Sunday, May 16, 2004

The Zeke's Gallery Sunday Visual Art Review Round Up


Lots and lots of stuff today! And in no particular order. L'avenir de l'est has 236 words on an exhibition by students from the Centre Ressources-Loisirs Roussin. Apparently, there were more than 600 visitors (wicked cool!) I always like it when attendance figures are given. As there were 92 artists involved, Steve Caron doesn't say much about any of the art in particular.

Then, they also have a very long article (474 words) by Caroline Bourgeois about Lucie Raymond. Who is having an exhibition at Caserne 18-30. Very nicely done, I like the fact that it is not a reprint of a press release.

Over at the Flambeau de l'est André Desroches does his mitzvah for the week by using 199 words from the press release of "quinzaine culturelle Le 3e Art"

Then Marie Ève Courchesne writes 152 words about an exhibition at the centre de loisirs Notre-Dame-des-Victoires. Again it seems that attendance figure are more important than the actual art, and over three days they got 1,000 pairs of eyes in the door. I'm a tad miffed that I missed it, but I am thankful for the picture which in this case IS worth a 1,000 words, so I figure that I should revise that to read "Marie Ève Courchesne writes 1,152 words."

The organizers of the event: Hélène Fafard, présidente, Colette St-Hilaire, vice-présidente, Madelaine Leclerc, trésorière, Philippe Valois, directeur général du centre, et Robert Perron. (Photo : Sylvain Ryan)

Ms. Courchesne continues with a 313 word article about a photography competition and exhibit at la maison de la culture Mercier. Not an awful lot of information, nor any kick ass photos, but apparently there were 400 photos and Nicole Nadon won the prize.

Then we switch over to the heavyweights, it seems that La Presse published 706 words by Jerome Delgado about Petites pièces, grands espaces, at Occurrence AFTER I did my review round up. Well they can't get away with it, I'll write about this week! And it is generally well done. But the thing that gets my goat is how there are (by my count) over 175 galleries here in town and the major reviewers can't but trip all over themselves to review the same shows. You'd figure that since the same people read Voir as read La Presse, that Nicholas Mavrikakis and Mr. Delgado could figure out different things to write about, especially since their reviews are pretty much the same thing.

From Mr. Delgado: "Reprenant l'idée du film Being John Malkovich de Spike Jonze, Salida de emergencia (Sortie de secours) repose sur une intrigante porte de la hauteur d'une maison de poupées."

[Blokespeak translation: Taking up the idea of the film Being John Malkovich of Spike Jonze, Salida of emergencia (Fire exit) rests on a intrigante carries height of a doll's house.]

From Mr. Mavrikakis: "Cela commence dans le couloir menant à la galerie par l'intervention de Lorena Peña. Intitulée Sortie de secours, elle consiste en une minuscule porte qui fait penser à celle du film Being John Malkovich."

[Blokespeak translation: That starts in the driving corridor with the gallery with the intervention of Lorena Peña. Entitled Fire exit, it consists of a tiny door, which makes think of that of the film Being John Malkovich.]

Oooh there's some brilliant insight there, eh?

Over at Radio-Canada Claude Couillard writes 507 words about the 40th anniversary of the Musee d'art contemporain. My guess is that if Manon Blanchette didn't really write it, then she was the source. It pretty much summarizes the history of the museum in such a brilliantly positive light that I'm surprised to find out that they hadn't cured cancer. I much prefer balanced overviews or coming clean (pretty much like I do here) and saying that there is a very significant bias in the writing instead of pretending like everything is all objective and hunky-dory.

Le Devoir re-wrote the press release in 100 words from the Musee des beaux Arts about Christiane Charette staying on the board of directors.

The interesting part is that in searching for the press release at the MBaM website (unfortunately I wasn't able to find it, so maybe Le Devoir actually wrote it themselves) I discovered that for Global Village they had snagged 108,154 people in to see it, or roughly 689 folk per day. I'll leave it up to you intelligent readers to figure out if 689/day is good bad or indifferent. And while I'm on it, congrats go out to Stephan Aquin for winning best exhibit in not only the Mirror's Best of Montreal, but also in the Top d'Ici.

Over on the bloke side of town, Henry Lehman writes 742 words in jumping on the Joyce Yahouda bandwagon. Sorta like Mr. Mavrikakis and Mr. Delgado, but this time Mr. Lehman and Mr. Mavrikakis. And while their readers this time don't much overlap (except perhaps for maybe me)

Mr. Mavikakis: "La seconde série d'œuvres se compose de plaques d'acier horizontales et de miroirs superposés, se déplaçant selon plusieurs axes. Ces grandes surfaces mobiles (représentatives de la manière qu'a Jacques Bilodeau d'organiser l'espace par paliers) glissent pour devenir des sièges aux positions multiples et des plates-formes de rencontre. On peut ainsi déplacer les panneaux sur une sorte de roulement à billes pour les transformer en plancher, espace de travail, table."

[Blokespeak translation: The second series of works is composed of horizontal plates of steel and superimposed mirrors, moving according to several axes. These great mobile surfaces (representative of the manner that has Jacques Bilodeau to organize space by stages) slip to become seats with the multiple positions and platforms of meeting. One can thus move the panels on a kind of ball bearing to transform them into floor, workspace, table.]

Mr. Lehman: "Consisting of mobile rectangular panels, each large enough to accommodate a prone person, this creation is meant as a provider of multipurpose surfaces. These surfaces, positioned at right angles to each other and having little wheels running along rails obtained from hospital equipment, can function as beds, tables or seats - or all three."

Or maybe I should rant about the gallery folk who say the same damn thing to everybody, nah, it wouldn't be fair to them. Their job is to get the show reviewed, and Louise Provencher and Ms. Yahouda do that very well. I'd prefer to stick with the idea that one of the reviewers could've come up with Alice in Wonderland, or le musee des nains [blokespeak: Midget Museum] for the Mexican show at Occurrence, and perhaps origami or theoretical geometry for the Bilodeau show, instead of repeating the same damn thing as the previous guy.

Le Devoir continues their tradition of not wanting me to read the articles by Michel Hellman by wanting to charge me $3.95 for something about Le Touché de la peinture at UQAM and yet another review of the Jacques Bilodeau show maybe this in fact is a good thing.

Then (we're maybe halfway done) La Presse also has a preview of la fête des musées. It runs 201 words.

Next, and technically this ain't an article about art in Montreal, Gary Michael Dault writes in the Globe and Mail about The Nicholas Metivier Gallery opening in Toronto the reason that I point it out is because it explains some of the behind the scenes stuff that happens in the "Art World." ie Nicholas Metivier used to work at the Mira Godard Gallery for 22 years. He "stole," "borrowed," "appropriated," "filched," "poached," "plundered" or did any number of other things to the artists who previously had been represented by Ms. Godard. But what I like best is the catty comment about John Scott needing representation, obviously there is some bad blood there, and reading about it in black and white is fun!

Ummm, I better pick up the pace here, otherwise I'm never getting out of here. Again, while it ain't Montréal, the Brattleboro Museum press release gets picked up by Yahoo (yes, I do read them ALL!) about their Warhol/Jon Gould exhibition. And for those of you with a car, it is only 3 hours away if you drive like Marcel Brisebois.

Now on to the meat of the matter, Hour gives Melora Koepke 794 words to wax eloquent about Vox moving in almost next door to SAT. I like seeing the Hour branch out and start using more than one visual art writer, I really like the idea of Ms. Koepke branching out and writing about the visual arts. She's got a couple of kick-ass lines, such as "Still, we're miles away from the fleshy squirm and bleep-bleep of instant gratification. But there's time for that, and plenty of it, down the street. That is, if I'm even in the mood after an hour spent in Vox's hushed, dark rooms with mirrored ceilings, where the photographic image is revered and not just made to be the sole means to a messy end. At least they kept the mirrored ceilings." Which depending on which way you swing could be a catty comment about SAT or the sex-trade workers, although if I had been her editor I would have given her the third degree about the mirrored ceilings, I don't get it.

Over at the Mirror, Christine Redfern jumps on the Cocteau bandwagon, a day late and a dollar short. Or to be more precise only 165 words and a week late.

But I gotta give them props in this week's Artistat quoted here in its entirety: "Number of dollars raised so far for the non-profit National Eating Disorder Information Centre through voluntary donations via Dove's touring photo exhibit, Beyond Compare: Women Photographers on Beauty (at Complexe Desjardins until May 16): $15,000" Although that figure is now out of date.

And lastly, Voir gives Mr. Mavrikakis the cover and 684 words to do Cocteau. For comparison's sake the 14 comments (as of this writing) run 3,342 words. I like Voir giving the cover up to the Visual Arts, I don't like them truncating Mr. Mavrikakis normal word count, and I will wait to comment on his article until I have seen the show (good thing it stays on line for a long time!).

Then there's this 734 word "interview" with Guy Cogeval and Dominique Païni. My guess is that the same things can be read in the catalog to the MBaM's show.

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