29 May—1 August 2015


Not together, but alongside

Mercer Union is delighted to present an exhibition by VSVSVS entitled Not together, but alongside opening on Friday 29th May 2015. Please join us on Thursday 9 July at 7PM for an artist talk by the members of VSVSVS in conversation with Georgina Jackson and Ashley McLellan.

Not together, but alongside explores the potentiality of relationships between the viewer and the artist, the collective and the individual, the gallery and the studio. In their large scale installation sprawling through the front gallery of Mercer Union, platforms become seats, objects perform and the potentiality of action plays out. Their material exploration and unfixed nature in the work conflates the formal and the comedic. The disparate elements that comprise the installation further emphasize its makers as a group of individuals with different ideas and art practices working together. That spirit and the process of discovering alternate viewpoints extends to the gallery visitor, because the experience is a negotiation of both physical bodies in space and what it means to assess or determine: to do or undo, the separation between the studio or gallery, and experiment or art object.


VSVSVS (pronounced versus versus versus), is a seven-person collective and artist-run centre based out of a warehouse in the Portlands in Toronto. Formed in 2010, the groups activities encompass collective art making including drawings, video works, sculpture, installation and performance, a residency  program and exhibition space, as well as individual studio practices. The group met and began to take shape while studying at the University of Guelph in the studio arts program (one member studied Psychology) between 2003 and 2010. Members include Wallis CheungRyan ClaytonAnthony CooperJames GardnerStephen McLeod, Laura Simon and Miles Stemp.  In February 2015 the collective participated in a month long residency at Centre Bang in Chicoutimi Quebec, resulting in an exhibition at the centre. Recent exhibitions include Katzman Contemporary, Toronto; Niagara Artist's Centre, St. Catherine's (both 2015), Taking a part, Mercer Union, More Than Two (Let It Make Itself), Power Plant (both Toronto, 2014); and space mods, Cambridge Galleries, Preston (2013). Recent projects include; Coat Check, Platforms Project, Art Athina (2014); Nap Station, Art Toronto; Dunk Tank, ArtSpin; Temporary Monument, Art of the Danforth (all Toronto 2014) and 1-855 IS IT ART, Toronto's Nuit Blanche 2013.

VSVSVS would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) and DMS Lab.