Milutin Gubash: Situational Comedy

May 9, 2012 - July 8, 2012

Opening Reception: Fri, May 11, 7 pm
Opening remarks at 7:30 pm

Milutin Gubash, still from Born Rich, Getting Poorer Episode 3: DEAD CAR, 2008. DVD, 20 min. Courtesy the artist.

Situational Comedy is a concise focus on Gubash's search to uncover and understand his origins through a form of narrative storytelling. The exhibition borrows its title from a television genre that seems to be undergoing an identity crisis with the overwhelming popularity of reality television programming. A former mainstay of family viewing, sitcoms often explored familiar tropes via a regular cast of characters in shared settings. Though miscommunication between family members and the fear of disappointment form the basis of most sitcom narratives, their characters rarely suffer from a lapse in hilarity. Misunderstanding and discord, in the realm of the sitcom, are always resolved within 22 minutes.

Central to Situational Comedy is Gubash's major video work, Born Rich, Getting Poorer. Structured as a series of episodes and filmed in a style which blends reality and sitcom genres, the series stars the artist and his family members as themselves in believable, day-to-day situations. As the episodes progress, we encounter the life of the artist as a complicated - though comedic - site of converging roles (son, husband, father, friend, and neighbour). What at first seems like a vaudevillian struggle to meet the expectations of his family members, gradually becomes the artist's own existential search for his roots. A laugh track, that insistent caricature of emotional response, can be heard throughout the series, prompting us to consider how factual document and dramatic license often mingle in the most affecting stories.

Episodes 1 - 5 of Born Rich, Getting Poorer are available for sign-out. Please inquire at the reception desk of the Gallery.

Milutin Gubash was born in Novi Sad (Serbia), and currently lives and works in Québec. Gubash has mounted exhibitions in Canada, the United States, and Europe. His series of videos titled Lots were the basis of a touring exhibition organized by the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal. Most recently, Gubash's work has been the subject of a ten-year survey project organized and presented by a partnership between Carleton University Art Gallery, Rodman Hall Art Centre, Musée de Joliette and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery. A major monograph on his work will be published by KW|AG in collaboration with the tour partners in late 2012.


The Record: Examining human emotions

Akimbo Akimblog: KIM NEUDORF at the KWAG

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