965. When Jones’ illustrations were included in the Toronto-based gay punk zine J.D.s, which she co-founded with Bruce LaBruce, they first gained attention. Her well-known drawing series Tom Girls, which replaces all the hyper-masculine themes in Tom of Finland’s drawings with women, subverts the original aim and makes a contribution to third-wave feminist art. In 2002, Jones and Paul P. started working on a collection of collages together, several of which were later included in the anthology A Queer Anthology of Rage. One of Jones’ spray-painted pictures of Ionian columns, which is permanently put at Cooper Cole, alludes to her post-punk band Fifth Column (1981–2002), and they imply the fusion of her artistic work with music.
Jones has exhibited her art nationally and internationally since the early 1990s, in spaces such as Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus; Participant Inc., New York; Mercer Union, Toronto; The Power Plant, Toronto; Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna; White Columns, New York; AKA Artist Run Space, Winnipeg; Muncher Kunstverein, Munich; and Schwules Museum, Berlin. She was included in the 2012 exhibition This Will Have Been: Art, Love, and Politics in the 1990s, which was curated by Helen Molesworth for the MCA Chicago and subsequently travelled to the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the ICA Philadelphia. She has also exhibited at national and international galleries including David Zwirner, New York; Cooper Cole, Toronto; Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto; Feature, New York; Galerie Clark, Montreal; and Or Gallery, Vancouver. G.B. Jones lives and works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Brooklyn, New York-based alphabet artist Nat Pyper. They utilize language as a sieve in their work and writing and force the body through it.
D St-Amour lives in Tio’tia:ke – Mooniyang and works as a writer, curator, and book maker (Montreal).
With its colleagues in Amsterdam, Augusta, Milan, and New York, Kunstverein Toronto is a curatorial and publishing platform. Kunstverein Toronto is committed to experimentation, discourse, and hospitality in art, exhibition, and publication methods. It is mobile in both time and space. Fundamentally, Kunstverein Toronto aims to promote dialogue between regional and global contexts, generations, and conversations. In 2014, Kari Cwynar and Kara Hamilton launched Kunstverein Toronto. A local advisory board and a global community of artists, curators, intellectuals, and aficionados are involved in our programming process.
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