Jonathan Middleton

© 1998-2021

The Contemporary Art Gallery makes sport of the group show theme with “An Invitation to An Infiltration,” a sort of art-world equivalent to Olympic ski cross. It encourages local and international artists to jostle for position, one-upping each other by altering their own pieces and physically disrupting the gallery space for the show’s duration. I’ve always wondered how much heated competitive rivalry exists among artists, but these creatives have primarily challenged institutional gatekeeping. Local Jonathan Middleton made use of his home-turf advantage to hijack the show’s official title and signage, changing it to “Strange. The first time I’ve heard of a piano with four legs. (Hey, I keep falling down!)” It’s a subversive nod to the questionable nature of artistic agency, borrowed from an episode of The Goon Show in which a bunch of Brits are hired to move a piano, but the fine print of the contract reveals it’s Napoleon’s piano and the pay is a measly five pounds.

Danielle Egan, Canadian Art Magazine