Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Jerome Delgado for the last time.


For you long time readers, I apologize for being repetitive. But I figure this should be the last time that I write the words "Jerome" and "Delgado" in this here blog until 2006 at the earliest. I bashed him enough that it is ceasing to be fun. However, I still got 15 reviews that he has done for La Presse since June 29th. (Quick math: 91 days, 15 articles, equals 1 article every 6 days, 1 hour and 40 minutes.) I don't know if this is his complete and total output, but it does add up to 9,119 words, or about ½ a novel. (Quick math: 607 words per article on average. Roughly 100 words per day.)

In chronological order, by place:
June 29 - Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal
July 10 - Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal
July 16 - TOHU
July 24 - Fondation Derouin
July 31 - Fonderie Darling
August 7 - La Centrale
August 14 - Jardin botanique, & public art at Rosemont & Sainte-Catherine Est
August 28 - René Blouin
September 1 - Le Mois de la photo
September 6 - Skol, Leonard et Bina Ellen Gallery, Pierre-François Ouellette
September 8 - Leonard & Lina[sic] Ellen Art Gallery at Concordia & galerie Trois Points.
September 10 - Feature on Gilbert Duclos (photographer & film subject).
September 10 - review of the film about Gilbert Duclos
September 17 - Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal.
September 21 - B-312

So for those of you still following, 6 of 15, or 40% are of museum shows (or places that I consider museum-like). Of the remaining nine, two (or 13%) are of commercial galleries, and one of those is only obliquely. Five are Artist Run Centres (33%) and two are of a photo-journalist and a film about him (no, I don't get it either).

It's obvious that the 607 word average ain't M. Delgado's fault. But, if I was faced with a maximum of 600 words per week that had to be about art (which thankfully I'm not) I think I'd go for 100 words on six shows, instead of 600 words on one or two shows.

Imagine if in the 15 articles he wrote over the summer and this month 90 exhibitions got brought to the attention of his readers. Imagine how much the advertising department could milk 100 words about a show into a business card sized ad in the newspaper. Imagine 90+ artists and their reaction. Nice, eh?

I've been closely following what M. Delgado has written now for well over a year. As far as I can tell, it is pretty much irrelevant to any discussion about art in Montreal. Some of the irrelevance is not his fault, but some of it is. Now I'm going to stop paying attention to what he writes about art in La Presse. If anything changes, could someone let me know, please?

Postscript: Since I imagine that some of you are waiting, with baited breath for my grades, try this:
June 29 - Le MBAM présente une exposition du peintre Sam Borenstein - Umm, I got serious problems with this show (which I never saw). Over the summer I sat in on a class at Concordia University that used as the two required texts, the catalogues from the Edwin Holgate show and the catalogues from the Sam Borenstein show, both from the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal. Of the 15 lectures, something like 9 (I don't have the syllabus handy) were lectures that were also run by the Musée des Beaux Arts education department. From that information, I would like to know what was (and is) the relationship between the museum and the university - to give you an analogy, if 60% of the lectures at the John Molson School of Business were given by people who were employed by Molson-Coors Breweries, how would you feel if your child went there to learn? Then, given how much publicity the Sam Borenstein show got, I'd also like to know, in as much detail as the museum is willing to supply, the financing for the show - especially since it was not a ticketed exhibition. C+ for being a run of the mill fluff piece.

July 10 - Trois expos pour un petit été - See what I mean about the amount of press the Borenstein exhibit got? C- for not doing anything more than sleepwalking in front of his keyboard.

July 16 - Du tohu-bohu à la TOHU - On one hand I sorta get a kick out of him reviewing a "non-standard" place to see art. On the other hand, Circus Arts? B because he actually uses the space he's got fairly effectively.

July 24 - Du baroque dans le bois - I was hoping that maybe this would be a sign that things were getting better. Nope. C-, next time La Presse should learn from the Globe & Mail and stick articles like this in the travel section.

July 31 - Tous contre l'auto - I saw this exhibit, and all M. Delgado is doing is re-writing the press release, and then embellishing it slightly by adding in a quote from Caroline Andrieux. C.

August 7 - Des photos historiques d'une étonnante actualité - This is a show that happened just up the street from here. Earlier today, I got a phone call from someone working there, apparently they want to some here to see me talk to Marc Mayer. As far as I can tell it will be the first time they ever step foot in my gallery. I've seen about three shows at their space, am I bitter, naw. But as far as I can tell they do tend to go for cerebral art, I'm not certain my brain is large enough for what they got going there. But enough on the asides, M. Delgado gets a B for making me think I might've missed something.

August 14 - Jardins urbains - I gotta give props when props are due, reviewing weird as all get go public art is a good thing. Unfortunately tying it together with some photographs of flowers at the Botanical Gardens knocks the whole thing down a notch or two. I should've read this 6 weeks ago. Pity. M. Delgado gets a B+ for making me kick myself.

August 28 - Naturellement artistique - M. Delgado goes wonky with his name dropping. I get confused. Pierre Théberge, Paterson Ewen, Isabelle Hayeur, what are they doing in there, taking up valuable words? Why does he reference the "Flop muséal à Shawinigan?" Why is he reviewing a summer piece of fluff from Rene Blouin? C+.

September 1 - Le Mois de la photo: place à l'imaginaire - D. Previews based on press releases should not have a place in a newspaper that does not have enough space to cover visual art to begin with.

September 6 - Du cran, et ce n'est même pas commencé - I like this, short quick hits on three shows at Le Mois de la Photo. The only thing I could say about how he could've made it better would've been if he had referenced Evergon's show at Trois Points. A.

September 8 - Evergon, ange et démon - Oops! I spoke to soon. If space is limited, why is he reviewing the same show a second time? I'm certain that there are some of the other 57 artists taking part in Le Mois de la Photo who would've appreciated getting their names in print. D.

September 10 - Gilbert Duclos, le photographe humaniste - this one I just don't get. Why did the editor(s) at La Presse ask M. Delgado to go talk to Gilbert Duclos? Do they not have a legal affairs reporter? Do they somehow think that all photographs are art? Were they short staffed? I dunno. 'Cause I'm so confused, I'm not going to give this one a grade.

September 10 - Pour le droit de regarder - Almost the same as what I said above. But, this time I'm going to point out that while M. Delgado gave the film about M. Duclos three stars (out of I don't know how many) the readers of M. Delgado's article only gave it two out of four.

September 17 - Illuminés par le soleil provençal - Throwing aside all sense of objectivity, M. Delgado breathlessly reports what paintings Guy Cogeval says are important. On top of it, he says that the show is "Majestic." D-. If you're still reading, I'll pipe in with my thoughts, and the thoughts of others on this show, later.

September 21 - Extrapolations sur une photo - This should have been published back on the 6th of September. C-. Saved from a worse fate because at the bottom of the article is a little bit (of very valuable real estate informing people about upcoming shows in town).

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