787 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Exhibitions:

Left: window view, above: detail, photos: Rick O'Brien

Tracy Wright (1959 – 2010)
Tracy Smashing Things

26.08.10 – 30.09.10

I’ve had the good fortune to know Tracy Wright and watch her perform since 1989. I don’t think I ever missed a play or a movie she acted in and was always captivated by her unassuming talent, intensity and wry sense of humour. Our relationship took the form of chance encounters, either through mutual friends or – my favourite – running into each other on the street and having short, intense conversations usually filled with a good (ironic) laugh.

Tracy Smashing Things is a film pieced together by Don McKellar – Tracy’s husband and creative partner – to be presented as a site-specific work for *QueenSpecific. Placed in the window, it offers an opportunity for passersby to have their own chance encounters with Tracy.

– Joy Walker, Programmer, *QueenSpecifc

When Joy offered up *QueenSpecific for my late wife, my first thought was that it was too soon – she died on June 22nd – and out of character. Tracy wasn’t the type to feel comfortable enclosed in a roadside shrine. But then, from somewhere, the image came to me of Tracy smashing her way out from inside the vitrine and, no doubt, going into Dufflet’s to buy herself a cupcake. Smashing things was something Tracy could do with unparalleled finesse. She could smash things in a way that was simultaneously elegant, angry, and sad. I have illustrated her talent with four examples that span her film career from her first feature, Highway 61 (1991), to her last, Trigger (2010).

My thanks to Guntar Kravis for encouraging and assisting me on this project, to Matt Hannam for editing, to Laura Cowell for lending me her kitchen TV.

And to Tracy Wright for everything.

– Don McKellar


There will be a public memorial for Tracy on September 6th, 8:00 pm at the Hart House Theatre: don-tracy.com

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