Friday, January 23, 2004

News and reviewers


Originally, I was gonna go straight for the jugular and ask you guys directly to either cough up for a raffle ticket, or go for the donation button on the right. But then it occurred to me that there have been enough changes in the reporting of the Arts here in town that that would be more than enough to keep me occupied. [full-disclosure: This is my opinion, and it is most definitely slanted]

First List:
Henry Lehman, the Gazette
Bernard Lamarche, Le Devoir
Jerome Delgado, La Presse

OK, these guys (notice that they are guys) are the highest profile and most read. Henry is a sorta older, chatty guy. His reviews tend towards non-confrontational and he mostly reviews the standard issue stuff. Artist-Run Centers, Museums, and the commercial galleries that have been around for eons. He has written a review about an exhibition at the gallery once.

Bernard is a youngish guy, who because of the paper that he writes for is way more important than you would think. If there is one person that you want to get to your exhibition and then write about it, he's the guy. He also writes about Rock 'n' Roll and last I heard he had some sort of gig on Bande Apart on Radio Canada, he likes baseball and beer, and strikes me as pretty much your standard issue Canadian. You know the type, polite, mousy, not looking to upset the applecart, more likely to ignore phone messages than return them. He too, has written an article about the gallery once.

Jerome is the one that I don't know that well, as he has only shown up at the gallery once, briefly, and never written about it. Probably in his mid-forties and strikes me as a French version of Henry Lehman. As both the Gazette and La Presse are mainstream, their editors seem to be, like the public they work for, scared to death of Art. Which then leaves Mr. Lehman and M. Delgado in a rather interesting position. They can write about anything that they feel like, but if they draw attention to themselves, they are likely to lose the gig. So they both play it extremely conservatively.

Second List
Christine Redfern, The Mirror
Matthew Woodley, The Mirror
Isa Tousignant, Hour
Nicholas Mavrikakis, Voir
Lyne Crevier, Ici

Christine is overworked and underpaid, but as the Mirror is normally a stepping-stone to other more lucrative gigs treat her very nicely. She has written a whack of reviews about the gallery.

Matthew is the big cheese when it comes to writing about Visual Arts in the Mirror. He's overworked, but not as underpaid as Christine. The thing that I particularly like is that the Mirror (and Quebecor, by extension) seems to have made the executive decision that Visual Art on the cover is not a bad thing. For the Fall Arts preview, they did Heidi Taillefer and for the Winter Arts preview, they did Kristi Ropeleski. Write 'em a letter telling them you like Art on the cover, ok?

Isa also works at the Saidye Bronfman Center, so be wary (like you are when you're reading stuff here) about anything in Hour that talks about the art that they have there, ok? She has written a bunch of stuff about shows that have happened here at the gallery, and she has probably the best training of anybody writing about contemporary art in town. The unfortunate thing is that it seems to me that there are not an awful lot of people out there reading the Hour. But people who would be reading your CV don't know this, so getting a review in Hour has its benefits, just not the same as those of the Mirror.

As I am already being sued, and being threatened with another, I am leery of writing anything about Nicholas Mavrikakis. He is the only writer that I have taken entirely off of my mailing list, and who is barred from entering the gallery at anytime for any reason. If you want to know the details, you gotta talk to me in someplace where it is a libel free zone, ok?

Unfortunately I know diddly-squat about Lyne. She has never written about the gallery, and the amount of readers that Ici has makes Hour look like the biggest thing in the world. That all being said, I still hold a soft spot in my heart for Ici (see page 28 of this week's issue) if only because Voir should have some competition.

Third List
Unknown - CBC radio
Unknown - CFCF TV
Tracey Mckee - Global TV

Jeanette Kelly used to be the arts reporter for CBC Radio 1, and I was hopin' and a wishin' that she would get the gig as host of Home Run. It seems that Meredith Dellandrea has taken over the arts reporter gig (but as she is listed as producer, I imagine that this is only a stop gap measure) I figure that somewhere in about March or April things will have worked themselves out. Until they have, all I can really say is that I'm lost and clueless about CBC radio, if anybody has any suggestions, ideas, or absolute knowledge feel free to let me know. (And yes, I know about the specialty shows, but those are for a later discussion.)

Now here is where it gets strange, you see I don't own a TV, never have. Christine Long is the person who deals with the entertainment stuff, but she just announced that she was taking her maternity leave. [if you're reading congratulations!] While my standard issue take is that it isn't all that important to get Visual Art on TV, because most people who watch the TV tend to think that they have seen the exhibition by seeing it on TV. And it doesn't translate into fannies in the seats if you get my drift. When Christine has covered stuff here at the gallery, I have had people show up and say "I saw it on TV!" So from my perspective, CFCF is well worth your time, I just don't know who to talk to.

Then there's Tracey McKee. Global is to CFCF what Ici is to Voir. She rocks (she actually was able to convince me to wake up at 5 am last January, and it was really cold then, too, in order to interview me). Tell her I said so.

Fourth List
Radio Canada

Holy Smokes! More than 1,000 words, you must be bored, or have something better to do now. Besides I am so completely confused by Radio-Canada that I really can't write anything helpful. I just keep sending them stuff, and hoping that it sticks, sometime it does, sometime it doesn't. Again, if you have any clues, I'm all ears.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

    Your Ad Here

      << Home