Friday, January 16, 2004

Reading between the lines of two White Cubes


So, things have now returned to what could be called "normal." If anything that happens here could be called normal. On Wednesday I was up in Lennoxville (where they set a new record for cold) for the opening of Carmen Bouchard's "Jumelles/Twins" Exhibition. It went super smooth, and the drive there and back wasn't so bad. Extra special thanks go out to the driver.

Vicky Chainey Gagnon (the assistant curator at the Art Gallery of Bishop's) did a fabulous job with the show. She's going to be on TV (and become a certified vedette in the process) discussing it. Although for the life of me, I can't remember the name of the TV show she's going to be on. Dominique Godfrey did an extraordinary piece of work, she's the person who is responsible for getting all the media types to show up, pay attention, and nod sagely when the multi-syllabic types spout. Given that the Stanstead Journal, the Sherbrooke Record, Tele-Quebec, Radio Canada, and a whack of other journalists all showed up at various points to do features on the show, and all were nodding sagely, she rocks. Then can't forget Donny (who hung the entire show) Gentiane (who's working on a different project with me) and Jennifer, and Sophie (the curators of the other show) who also helped, and should be thanked.

As it was the proverbial cold day in hell, the turn out for the vernie topped out at about 60 people. The vibe was something I have some to expect from a white cube gallery. Small groups that milled around the food table, and whispered. I can only imagine what their conversations were like. The reaction to Carmen's pictures and dresses was very cool. As they were hung outside of the white cube in a corridor leading towards the bathrooms, the folk I caught passing through, would sorta be walking all business-like when out of the corner of their eye they would catch a glimpse of a dress hanging high on the wall. It would make 'em stop in their tracks, look down and check out the photographs. The reaction of the women was amazing - definitely something that I wasn't quite able to do myself. My guess would be that it is sorta like the reaction that they would have upon flipping through a copy of Vogue and then having a Proenza Schouler skirt just jump right off the page, suddenly everything gets real quiet, and the rest of the world fades away.

Everybody who spoke with Carole totally got into the concept of the exhibition (for the uninitiated, and in a very short space, dressing up in the same clothes as somebody else, because you want to, not because you have to, and documenting the whole process). Where I would've imagined going in that because Carmen's show was the equivalent to the opening act at a concert, there would be a polite nod in her general direction, and that would be it. But, pretty much all the media folk spent as much time with her as they did with Sophie and Jennifer.

Then last night I went to the vernies at UQAM for Jennifer Macklem & Luke Roberts's "The World May Be Post-Dated," and France Guerin's "Point trente trois et des poussieres (.33)." First off the difference between the UQAM Gallery and the Bishop's U Gallery is like the difference between the Sodebo Trimaran and my little putt-putt. While I do not for an instant think that the world is anything but past-due, there are at least 33/100's of dust. I ended up introducing myself to Louise Dery who was quite gracious, and I also saw Sylvie Gilbert there, and glommed onto the difference that she makes between her Work and her Personal life. This should make things much more understandable in the future, or at least taste much better.

Luke and Jennifer's show really did not put the space to good use. There was a lot of wandering around, and as it was quite cold there were just about enough people at the vernie to make for two baseball teams, and because of all the space between the pieces, we could have played a game right then and there - I told you it was a BIG space! There was any obvious connection between their art, or for that matter between the various pieces that each of them made (although to Jennifer's credit she wasn't jumping all over the place and her pieces did look like they all came from the same hand). Her stuff was playful and silly, although it would have been super cool if the handle to the contraption in the far corner actually did something. Luke doesn't seem like he has found his voice yet (hey! Can I sound like a curator, or what?!) Between the drawings, the video, the paintings, the prints, and the other stuff that I can't remember that was hung on the walls he seemed to be attempting to discover what was going to stick. I guess I'm going to have to go down there again, towards the end of the show and see how hard he threw them up against the wall.

Ms. Guerin's Art, in comparison, was a thoroughly delicious and understated extravaganza. Due to my recent rediscovery of the joys of architecture, looking at the three pieces in her exhibition and arguing heatedly about where the bathroom, living room and bedrooms were was tons of fun. The sucker that was hanging on the wall (the other two pieces were hung on the floor and on a table - don't forget that the UQAM Gallery is cutting edge!) was sorta, kinda like trying to eat your imaginary soup with an imaginary fork. I ended up pretending to squint and making my brain get all twisted exotic yoga positions. Wicked cool stuff, dontcha think? Because of Ms. Guerin, things look good for the next exhibit there, hint, hint, hint.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

    Your Ad Here

      << Home