The Drawers - Gord Smith Commentary written by Julie Oakes
An Exotic Erotic Christmas, Dec 9 - Jan 11, 2007
Penises, vaginas and breasts are polished to compete with the glow of the sun. Gord Smith's erotic sculptures relate to the diversity and interconnection of nature as it twists from geometry into organic forms. Much like the Pygmalion myth when the Cypriot king sculpted the perfect Aphrodite and the goddess took pity on his ardor and brought the sculpture to life, so Smith's erotic bronzes fulfill a niche not yet imagined by the original creator. Tit-Roll, a concise combination of female genitalia, Tri-ball or Adam's Handle could be brought forward as contestants for the ultimate physiognomy, the stuff that is spoken of in the creation myths. Smith grounds a subject that has been shied away from by fixing the sensual in solid bronze sculpture.
The attraction of the male genitalia to the female opening, the desire to enter another human while at the same time releasing one's own life essence, the sounds of fluid exchange and the guttural grunts of animal beginnings - all of these supple and subtle exchanges are fixed in bronze. The material attests to the commitment to launch the imagery towards infinity and grant a kind of everlasting-ness to eroticism.
The great erotic literary collections of the past were quite often retained by the clergy and it was in the secret recesses of religious libraries where the erotic texts were kept to be shown only to those who could digest them without undo attention, attention that could corrupt the viewer. The belief was that it took a strong faith to be able to understand the place of eroticism in life and that only the very wise could sustain the knowledge without corruption. There were erotic Renaissance treatises that were destroyed during periods of purge; so strong were they alleged to be. The concept of a wild potential where all might break loose if sexuality was to be given a seat in the parliament of our life's legislature has exerted an undeniable slant on the acceptance of sexual content in art and literature. It is this area of censorship, this politicized arena of earthly delights, that Smith has solidified in enduring bronze.
This group of bronzes, first begun in 1993, have never been shown. Perhaps they are still so ahead of their time that the status quo will catch up to their bold declaration of sexuality many years hence. But Gord Smith, with the stature of self realization, is ready to call it as it is and has vested dignity to a subject often relegated to the back pages of underground newspapers. The erotic impulse is impressive. Only an experienced voice could reign as confidant and unflinching in the face of a subject that has flipped politicians, popes and more than one sacred vow, upside down.
Yet light is still the essential component for as in the lightness of being, it isthe balance to the responsibility of existing. Just as sex can be the great release to let off the pressure of the stress of two separate entities relating, so the light reflects back from the bronzes and filters throughout the lacey circles that make up the drawings. Pastel and lovely, the drawings bounce and wriggle with energy like cells completing an organic whole.
Copyright © 2007, Headbones Gallery