A Road Called Avenue

A Road Called Avenue

January 15 – February 23, 2019

Evan Tyler’s exhibition A Road Called Avenue culminates a recent body of drawings, video, voice performance, sculpture and mixed media in a unifying gesture of artworks that address dynamic human challenges. Tyler employs the use of anthropomorphism and homemade art therapies as a means to playfully bring into question the paradox of the personal and impersonal within the self-care industry. Using a blend of autobiographical content with fictional theatres of therapy, the artist constructs a visual narrative that postures self-care in a grey area where its implications may be simultaneously productive and damning, while never void of absurdity and humour.  Sharing the same title as the exhibition and starring the artists’ cats Miss Priss and PieWackett, Tyler will premiere a new video work and as an added element of community engagement, will facilitate a durational collage with fellow artist Ira Lee.

Read an essay about Tyler’s work by David Jager:
The beautiful soothing wasteland of 21st century desire

My Keanu, Your Keanu, Our Keanu
Free collage workshops with Evan Tyler
January 19 & 26, 12-2:30pm

In the spirit of community engagement,  Evan Tyler and collaborator Ira Lee will facilitate a durational collage with audiences.  Through the collective creative act, audiences will work with the artists to achieve a large-scale work of art that will address the artists’ personal relationship to Keanu Reeves as public iconography and act as an entry-point to discussions of popular culture, subjectivity and personal histories. The artists will be present at set times during the exhibition to facilitate this experience. In the absence of the artists, audiences will have access to working on the collage during all regular Community Project Space hours.

About the Artist
Evan Tyler is an artist, musician, occasional curator and a writer of fiction who is based out of Toronto, Canada. Tyler has exhibited and curated both nationally and internationally. From 2010-2014 he owned, curated and facilitated the contemporary art space on Queen St. West known as gallerywest, and won “Best Gallery in Toronto” in 2012, 2013 and 2014 awarded by The Liberty Villager.

His artwork focuses on the voice and performance, blending the fictional and autobiographical. This synthesis most often produces tragicomical characters/personas who act out stories about desire, addiction, excess, vulnerability and anxiety. These narratives take form as short movies. Tyler also works in still-image, installation, music, collaboration, drawing and the written word. 

Tyler’s videos are distributed through V-Tape (Toronto)

Artist Statement
My art-making is a composite of video, performance, audio recording, drawing and the written word. These distinctive elements converge in the creation of episodic short films, installations and publications that explore notions of self-help, anxiety management, the subject of addiction (both substance and societal) and the current trend and call for “self-care”.

A keen interest in the late 80’s/early 1990’s proliferation of self-help culture has led me to develop a constellation of characters I perform and bring to life for camera. Each character, whether an amateur-for-television life coach, or opinionated ex-curated cat, are struggling with life, searching for their authentic selves and ultimately seeking redemption through new age practices and visual-making. I enjoy synthesizing fictional and autobiographical content that creates a grey space between the genuine and the satirical. Within this liminal space exists confessional intimacies and distancing devices orchestrated by a “theatre of therapies”.

I am interested in the idea of art production as an activity practiced by my world of characters, who may find solace in the visual act as a therapeutic quality in their narrative. This idea stems back to a grade school exercise I was assigned to “draw how I feel” – an idea both liberating and vague. I recall asking myself in my public school classroom: “Is this a serious exercise?” I have discovered that once I properly tap into the question and ambivalence of this visceral memory, a cul-de-sac into my studio practice is established.

Community Project Space Hours
Tuesday: 11am–3pm
Wednesday–Friday: 12–6pm
Saturday: 11am–3pm