Withdrawing Room

David Grenier

A Space Main Gallery

June 24 – July 30, 2005

Curated by: Rochelle Holt

Transforming the gallery walls with drawing, leaf-patterned wallpaper, ethereal lighting and projected images, Withdrawing Room is the third and final work in the series of multi-media installations by Toronto artist David Grenier. This highly stylized work explores the ways in which our sensory perceptions are deployed and defined by architectural spaces. Provocative, intricate and sometimes humorous, Grenier’s work engages in a direct dialogue with the decorative arts and craft traditions as it asserts a critical queer presence. The installation constructs a hybrid space wherein domestic signifiers and figuration intersect with architectural discourse, gender and sexuality. The work plays with notions of space – literal three dimensional places, such as the home, the body, and the city, as well as more liminal and liquid territories that relate to the spaces within memory, narrative and time.

The practice of queering space underwrites Grenier’s work and is explicit in the Withdrawing Room projects. He states:

"My focus is on the inherent complexities within spatial discourses and how I seek out, appropriate and remake these spaces as habitable. The work questions the genderedness and sexuality of spaces, places, things and gestures in order to call attention to the slippage or play that is present within their very production. I am waging a renovation, a process of reordering space and of taking or claiming space."

Grenier turns what is inside the home out in order to destabilize notions of public and private, of hiddenness and security, confounding the spaces between subject and object(ified) through the physical implication of the viewers’ body. The result, sensual and layered, is a performative investigation of the gaze that links appearances to form a critical representation of urban spaces and systems of order.


David Grenier is a Toronto-based artist working primary in drawing, performance, and installation. His work has been exhibited across Canada and most recently in the United Kingdom. He received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Western Ontario in 1998.