1:12, Globe and Mail

1:12, Gallery Going by Gary Michael Dault

I wouldn’t normally write about a show like this one — an MFA thesis exhibition for York University — unless, like this one, it was really a knockout. “This must have really blown your supervisors over,” I suggested last week to Laura Moore, the young artist responsible for this wry but powerful collection of guileful stone carvings. “Yeah,” said Moore, who is a cool customer for one so young, “they liked it all right.”

I bet. The exhibition is fresh and exhilarating in a couple of ways at once. First, nobody much carves any more. Second, when they do, it tends to be rearward, art-historical stuff that gets carved (portrait busts or silky-smooth, post-Henry Moore abstractions and so on). But Laura Moore carves technological gizmos, the techno-chachkas of our times — a cellphone, an analog tape, a computer mouse, a USB and a digital voice recorder — all out of soapstone. And AA batteries and a nine-volt battery carved from marble. And big, silky-soft floor sculptures, which look formally anonymous until you realize they are actually marble computer keys wrought large (HOME, RETURN, ESC, END and ENTER).

There are a couple of minor flaws — or at least weak-points — in Moore’s logic here. It makes more sense to use the materials of memorial (i.e. marble) to make dead-tech things — like tape cassettes, and less sense to memorialize things that are still all too present, such as cellphones and batteries. But, on the other hand, making big computer keys out of marble seems to work just fine — probably because, if you scale them up, they look like nothing else except sculpture.

Anyhow, it’s a smart show, and augurs well for a brilliant career.