I admit, reading the intro to this article, I was worried. My mind was racing "I thought it had been positive, I thought we really engaged Derek, he did stay for an hour after all..." and "Damn, we should have offered him some tea! How discourteous!" But then we read on...
In fact, regarding both the gallery space and mandate, as well as this current exhibition hurts so good, he had the most balanced and truly constructive words that we've heard from writers/critics so far. This is what makes the gallery/critic/artist dynamic exciting - when a gallery can engage a critic, when a critic can provide insight for an artist, and when an artist can enable a gallery (and vice versa for all).
Here is the closing excerpt of Derek Flack's article on BlogTO:
Despite my own enthusiasm with the 47 and its mandate, being in its infancy there are some challenges that will need to be addressed. The current exhibition provides a good example of what I'm talking about. It stages both the promise and the potential problems posed by the (huge) space. On the one hand, it's an excellent use of the layout. The knife-strewn 8'x28' wall beckons the viewer to walk around it, to take in both the front and the back of the piece, and to engage it as an installation proper. But, on the other, it alone just can't fill the entire space. The viewer can't help but search the remaining area for more stimulation. While the piece is complete, the exhibition is not.
This, however, is hardly the stuff of failure. Over time, I'm quite confident that the collaborative efforts between those at 47 and the artists who show there will find new and intriguing ways to incorporate the entire exhibition area. For now, they're off to an auspicious start.
Photo Cred: Derek Flack