Pakistan-born, Toronto-based artist Samina Mansuri (though she’s off to Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University in the fall) recently took over the small, backyard, concrete block offthemapgallery (yes, that’s the way they spell it) at 712 Lansdowne Avenuewhich is nice and cool in summer and freezing in the winterand, by a dazzling wielding of electrical tape, cut and applied directly to the walls during the course of seven days, warped and displaced the little gallery’s stern, unyielding exhibition area into a totally new space.
The inventively positioned tapes of Mansuri’s new, re-imagined and redirected interior (which, as a work, bore the title Future Lines) bounded across windows and doors, charged relentlessly across ladders and over dusty plates of glass leaning against the walls, and generally made their boundary-less way through a hitherto bounded place. What was odd was the degree to which this relatively ephemeral material (ie the electrical tape) was capable , in Mansuri’s hands, of generating enough morphological presence to contend with all those recalcitrant concrete blocks to the point where there were ultimately two rooms: the exoskeleton gallery, with its fortress-like resistances, and the Mansuri tape-room vibrating inside it. Together the two spacesone conventional and one propositionalset up a sort of exhilarating moiré pattern of continual interference.
It was a satisfying demonstration of how much can be done with little in the way of resources, but much in the way of imagination.