The Canadian Art Database

Irene Loughlin : Liquid Skyline
FIVE HOLES series, FADO Production,
curated by Paul Couillard,
Toronto, Ontario, July 20, 2006
Ontario College of Art & Design Professional Gallery

(with the assistance of sound artist Guillermo Galindo,
fashion designer Jan Oosterhuis & social acupuncturist Darren O'Donnell)

Photography: Miklos Legrady

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Irene Loughlin

What do aliens eat, and will they eat me?

Irene Loughlin remembers Toronto from her days as an OCAD student in the late 1980s, a period of pacifying and distressing self-absorption characterized by both viscerally heightened sensory experiences and a profound sense of disassociation. Taking inspiration from the film Liquid Sky (circa 1983) - which Loughlin reads as a historical document evoking landscapes of self-constructed loft dwelling, hand-made and vintage clothing, gender dysphoric and feminist monologues, 1980s performance art and early video and sound technology - Liquid Skyline offers a superficial solution to the pressures of contemporary urban existence.

In the film, Margaret begs the flying saucer that has landed on her rooftop to take her away. She has witnessed alien consumption of persons engaged in sex or injecting heroin, and hopes to be similarly consumed. In the performance environment, we may hope to be likewise transported by the orgasmic sensory delight of vapoury cocktails, flavoured lip glosses, brightly coloured Jell-O substances, powdered Splenda, Cheese Whiz, and other synthetic materials. Seemingly beyond hope and caught in the loop of the consumption/destruction cycle of late capitalism, we might momentarily engage in a kind of synthetic, sensory forgetting that dispels our problems - an indulgence prompted by the sensory aspect of taste.

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