Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Picking up the slack, the Le Devoir version


Le Devoir (arguably the most influential newspaper here in town) does a fabulous job of covering the visual arts. They have two visual art critics, and do have frequent freelancers, who actually know what they are doing write additional stuff.

Unfortunately, a large majority of those articles are under lock and key. I've written to Benoît Munger (the webmaster) asking if he could unlock slightly more visual arts articles, but he never responded. Pity.

Of the 30 articles Bernard Lamarche has written about visual art since the beginning of March, exactly eight are available to everyone via the internet. And that includes something he wrote about a TV show about Camille Claudel, and an article about the expansion plans for MoMA and the Hermitage, or in other words, not exactly the meatiest of topics.

It is pretty much the same ratio for their other critic, Michel Hellman, except that he mostly writes only reviews, but with far less frequency than M. Lamarche. However, hope still springs eternal, as this past weekend there were a whopping two articles about visual art that were up and readable by anybody. I got so excited that I sorta figured that it was ok to read them, despite them not having a gosh darn thing to do with art here in Montreal.

1. René Viau wrote about the Symposium international d'art in Val David.
2. Jean-Philippe Uzel wrote about the Venice Biennale.

And then, since I'm going through stuff, there's also this article by the aforementioned M. Hellman from the end of June that I'd been wanting to comment on for a while.

In reverse order: M. Hellman's article was about the show that was up at the Lina and Beonard Ellen Gallery. The reason I wanted to write about it was because the words "White Cube" were in the title. He basically does a very professional job with the review. I'd give him a B+ for it. The only reason what I wouldn't give him an A, is because he doesn't stay too far from the norm, and doesn't take any chances. Given that he's reviewing work by Claude Tousignant, I can sort of comprehend why, but to me pushing things is always a good thing.

I'd also give the show itself and A+ because I was quite pleasantly surprised when I went to see it, that the gallery attendant actually engaged me in conversation, pointed out relevant material, and in general was the complete opposite of what I had come to expect from Lina and Beonard Ellen (hence the reversal of the letters, tee hee). Oh, and the art rocked, too! Go Claude!

M. Viau's article is more of a travelogue or ad for the Symposium international d'art in Val-David. I particularly liked how he fit all 16 artists taking part in the symposium into one paragraph. C+ I'm surprised that he didn't make mention of the 17th edition of 1001 Pots that's happening in Val David at the same time. heck from the pictures, it looks like the pots are in situ, too.

And then finally, M. Uzel gets to write off his recent trip to Italy. He writes about the Biennale and I gotta hand it to him, he does good. A nice solid B. I got a giggle when he starts off by implying that things would have been better had Canada not been represented by artists from the west coast. I would have given him a higher grade if he had done more than just describe Rebecca Belmore's and Stan Douglas' pieces. Given that he seemed on the verge of a really nice rip, if I had been his editor I would have let him go. Thankfully Bernard Frize was thought to be sufficiently steeled so that M. Uzel could rip into him. Although, from what I have read about the Biennale, there is some good stuff there, I wonder why he chose to ignore it.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

    Your Ad Here

      << Home