AGYU kicks off winter season with four shows

Jan. 31 is a big night for the Art Gallery of York University. It’s launching a print exhibit, two books and a pillow fight all on one night. Come to the Accolade East Building from 6 to 9pm for the opening of a retrospective of prints by Matthew Brannon, an installation based on Derek Sullivan’s book Robert Smithson, a performance by the Pillow Fight League and a chance to participate in an experimental writing project called First Night.

The multiple launch takes place at the AGYU on the ground floor of the Accolade East Building from 6 to 9pm.

New York artist Matthew Brannon is back at the AGYU with all his foibles and fears exposed – career anxiety, alcoholism, substance abuse and sexual misadventure – in the first retrospective of his prints.

Right: Teaser window treatments by Matthew Brannon

They will be elegantly installed in a faux Art Fair setting. The exhibit’s title, Try & Be Grateful, is deliberately ambivalent: Who is speaking – the artist or institution? The show is an AGYU Founder Presentation.

The gallery is also displaying material related to the publication of Robert Smithson by Toronto-based artist Derek Sullivan, in its three exterior vitrines. Robert Smithson begins with a case of mistaken identity, collapsing one cultural hero into another to explore the accidental territory this mistake opens up. The material will be on view from Jan. 31 to April 1.

From downtown, you can ride the Pillow Fight League’s Promotional Vehicle on Jan. 31 to the AGYU’s winter exhibition openings, for a chance to see the Pillow Fight League in action. Armed with beauty, brains and a nasty disposition, these women are serious brawlers! You’ll learn the rules on the way up as league members – Polly Esther, Ursula Anvil, Vic Payback, Sailor Gerri, Betty Clocker, Boozy Suzy, ChamPAIN, Kill Kelly, Laura Tundering Jesus – get you pumped for some amateur matches and exhibition games upon arrival at the gallery.

Left: Betty Clocker of the Pillow Fight League

The free performance bus departs 100 McCaul Street (in front of Ontario College of Art & Design) at 6pm sharp and returns downtown at 9pm.

First Night, Emily Schultz’s printed story processed from text donated online to the Pledge Me Web site, is also being launched by the gallery Jan. 31. Commissioned for AGYU’s Free Money series in conjunction with Nuit Blanche, Pledge Me gives the Web page visitors a voice in shaping the world of fiction and participating in the creative process of experimental writing.