Oliver Husain’s Cushy Number has just closed at Toronto’s Susan Hobbs gallery, the space doubling as a makeshift cinema where love letters are written and read, or somewhere in the process of being either or both, conflating intimacy, anonymity and implication. I admit a susceptibility to all notions romantic, so how could I be anything other than charmed? And the slow drama of the situation–alternating between fragments of a film and revelations of artifice–tricks me into believing that it is indeed my own drawing nearer and not a trick of the camera that brings a beautiful woman close. The simple word for it must be love. Intoxication perhaps? Or I could settle on wonder, some shared sense of wonder, my looking at her as if I recognized her shape, her staring back at me with her nudity and her lashes, as if I really were the object of her contemplation. In the end, the beginning, the middle, her questioning gaze remains unanswered despite the swelling it elicits in me.


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