the Evolution of Man

by Michael Toke

1247 Dundas Street West
June 21 - July 15
opening June 21, 7pm

I remember when I was a kid I went around "the townhouses" asking all the housewives if I could have the cardboard their new pantyhose were wrapped around; hot pressed and glossy on one side, dead flat on the other, rounded corners and perfect for drawing in this skipping dashed way with the new black marker I had discovered. These new EVOLUTION of MAN drawings remind me of the joy I had drawing when I was young and the hopeful wide eyed vision I had for the world and Canada. Canada a beacon of light and progress guiding the world into the future was written on my face. I don't see that look anymore or better to say I see people trying to keep an idea of that face, but glimpsed underneath I see contortions and ticks at the way the world is; an exasperated wince quickly covered up as if to reel in an escaping beast of disillusionment and disbelief.
These new drawings are on a painted fresco like surface, dead flat, skipped and dashed with archival ink they are meant to be studies for an envisioned visage of what we hide underneath our beautiful ones.

The EVOLUTION OF MAN series is accompanied by works from the 2001 "Visions of Photonic Love" exhibition and other related works about the emergence of light at the beginning of the universe and its connection with the orgasm. These works arose from interviewed discussions with physicist Dr. Howard K. C. Yee at the University of Toronto and the subsequent video "notes on a nameless film".
"an attempt to describe the indescribable boundary between the known and unknown universe through interview and visual obliteration; at certain levels of complexity all visualization degrades into mathematics" was written on the DVD sleeve.
This video was awarded "One of the Best Filmmakers Under 25 in Canada Award" which came with a $2500 prize and a trip to Ottawa to meet with the Governor General and Minister of Arts and Culture with 10 other so awarded filmmakers. It was to theirs and my great disappointment to inform them that I was 37 at the time. The exhibition that was derived from this video was originally showed at Edward Day Gallery and then expanded for the Scope Art Fair in New York. Only 4 of these black works remain from the original exhibitions with some studies, other related works and the instigating videos they form a lovely stage backdrop of lust wandering for meaning, reason and purpose in the universe. They were originally accompanied with the phrase:
"Out of the blackness emerged joyous information to wet our lips; but in cruelty its beauty only left us wanting for more as its image slowly faded away."

I believe to approach hard strange and elusive ideas you must use peripheral vision and Newtonian half measures; random cultivation is the path to expression and enlightenment.
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