Signs of Self-Reflection
Caoimhe Morgan-Feir

Review. Canadian Art. January 28, 2015.

[Excerpt] Despite the restraints of a collection exhibition, though, Robayo Sheridan manages one careful pairing in particular that moves well beyond simplistic connections. In the final room—a hallway, really—in the UTAC portion, Will Kwan’s Flame Test, a work featuring several commercially printed national flags crackling with images of flames, hangs across from General Idea’s Fear Management, a series of heraldry-inspired screenprints. Walking down the hall, surrounded by burning flags and redeployed heraldry, another collection exhibition in the next gallery comes into view: “A Story of Canadian Art: As Told by the Hart House Collection,” which features paintings by the Group of Seven. Caught between this trinity of nationalistic images, the hall casts visitors through history: from the feudal to the Modern to the present, making palpable the power that these small, ultimately arbitrary, graphics hold. It’s a deeply unsettling moment, and a welcome shot of surprising self-reflexivity. In a deluge of information, what better function can a gallery have than inspecting its role in the production and circulation of these signs?

Full text available at Canadian Art Magazine.