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P. Roch Smith
10 April – 24 April 2003

Opening on April 10, P. Roch Smith’s mixed media exhibition play house consists of beeswax, plaster and bronze sculptures, scaled down wooden architectural structures, paintings, and a sound installation. Using his 1974 GI Joe doll as the subject for paintings and the model for beeswax, plaster and bronze castings, this childhood toy provides the focus for Smith’s exploration of constructs of masculinity, revealing the performative dimensions of gender especially as they are encoded through acts of play.

Situated atop miniature staircases and ladders, these figures occupy a series of architectural structures that recall the domestic space of the house. Conjuring shelter and refuge, the house is a psychically and mnemonically charged site which French theorist Gaston Bachelard claims is inextricably bound to intimacy. The house for Bachelard is also the locus of the private, a place where the act of daydreaming and its attendant creative practices are fostered. With play house, the public character of the gallery space undergoes a physical and symbolic reconfiguration as elements of the ‘private’ manifest causing a shift and destabilization of the boundaries that demarcate this normally ‘public’ context.

P. Roch Smith is a candidate for the degree of Master of Fine Arts at York University. He has had solo exhibitions at the Alternator Gallery (Kelowna, B.C.), the Harcourt House Gallery (Edmonton), and the Comox Valley Art Gallery (Courtenay, B.C.). His work has also been featured in group exhibitions at the London Regional Art and Historical Museums and the Nanaimo Art Gallery.

Every year the AGYU hosts two thesis exhibitions of graduate students from York University’s Department of Visual Arts. These exhibitions, profiling some of York University’s leading artists, are an extension of the AGYU’s commitment to the development of Canada’s visual arts professionals.
Art Gallery of York University | Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street | Toronto ON M3J 1P3 | agyu [at]