press release

This compilation of videos takes cynicism, futility and tragedy as starting points, then counters the thematic heaviness with dry, comic delivery. Structured like the familiar "shaggy dog joke," this work is a deadpan escalation of expectations, followed by an anticlimactic, winking punch line. It is a celebration of knowingly faulty premises, and the willingness to realize them anyhow, embracing futility and pathos with resignation and curiosity. The work conveys strong skepticism toward themes of development, transformation and emergence, whether applied to art practice itself, or taken in a broader sense. Repeated use of an earnest "everyman" character in short looping videos suggest an inescapable cycle of trial and failure, in many ways a reflection on the mechanics of making artwork and the neuroses that can accompany its presentation. Ultimately, however, this work is intended to convey the belief that it is better to do most types of something, than most types of nothing.

About the artist: Jon Sasaki's videos have been presented at the 50th Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Eyebeam Gallery (NYC), and the Rooftop Films (Brooklyn) screening series. His work has been included in projects for C-Magazine, Art Metropole editions, Digifest (The Design Exchange, Toronto), and the Playlist Thursday event series at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto. Recent solo exhibition venues include Gallery TPW, Toronto, The New Gallery, Calgary, and The Centre for Culture and Leisure #1, Toronto. Group projects include an exhibition at the Koffler Gallery, Toronto, an event coordinated by the Art Gallery of Mississauga, and an upcoming group exhibition at Jessica Bradley Art+Projects, Toronto. Jon is a member of the Instant Coffee art collective, (on leave) and currently lives and works in Toronto.

Jon Sasaki
Six Shaggy Dog Stories

Jon Sasaki

Seamus Kealy