Boomshakalaka!! Some next shit by Chris Charuk and John O'Regan

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Last thursday, Chris Charuk and John O'Regan threw the gala opening for their show Boomshakalaka!!. Featuring every single kind of no-name chips available (including Roasted Chicken), a bin full of cold beer, and a large jug of Gatorade Fruit Punch, the refreshments of the party echoed the theme of time spent in rec room basements in the early 90s.

The Zavitz gallery was decked out in a sparse, half-finished fashion. One corner of the room featured a sound system. Speakers inside of lamp shades sat on top of wooden stems that were anchored in a pile of skids - all reminiscent of basketball nets. The soundtrack, played through a Sony Sports walkman, featured The Smiths, Run DMC, and the Teeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Motion Picture Soundtrack. This mingled with the beats of NBA Jam, coming from a Super Nintendo flanked by a home-made couch and chair.

"Is that fiberglass insulation?" I asked John. "I had that stuff in my basement."

"It is," he responded, "but don't worry - it's all sealed."

On the far wall, a photo of Michael Jordan, painted using Gatorade fruit punch, was taped to a tall board of weathered fake wood panelling.

Chris and John, who went to highschool together in Oshawa, have been been friends for a while. Although they didn't grow up together, Chris asserted that the show was aiming for the elements, the markers that connected their early 90s childhoods. The show represented "a cultural resonance that was spread uniformly over Southern Ontario," said Chris. "We were going for that sense of suburban sameness."

It was important for Chris and John to utilize the space in a way that wasn't pretentious. "It's a big room," said John, "it's better at least to have a good party."

The show, which Chris and John called the cumulative coming together of the materials ad methods of their art practices, is one of a few scheduled for this semester at the Zavitz Gallery.

Check out the upcoming show schedule here.

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