January 13 – February 24, 2010

Good Intentions

Jon Sasaki

Utilizing video, objects, performance and installation, Jon Sasaki’s work takes cynicism, futility and tragedy as starting points, countering the thematic heaviness with dry, comic delivery. Sasaki investigates an eternal optimism that, while endearing and charming, is filled with the trappings of failure. Given that all things that pass do not end in a result that one might hope for, the inherent possibility for failure becomes an opportunity to find beauty, or to discover a sweetened sense of the human condition. An unfulfilled promise still has its origins in an earnest belief and still delivers the notion of one who tries… really, really hard.

Sasaki is a self-described romantic-conceptualist who pays homage to always looking on the bright side. Good Intentions will be comprised primarily of videos, including Sasaski’s new work, Crossroads. Produced in Clarksdale, Mississippi, the video documents the Clarksdale Crossroads, where legendary blues icon Robert Johnson made the choice to ‘sell his soul to the devil’ in exchange for extraordinary guitar skills. This tale is rich with themes that Sasaki has been exploring for some time—aspiration, tragedy, success, failure, ambition, choice, and fate. These themes will also play out in Sasaki’s installations and performative collaborations with University of Toronto Scarborough students throughout the exhibition.

About the Artist

Jon Sasaki’s practice incorporates primarily performance-for-video, objects, installations and interventions in work that mixes humor and pathos, often with gently antagonistic results. Jon’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Centre Clark (Montreal), Gallery TPW (Toronto), The New Gallery (Calgary), and Latitude 53 (Edmonton). He has participated in recent group exhibitions at VOX (Montreal), the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (University of Toronto), the Owens Art Gallery (Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB), Simon Fraser University Gallery (Burnaby, BC), as well as the 2006 and 2008 editions of Toronto’s Nuit Blanche. Upcoming solo exhibitions will be presented at Jessica Bradley Art+Projects (Toronto) and 126 (Galway, Ireland). Jon was an active member of the Instant Coffee art collective between 2002 and 2007. He lives and works in Toronto.