Don’t Talk to Strangers

Trinity Square Video and Pleasure Dome present:
Don’t Talk to Strangers
Harry Dodge (Los Angeles) and Alison S.M. Kobayashi (Toronto)
February 6 to March 6, 2010

This two-person exhibition features new work by two gifted performance artists who portray a range of eccentric invented characters; they employ video to show these personalities scrutinized by the mediating force of the camera. With each persona, the artists test not only different identities but also different ways of reacting to the pressure of being recorded. In Dodge’s This Beast Called Force (18 min, 2009) a character of unstable identity and shifting masks spars with TV images and proffers alternately cogent and dysphoric theses. Kobayashi’s DO GOOD (11 min, 2009) meanwhile features five girls forced to give video presentations explaining the brownie badges they have created and how they earned them. This ritual seems designed to tame all the restless and reckless energies of childhood – the volatile id of Dodge’s “beast.”

Harriet “Harry” Dodge is a visual artist working in video and sculpture, with a focus on shape, unnameability and hybridity/defiance. She has been acclaimed for her large-scale, performative monologues and her award-winning feature film By Hook or By Crook (2000). Dodge graduated with an MFA from Bard College, and became part of a videomaking team with Stanya Kahn whose work has been exhibited internationally, including at the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Dodge is also co-founder of the collaboration TESTHOLE, which has undertaken a series of community-based interventions/partnerships experimenting with decomposition and fertility, and teaches art and writing at CalArts, UCLA and UCSD.

Alison S.M. Kobayashi is a visual artist working in video, performance, installation and drawing. Working with found narratives from a variety of sources, including lost letters and discarded answering machine tapes, Kobayashi imagines identities for the subjects of these marginalized media. She incarnates a panoply of personas that are both studiously and playfully rendered. Kobayashi won the TSV Artistic Vision Award for Best Local Short Film at the Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival (2006) and was awarded the Mississauga Arts Award for Best Emerging Artist (2007). Her films have been shown in Canada, the US and Hong Kong.

Trinity Square Video
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 376, Toronto, Canada
Hours: Monday to Friday 12–6pm, Saturday 12–4pm
Phone: 416-593-1332


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