Sunday, May 09, 2004

Doing my research


Well, I found a wicked cool source for what I would assume is pretty much every media outlet in Montréal - all 144 of them. Then I went and tried to see if they had something on line. Thankfully most of them did not, or else I would have spent my entire day reading them to see if they had any art reviews, instead of writing about writing about art locally. I'll wait until next week to slog through the ones in the rest of Québec.

So, starting with the newcomers.

The Journal de Rosemont has 304 word article about the installation by Gonzague Verdenal and Nikita Sapeguine called 500 watts. Pretty much a copy paste job on the press release, the release does make it sound like it could be an interesting thing. The question remains can I get my butt out to La maison de la culture Rosemont - La Petite-Patrie?

L'Informateur Riviere Des Praries republishes the 165 word press release about an Art Brut exhibit at the Riviere Des Praries library. Benoit Fradette decided that he needed a byline so besides the exhibit taking advantage of some folk (if you want to hear my rant about "Art Brut" and "Outsider Art" email me, ok?) M. Fradette seems to have gotten paid for doing nothing. If I can't get out to Rosemont, I don't expect that I will be able to get to Riviere Des Praries, so instead I'm posting a picture.

Personally, I gotta kick outa figuring out how to post it, because the kind folk at Transcontinental are really really scared about not getting paid if their pictures are re-used, for the record the picture was taken my Julie Bonin, and I betcha she didn't get paid all that much for it.

I particularly like how all the Transcontinental web sites have the same silly "comment" section as Voir/Hour. I would guess that until they start writing articles that aren't copy/paste jobs, they're not going to be getting many comments.

The West Island Chronicle has a whack of articles about art. Who would've thunk?! I have always been told that the west island, is a waste island, but it seems upon looking a little closer that there is some culture there. In the first article, Albert Kramberger writes 368 words to political art. And yes siree bob! it is "de-merger" art.

The second article comes from the Cites Nouvelles and is written by Valérie Schiltz. She spends 433 words writing about Claudine Ascher who runs la Galerie de la Ville de Dollard Des Ormeaux, and what she does in running the joint. I didn't know that she had been doing it for 16 years. In passing they also mention the latest show she has going on.

And the third article from the Chronicle/Cites Nouvelles is Hollie Watson picking up on the nice mural that got done for the sick kids at the Children's Hospital. I imagine that most of the people who read the Chronicle also read the Gazette, so her 404 word article is sorta superfluous, as she doesn't come up with any new and brilliant insights.

Now that we have the newbies out of the way, lets continue on with the regulars, ok?

First and foremost, just so I can get the conflicts of interest over and done with, the wonderful and supremely amazing Montréal Mirror writes glowingly and lovingly about the Philip Bottenberg exhibit called Ocean of Intagibles that is currently hanging on the walls here. Matthew Woodley writes 171 words that is not a copy/paste job from a press release, 'cuz I haven't written a press release. The picture is in black and white, unfortunately, but what are you going to get from a black and white tabloid?

The in case you weren't aware, the readers of the absolute best alternative weekly in the entire freakin' universe (otherwise known as the Montréal Mirror) once again voted this here gallery as the best one in Montréal. Yes siree bob! I'm happier than a turkey still living on the last Friday in November.

Oh and Mr. Woodley also covers Paul Litherland's ASCII Fighter boxing/art thing. I'm certain that he would be as effusive with the praise as I am, but he ain't writing this blog.

Now that we got the conflict of interest stuff out of the way. Lets get on to the serious stuff.

Isa Tousignant comes back from wherever she had been for the past two weeks and writes 720 words on three different shows. Talk about catching up on stuff quickly. Blindspot: Visible Art Activity, Emanuel Licha: In & Out, and Guillaume Labrie: Champion des poids neutres get the going over. But, somehow I figure that each of them are worth more than 240 words (720 divided by 3 for the math challenged). She comes up with some inspired lines such as "... on certain days, I feel that if I have to see just one more piece that rests solely on some overanalyzed psycho-social phenomenon and an artist's self-congratulatory wit at pointing it out, I'm going to explode." It seems as if she has been subjected to space restrictions because both the paragraph about Emanuel Licha's installation, and Guillaume Labrie's seem a tad abrupt. If I have a chance I would like to talk to her more about both of them.

Over at Voir, Nicolas Mavrikakis just won't go away. This week he has two articles about Petites pièces grands espaces at Occurrence (468 words) and Jacques Bilodeau at Joyce Yahouda (480 words). First before I even read a word of either review, Mr. Mavrikakis last wrote a review about a show at Joyce Yahouda's gallery on March 11th. Since then he has written 13 other reviews, I wonder if he truly thinks that Ms. Yahouda choices are worth 7% of the space he is allotted. Or in other words, if you want your exhibition to get reviewed in Voir, schedule it when Ms. Yahouda does not have something happening. But, to the meat of the matter: And now you're going have to help me pick my jaw up off of the floor. I am completely flabbergasted and thrown for a loop. In Mr. Mavrikakis' review of M. Bilodeau's exhibit he does not drop a single name. I don't know what I'm gonna do. Is the world ending? Have the black holes that Ms. Tousignant wrote about engulfed Montreal? The only thing even approaching name-dropping is his reference to traditional Japanese architecture. And then he does the same thing in his review of the show at Occurrence. I obviously am going to have to find something else to pick on; this can't turn into a love-fest. For the record the reviews are pretty much straight forward and descriptive, nothing too fancy, and as some of the "Voir community members" point out, sorta make you wanna check out the art. Which is exactly what I think a review in a local weekly should be doing.

In passing, I find it interesting that Mr. Mavrikakis and Ms. Tousignant write about two different artists, and two different pieces of art, that sound to me like they are exactly the same thing (the tiny door, for those of you who haven't read either article) without mentioning the other one. It ain't like the two different galleries are in Riviere des Praries and Dollard des Ormeaux or something.

As I am now pushing 1,200 words, and dinnertime is fast approaching, I'm going to skim over the "All Cocteau, all the time weekend" that was had by the daily newspapers. After I've seen the show, I'll let you know what I think, and then y'all can blast me.

The Gazette, Henry Lehman - 932 words

Radio Canada, Claude Couillard - 413 words

La Presse, Jerome Delgado - 240 words

Le Devoir, Michel Hellman - word count unknown because I am not allowed to read it.

Le Devoir the second, Odile Tremblay, ditto

The Globe and Mail, Sarah Milroy - 1,797 words OK, I might comment on Ms. Milroy's article later in the week, but I think it probably would be a good idea to a0 see the show, and b0 read the article first.

The Gazette also gives Steven Howell 532 words to write about the Made in China exhibition at the Stewart Museum. I'm not certain that I like reading lines like "Check out the..." and "Also, don't miss the..." in the Gazette. While I know that they are actively trying to get new readers, I don't think publishing writing that sounds like a CEGEP newspaper is the proper way to go about it. Or if they want to go that route, then they should add in a "kick-ass" and "rocking" as well.

Radio Canada also has 395 words on Sang dessus dessous at the Musee des beaux Arts du Québec. And, 313 words on the Henri Venne exhibit at the Musee d'art contemporain.So it isn't exactly all Cocteau all the time, but pretty damn close.

Then finally Le Devoir gives Paul Cauchon 739 words to wax eloquent about some TV show on Dali. As I don't own a TV, I am not terribly interested in reading it. If it is a very good article, let me know, ok?

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