This exhibition of works by American artist Doug Ischar highlights three diverse periods of his production: his early photographic work; his installation work of the 1990s; and his recent experimental films. Throughout these periods runs Ischar’s concern with queer masculinity and the poetics of loss.
The photographs from Marginal Waters (1985) depict a seemingly edenic world of toned, sun-bathed bodies, behind which lurk the specters of AIDS and reaction. Video installation works subtly overlay scenes of violence and sexuality onto male artifacts and apparel.
Presented at Vtape, the films Alone With You (2011) and Tristes Tarzan (2012) explore queer desire in the folds of film and TV history, the former focusing on professional wrestling, the latter on Tarzan lore. With time, Ischar’s view grows increasingly melancholy and conceptually complex with the recent films attaining a formal and emotional density rare in contemporary art.
Panel Discussion: Sunday May 5, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre 12 Alexander St, Toronto; 12 pm open doors and brunch refreshments, 12:30 panel discussion begins
In tandem with the exhibition at Gallery 44 and Vtape, this panel will address the photography, video, and installation art of Doug Ischar over the last three decades. Ischar’s work deftly navigates concerns around queer masculinity and the poetics of loss, attaining an outstanding formal and emotional density.
This panel brings together Gregg Bordowitz, artist, writer, and professor School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Whitney Museum Independent Study Program; Jean-Paul Kelly, artist and instructor University of Toronto; Kevin Killian, San Francisco-based poet, author, and playwright of LGBT literature; and moderator John Paul Ricco, author and professor University of Toronto.
Doug Ischar (b. 1948, Honolulu, Hawaii) received his BA from Columbia College, Chicago, in 1984 and his MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 1987. Since 1990, he has taught in the Photography Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he is presently Associate Professor. Ischar has exhibited at White Columns, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Photographers Gallery, London; Blum Helman Gallery, New York; Mercer Union, Toronto; List Venter for the Visual Arts, MIT, Boston; Göteborgs Konst Museum, Sweden; California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA; and Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil. Ischar has received awards from both the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, and his work is included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; and the Norton Family Collection, Santa Monica. His video work has recently screened at the Toronto Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and MIX Queer Experimental Film/Video Festival, New York.