Wednesday, April 2

In Pictures: Newcall gallery launch

Newcall gallery launched officially last night with the opening of Martyn Reynolds and Marnie Slater. "No Letting Go, No Holding Back" featured a readymade Mercedes A class banner by Reynolds, which seemed to continue his habit of acquiring large objects from stores and manufacturers (Reynolds previous show at Window featured a treadmill, road bike, and growing lamp from an array of sponsors). Slater's offering consisted of a dual channel project, an awkward series of bodily positions and poses mimicked by either performer. Amateur in an endearing way, the lo-res video balanced the commercial slickness of the Mercedes piece.

Behind the scenes, Newcall is an interesting exercise in reappropriating a space. Originally built at least two decades ago, the open air foyer and ground floors were designed to be a commercial mall, but failed almost instantly. The surrounding area of Newton is strongly industrial and has been for a number of years, and the combination of lack of foot traffic and parking meant the death knell for the original intent. Instead a handful of small businesses catering to office workers fill the void: a post office, a small cafe, a print shop. With it's conversion, Newcall joins the ranks of others such as the Jensen Gallery in Newmarket. Leaving the central city for a bigger, more industrial space, the gallery is quite obviously a converted parking garage, maintaining the hard lines, concrete, and ramps from it's past life.

Newcall continues in the same fashion, rejecting some aspects of it's past while embracing others. The fluorescent panel lighting and dark tinted glass stay. The carpet is (quite literally) ripped out. Walls are created over broken walls, ceiling panels removed for art hanging, vinyl glazing placed over windows blurs studio interiors while letting light in. The main entrance, a large double door affair, is rejected completely. Instead the deck is opened up and a set of stairs direct from a service entrance becomes the entry point.