Monday, May 28, 2007

Anyone in Edmonton?


Paula Simons is asking folk to identify public art that they like there? Unfortunately my eyesight isn't that good.

ARTÈRE | Pour la relève artistique de Montréal

short notes:
will brady's ruminations

Lisa Hoffman and Natasha Rose Chenier Live at Zeke's Gallery Volume 264


Lisa Hoffman and Natasha Rose Chenier played here last night. Natasha Rose Chenier played her three songs first (Letter from the Future, Heart and Thunder (version one) and Heart and Thunder (version two)) and then Lisa Hoffman played Losing Streak, More the Same, Friend of Mine, Came to Stay, Your Disease, Passing Through, The Real Slim Shady, and These Houses.

If you would like to hear it, click here [84.4 MB, 54:12 minutes] stream, flac, ogg vorbis.

Stuff Seen - Under Construction


Ungraded due to way too many conflicts of interest (I don't think I have enough fingers to count how many friends I have that work there).

Still playing catch up on the reviews, last February (jeez! was it that long ago) I made it out to Pointe Claire to see their group show called Under Construction. As you might expect, I was quite pleased and entertained by the show. It consisted of work by Thomas Corriveau, Martin Dèsilets, Guillaume Lachapelle and Sean Whalley, curated by Amanda Johnston and Alexandra Hofmaenner it was a smoothly done collection of some widely different art.

I'm not entirely certain if I am as much a fan of M. Dèsilets' work as I am of the other three artists, but they all fit in very nicely to the overall theme (which if you hadn't quite figured out was 'architecture'). And this might also have to do with my sense of the show being somewhat fragmented. While each of the artists did work that had strong "I'm building stuff" happening, I missed any real connections between them, beyond that. Similar to Hampstead, Hochelaga, Saint Leonard and Pointe Claire all being part of Montreal, yet also being very different neighborhoods.

Although now that I think about it, I might be giving M. Dèsilets short shrift, due to his stuff only being 2-D, while everyone else's was 3-D.

Museums obviously can't do math


There's all sorts of bafflegab and gobbledy-gook happening in this press release about yesterday's Montreal Museum's Day. Nowhere can I find any press release or other sort of factual documentation about attendance at the Journée des musées montréalais in 2006 which is sort of surprising since it was the 20th anniversary. But I scratch my head when last week they released something that ostensibly showed how 125,000 people participated in 2006, and then this year they state that they "maintained last year's attendance once again" but they only got 108,000 people. A 14% drop in attendance isn't maintaining anything.

This article by Cheryl Cornacchia in the Montreal Gazette does a better job of analyzing the results. Le Devoir on the other hand doesn't let the facts get in the way of a photo op.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer vs. David Altmejd. The Montrealers at Venice


I just set up a Google News Alert to track who gets more internet press in English, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer or David Altmejd. Right now there are nine for Altmejd and five for Lozano-Hemmer. For comparison purposes Felix Gonzalez-Torres (the dead American artist at Venice this year) has 13.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Three Le Devoir articles

l'exposition Le Sentier du bonheur au parc du Mont-Royal

Artefact Montréal needs a conflict of interest policy (as does Voir)


In the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal most recent magazine they announced who the artists in Artefact Montreal 2007 are going to be. 53% of them have been written about in Voir by Nicholas Mavrikakis over the past 18 months.

M. Mavrikakis gets paid to write about them, then M. Mavrikakis gets paid by all three levels of government to curate a show with the same artists that he wrote about. The readers of Voir are not informed that he is using his job as a reviewer to curate at the same time, and while the audience for Artefact Montreal 2007 are informed that he is a reviewer the extent of his double dipping is not revealed.

The artists chosen (and the article where applicable):
Mathieu Beauséjour, BGL, Jacques Bilodeau, Catherine Bolduc, Diane Borsato, Marie-Claude Bouthillier, Alexandre David, Robbin Deyo, Aganetha Dyck, Marion Galut, Trevor Gould, Peter Hasdell & Patrick Harrop, Caroline Hayeur, Mireille Lavoie, Mathieu Lefèvre, Samuel Roy-Bois, Henri Sagna, Stephen Schofield, and Chih–Chien Wang.
I fail to see why it is so difficult for Voir to either inform its readers that one of its writers is also curating a show with the artists he is writing about, or ask him not to write about artists whom he is working with.

The Sobey Art Award Results


I'd like to thank everyone who participated in the Sobey Art Award Game. In total there were 79 people who checked it out, and 29 people who answered any the questions. But without further ado the results:

The Atlantic region
Jean-Denis Boudreau 16%
Alexandra Flood 20%
Vanessa Paschakarnis 28%
Mathew Reichertz 16%
Mitchell Wiebe 20%

David Altmejd 32%
Michel De Broin 9%
Raphaelle de Groot 27%
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer 18%
Yannick Pouliot 14%

Michael Belmore 0%
Shary Boyle 45%
Frank Shebageget 18%
Andrew Wright 27%
Kevin Yates 9%

Praries and the North
Robin Arseneault 14%
Daniel Barrow 14%
Sarah Anne Johnson 23%
Rachelle Viader Knowles 32%
Graeme Patterson 18%

West Coast
Scott McFarland 13%
Luanne Martineau 30%
Damian Moppett 35%
Steven Shearer 9%
Ron Terada 13%

I'd like to thank everyone who participated, and when they announce the short list, we'll see how well we did.

Friday, May 25, 2007

globeandmail.com: Canadian art sale raises record $22.8-million

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Last Chance to Play the Sobey Art Award Game


Play the Sobey Art Award Game

and if you would like information about any of the semi-finalists, click here. Voting shuts down Friday at noon.

Contemporary Art Auctions May 2007 - Chelsea Art Galleries

Biennale de Montréal 2007 and Murray Guy, tight like that.


In keeping tabs on where things fit together, I discovered this morning that Luis Jacob is exhibiting simultaneously at the fancy-ass and very prestigious Biennale de Montréal 2007 and at the Murray Guy Gallery in a show called Street Scene. It must mean that the Murray Guy Gallery is as fancy-ass and very prestigious as the biennale, right?

And according to this article in ArtCal Lee Plested, the curator of Street Scene, is Canadian as well. Cool, eh?

Bruce Nauman at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal by Alexander Wenderoff


Mr. Wenderoff is interning here at the gallery, this is what he wrote about the Bruce Nauman show
There is one image from the Bruce Nauman exhibit at the Musee d’art contemporain de Montreal that really stayed with me. It was not the One Hundred Fish Fountain, nor was it Nauman’s famed The True Artist helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths. It wasn’t really even of a work of at. I was exploring a back passage which eventually lead me to Anthro/Socio (Rinde Spinning) room, where I saw a security guard trying to make sense of the situation. He looked absolutely baffled. After he noticed I was there too, and that I was part of the group of people that claim to understand it, he left me to experience the videos myself. I left about thirty seconds afterwards as I can only handle videos of screaming, spinning, upside down heads for so long. I don’t know if I have ever seen anyone as confused as that security guard, at least not in a real long time. The poor guy was just trying to figure out what the hell was going on in that room, and I’d assume also why anyone who would appreciate such things. If he had asked me, I wouldn’t have been able to tell him. I myself have no clue what the hell was going on in that room. The same can be said for the other rooms with videos, Clown Torture, Office Edit II and Square Dance.

The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths (Window or Wall Sign), 1967, Neon tubing with clear glass tubing suspension frame, 59 x 55 x 5 inches; Ed. 2/3, Collection Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands, ©Bruce Nauman / SODRAC (2007)

Well that’ not entirely true. I was, to an extent, able to comprehend what was occurring, the issue I had more trouble resolving was why it was occurring. If I have the choice, which I usually do, I would rather not watch a video of a clown sitting on a toilet while other videos of said clown screaming “No No No No!” engulf me in noise. I worked one office job in my life, and it sucked, and when I left the office I left for good, so why would I want to watch a video of an office at night, as I could in Office Edit II? I’m sure it’s a social commentary of some sort in Nauman’s mind. Whatever.

The videos, needless to say, did not do it for me. On the other hand, Nauman’s neon work in the Elusive Signs part of the exhibit is great. There are tons of wires needed for this part of the exhibit, and while they are quite visible, do not interfere. Flashing lights on some works do not distract the spectator when viewing a nearby piece. I have a soft spot for word games, so maybe I’m a bit biased when it comes to discussion of such pieces as None Sing Neon Sign, which is simply the words none, sing, neon, and sign, none sing being an anagram of neon sign. Maybe I'm just easily impressed, but I think that’s pretty cool.

Run from Fear, Fun from Rear, 1972, Neon tubing with clear glass tubing suspension frame, two parts, 8 x 24 x 2 ½ inches each; Ed. 4/6, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Gerald S. Elliott Collection, ©Bruce Nauman / SODRAC (2007)

There is also an installation piece called Helman Gallery Parallelogram where one walks through a tiny space in a narrow wall into a room lit with neon green, then out another tiny passageway. It hurt my eyes and made me feel a little claustrophobic. Probably should have read the sign that warns that spectators may feel confined in the installation before I went in there.

One Hundred Fish Fountain, 2005, 97 poissons en bronze de 7 formes différentes, suspendus avec du fil en acier, inoxydable sur un treillis métallique. Dimensions approximatives du bassin : 7,6 m x 8,5 m x 20,3 cm, Avec l’aimable permission de la Donald Young Gallery, Chicago, ©Bruce Nauman / SODRAC (2007) Photo : Richard-Max Tremblay

The highlight of the exhibit is the One Hundred Fish Fountain (which actually only contains 97 fish), located at the back of the exhibit. The sound of the water flowing overwhelms the neighbouring room, and draws you in to behold the fountain. That’s fine, there were some more videos in the neighbouring room, so not missing a whole lot by zooming through there towards the sound. It really does feel as though the fish are swimming in the flowing water, even though the fish are actually suspended above the stagnant pool of water. All in all it’s a solid exhibit, showing a fascinating artist who works with various media and definitely worth checking out. I just can’t help but feel the security guards working there think we must be crazy.

SODRAC is toothless and useless organization


Yesterday I was at the press preview for the Bruce Nauman exhibit that is opening at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal tomorrow. As has become a very bad standard operating practice, in the press package there was a notice from SODRAC that stated in unequivocal terms that the pictures couldn't be cropped, and that there must be a copyright notice.

Well, if you notice this is the current front page of the museum's website.

The only copyright notice I see on it is this one: "© 2005-2007 Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal." Then if you look at this picture

Mean Clown Welcome, 1985, Tubes au néon montés sur monolithe de métal, Collection Udo and Anette Brandhorst Collection, Cologne, Avec l'aimable permission de la Donald Young Gallery, Chicago, ©Bruce Nauman / SODRAC (2007)

It appears to be the exact same one as on the front page of the museum's website, only not cropped. What gives? Why isn't SODRAC enforcing its policy with the museum? Or is there something I don't know?

Then just so I don't have to spend any more time in court ('cuz it really ain't fun) the fine print Mean Clown Welcome, 1985, Tubes au néon montés sur monolithe de métal, Collection Udo and Anette Brandhorst Collection, Cologne, Avec l'aimable permission de la Donald Young Gallery, Chicago, ©Bruce Nauman / SODRAC (2007)

[update 5:04 pm: And can anyone find "©Bruce Nauman / SODRAC (2007)" anywhere near or around this article in La Presse? Or this photo in La Presse?]

[update 5:50 pm: Does anyone know if there is a "©Bruce Nauman / SODRAC (2007)" anywhere near or around this advertisement?

Or what negotiations were required in order to allow the picture to be modified and used for commercial purposes? - Thanks a gazillion and a half times to Michael Boyle for taking the picture of the ad and for letting me post it here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

O'Reilly Radar > Release 2.0.2: Web 2.0 Meets Wall Street

More Art & Crime Stories

The Biennale de Montréal Grades


I have now seen all the visual art at the Biennale de Montréal 2007. I would like to go back to see the stuff at the Ecole Bourget one more time, so I can write something long and involved (or potentially long and boring) but I do not know if I will be able to do so, I have a very serious backlog of shows I need to write about and a bunch of other work that needs to be done as well.

So in case I don't get to see the show again, without further ado the grades for the various art shown at the Biennale this year:
2boys.tv - C+
Scoli Acosta - B-
David Altmejd - A-
Stephen Andrews - C+
Michael Awad & Evan Penny - A+
BGL - B-
Eleanor Bond - B
Boris Chukhovich - C-
Dana Claxton - B-
Lynne Cohen - C
Comic Craze - D- Previously reviewed
Chris Cran - C
Christine Davis - A
Beth Derbyshire - B+
Iran do Espirito Santo - B+
Julie Doucet - C+
Geoffrey Farmer - C-
Jeff Funnell - B
Noam Gonick & Luis Jacob - B
David Hoffos - A+
Ignacio Iturria - B+
Sarah Anne Johnson - B
Brian Jungen - C
Jesper Just - C
Janice Kerbel - C
Will Kwan - C-
Virgil Marti - C+
Luanne Martineau - B-
Scott McFarland - C+
Kent Monkman - C
Montreal Comic City - Not graded because I haven't seen it, and there are friends of mine who made it and curated it.
My Barbarian - Not graded because I haven't seen it.
Numa - A
Paul P. - C+
Graeme Patterson - A+
Peaches - C+
Annie Pootoogook - B
Theo Sims - A
Ryan Sluggett - B
Bill Smith - A+
Scott Treleaven - B-
Susan Turcot - B-
Paulo Whitaker - B

Claude Gosselin, Wayne Baerwaldt and the Biennale de Montréal 2007 not doing so well.


Yesterday Sarah Milroy reviewed the Biennale de Montréal 2007, and in it she wrote "But - as the crowds that poured into Montreal for the opening can attest..."

One problem, there are no crowds. I asked when I was there last Friday, and was told that the first weekend had been good and that they had received about 150 visitors at the Ecole Bourget. However last Thursday they had only received 36 visitors, and I was visitor 24 on Friday at about 3:30 pm.

Then today I decided to return once again before writing anything, and they were closed. On the main entrance there was nothing except a sign saying "Open Everyday : 12:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m." Just like they say on the website.

Over on the door to the annex, not the main entrance they have a small sign in French only that states that due to the Bus and Metro strike they had to change hours to Thursday to Sunday noon to 7 pm. Which is about as much balderdash as us getting snow in July. Because of the strike there is no service on the weekends, so I would understand if they closed on Saturday and Sundays - but they are open. Because of the strike there is public transportation during the morning rush hour and the evening rush hour, so I would understand if instead of "Everyday : 12:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m." like they write on their website, they opened everyday but at 9 AM and then closed at 6 PM.

But to blame they strike and the inability of their employees to get into work is flat out wrong and incorrect. Plus I would imagine that most if not all of their staff were students who had been depending on that summer job. And that most of the money to pay them was from some government program. If I am correct, then what I want to know is where is the money going that they saved? All the art has been paid for, all the rent has been paid for, the transport has been paid for, so they decided that due to bad marketing and promotion they were going to lay off (or reduce the hours) of some students?

I don't like it one bit.

[update 4:20 pm: Well we will be able to see if I am right or if it truly is because of the strike at the STM that they changed hours. Next Tuesday right after my court appearance I will be at the Ecole Bourget. The strike is only going to be lasting another 48 hours before the governement legislates everyone back to work.]

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Streamlined Mama by Buddy Jones at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal


Finally something went my way! if you've seen American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts you will know that there is a wicked cool record player there. And that David A. Hanks, the curator was witty enough to have decided to include a 78 rpm record of the song Streamlined Mama by Buddy Jones on it. As you're at the museum, it is mighty tough to hear the song (it ain't like you can go up and ask one of the guards to play it for you) - but if you would like to hear what you're missing, click on this (stream, ogg vorbis) [2.9 MB, 2:26 minutes]


Extra Special Props and Thanks (along with some shouts outs and high fives in gratitude) to Zinhoff the best blogger in Croatia for helping me immensely with this post.

Sauvons the Musée de cire!!


Or if you can't save the Musée de cire, you might want to consider making an offer for one of their statues (including but limited to Roch Voisine, Michel Courtemanche, Phil Latulippe, Cornelius Kriegoff, Émile Nelligan, Guy Lafleur, Samuel Champlain, René Lévesque, Jacques Parizeau, Jean Lesage and Myriam Bédard.)

Galerie Concorde is hiring again


If as they state in this advertisement that they pay $125,000 (which is I assume per year) I do not understand why they have such difficulty in retaining employees. The previous job advertisements that I've seen are from May 2006, February 16, 2007 and February 25, 2007. Or maybe they are thinking of selling art on cruise ships like Park West Galleries and need to hire more staff because of that.

Montreal Artist in a Wired Blog


But unfortunately in this post about Rafael Lozano-Hemmer representing Mexico at the Venice Biennale, the words Montreal, Quebec and Canada do not appear anywhere. Toronto gets lip service because Mr. Lozano-Hemmer is going to be exhibiting at the Luminato Festival there.

And while I'm at it, since this is going to be the first time Mexico will be participating in the Venice Biennale, does anyone know if this will also be the first time that one of the tertiary countries has had two representatives?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sobey Art Award Semi-finalists


Bumped back to the top for one final push...
If you would like to play the Sobey Art Award game, click here and fill out your answers.

You can't tell the players without a scorecard.

From the Atlantic provinces Robin Metcalfe has to choose between
Jean-Denis Boudreau
Alexandra Flood
Vanessa Paschakarnis
Mathew Reichertz
and Mitchell Wiebe.
From Quebec Bernard Lamarche has to choose between
David Altmejd
Michel De Broin
Raphaelle de Groot
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
and Yannick Pouliot.
From Ontario Melanie Townsend has to choose between
Michael Belmore
Shary Boyle
Frank Shebageget
Andrew Wright
and Kevin Yates.
From the Prairies and the North Dan Ring has to choose between
Robin Arseneault
Daniel Barrow
Sarah Anne Johnson
Rachelle Viader Knowles
and Graeme Patterson.
From the West Coast Helga Pakasaar has to choose between
Scott McFarland
Luanne Martineau
Damian Moppett
Steven Shearer
and Ron Terada.

[update May 17: My bad, I was informed that the individual curators were the people who suggested the regional semi-finalists, and the short list will be a group decision made by all five curators. And the Kevin Yates link has been corrected]

More stuff about Streamlined

Internet news on the Biennale


Submitted without comment
  1. Sarah Milroy's review in the Globe & Mail
  2. Nathalie Guimond of Voir reviews the David Altmejd exhibit
  3. René Viau of Le Devoir reviews the David Altmejd exhibit
  4. Rupert Bottenberg of the Mirror on the Music
  5. Christine Redfern of the Mirror on the art and the music
  6. Susannah Wesley of the Hour on David Altmejd
  7. Stéphane Martel of Voir on Peaches
  8. Mario Cloutier of La Presse on the art
  9. Louise Dussault of 24 heures on the music
  10. Denis-Daniel Boullé of Fuges on the art
  11. Marilou Séguin of the Journal de Montreal on the music and the art
  12. Radio-Canada on the art
  13. Press release about the STM press release about Beth Derbyshire
  14. Stillepost (the indie hipster bulletin board) thread about the biennale
  15. Andrea Carson of the View on Canadian Art Blog about the art
  16. Rene Viau's review in Le Devoir
  17. Denis of Midnight Poutine on Iran Do Espirito Santo
  18. Le Devoir on Comic Craze
  19. La Voix Populaire on the biennale
  20. A reprint of a press release on ArtDaily.com
  21. A brief mention in the Brainylady blog
  22. A brief mention on the CultureTV blog
  23. Fred da Cat's LiveJournal entry
As I come across more I will update this list. If there are any significant changes I will bump it to the top again - and for those of you who like to read between the lines, I do have one question - what's up with Nicholas Mavrikakis? He should have been all over this in Voir - but there ain't nothing, not a single word this week Why did he write his preview/review in the issue of May 3?

[update May 21: I bumped this to the top again, due to the addition over the week of about half a dozen items, most specifically the review in the Globe & Mail.]

[Update May 26: Nicholas Mavrikakis and Voir review the biennale. I do not see much difference between the preview he wrote three weeks ago, and the review he wrote this week.]

Props and Shout Outs to Lisa Hunter


She is the subject of a very nice article in today's Montreal Gazette. It also comes with a large and flattering photo.

And as a web exclusive the Gazette has a resource section on art in Montreal - which somehow missed mentioning the Biennale de Montreal.

If you're interested in reading The Intrepid Art Collector, Ms. Hunter's blog click on the appropriate link. Or if you want to buy Ms. Hunter's book try either of these links:


And then if you want to read my review of it before you buy, click here. And someplace - why not here - I should mention that Ms. Hunter is a friend of mine, just so you don't think I'm being all objective or anything.

The Courts are very busy these days

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Stuff Seen - Out of Space: La photographie et l'imaginaire sculptural



Once again, playing catch up. It seems like a lifetime ago, but it was only a couple of months. Dazibao had a not half bad exhibit featuring the work of John Duncan, Nestor Kruger, Erwin Wurm, Daniel von Sturmer, and Amon Yariv. Now that time has settled in I can only honestly remember the work of John Duncan, and Daniel von Sturmer.

Mr. Duncan's was photographs of a bunch of shipping palates arranged in the Irish countryside. Nice simple one joke sorta stuff, see 'em, smile, and move on. Mr. von Sturmer's work was what made the show memorable. Two videos synchronized and then rotated 90 degrees so that the objects in the video appeared to be sliding along the floor, when in fact they were in a box being tilted. Bright and colorful standard household objects, against a plain white background it was a simple and effective way of disconnecting what you were seeing with your standard issue ideas of gravity and how it works.

Although now that I look into hos work it appears that we got a crippled version of screen test, as on Mr. von Sturmer's website it states "4 Screen video installation and Kinetic object" and I only saw a two-channel video at Dazibao. I wonder how Susan Edelstein's article in Prefix Photo dealt with that.

Minding the museums


I don't normally read Walrus magazine, mostly because way too much of it is money-walled. But I came across an article written by Adam Gopnik about (ostensibly) the current state of affairs in the museum biz.

In a nutshell, he uses alliteration to try to show how museums have moved from being mausoleums, to machines, to maybe malls but mostly mindful. Mr. Gopnik, can I introduce you to Paul Werner?

One of the major problems with Mr. Gopnik's thesis, is that he does not even acknowledge the explosion of museums here, there and everywhere. In New Zealand there is approximately one museum for every 8,000 residents. In Canada there are more than 2,500 museums. Mr Gopnik probably would think that the Groupe Bizot is too large, and really should be reduced to only including museums in New York, Paris and London.

The idea all museums are in lock step, thinking and moving to the same beat in the same direction is about as preposterous as a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

Then, when he writes "One of the central comedies of manners in our society is that that art, which none of us quite understands, is taken out of the aesthetic context in which it's made and brought to institutions." I really get annoyed. That he furthers the cliche that contemporary art is incomprehensible is just flat out stupid. Try that sentence this way: One of the central comedies of manners in our society is that that literature, which none of us quite understands, is taken out of the aesthetic context in which it's made and brought to institutions. or if you prefer One of the central comedies of manners in our society is that that film, which none of us quite understands, is taken out of the aesthetic context in which it's made and brought to institutions.

Film is understandable, as is literature. When either, or both get tossed into an institution (say a university) it is the duty of the institution to elevate whatever is being brought in. One easy way to elevate something is through use of three syllable words, or academic language if you prefer. When and where did museums become like universities? I think it is much more helpful to consider museums like concert halls for music. Or libraries for books.

Given that there are two museums here in town that regularly schedule concerts (one, two), I would venture a guess that the current state of the museum world is mindful of the need to sometimes be a concert hall.

Tagging and being tagged


Last week I was tagged by my friend Edith Rey of doreyme. Unfortunately I was a little busy to deal with it at the time. But here goes:

Seven Blogs I find interesting:
  1. Slashdot
  2. PaidContent
  3. Joystiq
  4. Blog Maverick
  5. Jonathan Schwartz
  6. This is aaronland
  7. Improbable reasearch
Seven little known things about me
  1. I know how to tie a bowtie
  2. I drink wine
  3. I cherish my cooking knives
  4. I used to have a subscription to Sassy
  5. The first piece of art I bought was by Tony Albano
  6. I'm learning to speak Italian
  7. It has been almost 10 years since I flew in an airplane

Saturday, May 19, 2007

View on Canadian Art: The eight most influential people in Canadian art today?

A Fair(y) Use Tale


This is phenomenal.

Although Canadian Copyright law is different from that in the United States. - Thanks to Lynn Bethke for pointing it out.

Biennale de Montréal 2007 and PPOW, tight like that.


In keeping tabs on where things fit together, I discovered this morning that Bill Smith is exhibiting simultaneously at the fancy-ass and very prestigious Biennale de Montréal 2007 and at the PPOW Gallery in New York. It must mean that the PPOW is as fancy-ass and very prestigious as the biennale, right?

And according to his CV Bill Smith is also going to be exhibiting at the Alfedena Gallery, in November as well. He must be a busy man.

If you'd like to read the review in yesterday's New York Times, last week's Village Voice, or the mention about his work in last week's New Yorker, click on the appropriate links. If you'd like to see pictures, check out Megan and Murray McMillan's post from his show last year in Saint Louis.

[Update May 20: And while we're at it, some should introduce Mr. Smith to Theo Jansen, or at least his Animaris Rhinoceros Transport.]

Staying on top of Nima Mazhari vs. Ghitta Caiserman-Roth


The CBC report from Friday drops a bombshell that goes a longt way towards explaining things.
Jessica Nadeau writes similar stuff for Le Journal de Montreal, but in French.
The La Presse article from Friday has even more details.

And for the latest news about the case click here.

Biennale de Montréal 2007 and Columbus Museum of Art, tight like that.


In keeping tabs on where things fit together, I discovered this morning that Evan Penny is exhibiting simultaneously at the fancy-ass and very prestigious Biennale de Montréal 2007 and at the Columbus Museum of Art in a show called Currents. It must mean that the Columbus Museum of Art is as fancy-ass and very prestigious as the biennale, right?

And according to this review in the Globe and Mail Evan Penny is also exhibiting at the Birch Libralato Gallery, as well. He must be a busy man.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Stuff Seen - Comic Craze



There are numerous problems and difficulties with the Comic Craze exhibit the least of them being the books. In no particular order: Who? What? Where? When? and Why?

In slightly more detail: Who are the artists authors? There is no complete list of the books being exhibited. While this is acceptable in a home library, any public library which did not have a catalogue of their books would be laughed out of existence.

What exactly is the reason behind using white cardboard tubes to display the books? While in certain post modern white cube galleries letting the art speak for itself is acceptable behavior, trying to get people to browse through unfamiliar books is much easier to accomplish if the space is familiar and comfortable, like a bookstore, instead of looking like some community theatre set.

Where did the books come from? I have heard from multiple people that Ms. Gilbert was given the books by the artists themselves, in some cases the last copy that they had. And then failed to inform the artists that their work was going to be in an exhibit. If my work was considered good enough to be in a touring exhibit, I'd sure as shootin' like to know.

Where are the books going? Last night I was at the Saidye Bronfman Centre and was told that some of the Julie Doucet books had been stolen. It doesn't reflect well on anyone that the art being exhibited is thought of so lightly that no care was taken in anyway shape or form to protect or secure it. Since there are some extremely rare comics there I'd hate to think about them getting boosted.

When - ok, I really don't have a question about the exhibit that begins with the word 'when.'

Why was this done? Personally, if I'm going to try and learn something about Canadian comics, I'm much more likely to go to La librairie Fichtre. Not only do they have a more comfortable place to browse through comics. They also have someone there who will explain to me why certain comics are important, significant, rare or just plain interesting.

Actually, now that I think about it, I do have a question that begins with the word 'when.' When did the checks get written? Given the preponderance of government logos on the invitation (Montreal Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ministere de la Culture et Communications du Quebec) I would imagine that there was a fair bit of money spent on this exhibit. I'd love to know what it was spent on and what the governments thought they were getting.

Beyond that, it is a nice collection of Canadian comic books. I'd suggest if you are interested in Canadian comic books that you go to the Grande Bibliotheque. They have an even better collection which is way more accessible.

Alan Carrier making it in Chico California


A very nice article about a Montreal artist doing good in Northern California.

This is why Canadian Art magazine needs a conflict of interest policy

More Art and Crime stories


If I'm going to get injunctions to shut down this blog, I might as well at least get them from the president of MOMA. And judging by the article it sounds like the former Marie-Josée Drouin gets around.

The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal is getting hip


They have a MySpace Page. They've got a Branché card to get you in for free. And then, they are starting first Fridays.

Compare and Contrast


Adam Steiss' review of the Harold Klunder exhibit at the McClure Gallery in the Westmount Examiner - 806 words.

Isa Tousignant's review of the Cai Guo-Qiang exhibt at the National Gallery's Shawinigan Space in Canadian Art magazine - 503 words

Eric Waugh getting good press


I was pleasantly surprised to read these articles (one and two) about Mr. Waugh being on the TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. For those of you who are wondering why I was pleased, I interviewed Eric Waugh back in 2005.

A Vornado Fan at the the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal and on eBay too!


Not only is it one of the cooler items at the current American Stremalined exhibit at the museum, but you can buy one yourself on eBay.


Catching up with Nima Mazhari vs. Ghitta Caiserman-Roth

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Vintage Vornado Fan - Vintage Style Fans - Green VornadoFan or Black VornadoFan Replica

American Streamlined Design at Bard Graduate Center - Review - Art - New York Times

Nima Mazhari vs. Ghitta Caiserman-Roth

Smooth-Ness by Arlen Ness at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal


It is even better live.

As part of the American Streamlined Design show that starts tomorrow. Note to David A. Hanks, the curator of the show. According to the American Motorcyclist Association, it was made in 1996, not 1999. designed by Arlen Ness and made by Craig Naff.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Compare and Contrast

Canadian Art Prize news - Yawn


They announced the winner of the Gershon Iskowitz Prize. They announced the winner of the K.M. Hunter Awards and there is now a Nunavut arts award. South of the border the Alpert Art Award winners were also announced. Ho hum... It truly is a pity that arts awards have become as devalued as the Argentinian Peso in 2002.

I take it back, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal is an extremely sexist museum.


About two weeks ago, I wrote about sexism in the Quebec art world. Basically writing to try and find some way of pointing out that the museum was not being sexist despite articles written by Isa Tousignant and Nicholas Mavrikakis. The museum made it extremely difficult.

Well now I have discovered that I was wrong, and Ms. Tousignant was right. The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal has now published their exhibition schedule through the beginning of 2008, and unless there is something that has not been announced there will be at least 841 days (more than 20,000 hours) without a solo exhibit by a woman. One year can be considered an anomaly, two and a half years is a trend. And not a good trend at that.

The last solo exhibit by a woman at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal

As Loto-Quebec's permanent collection has more women artists than men, unless the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal's permanent collection exhibits a similar ratio (which I strongly doubt) then I can't help but wonder what has happened and why it has become so sexist. Especially since there are more women curating than men [the page is out of date, and two of the three male curators mentioned have retired, and only Marc Lanctot has been hired to replace them].

Copyright and Art in Canada Jonathan Culp: Cutting Out Collage

Kristan Horton getting good press


He made it into the Table of Malcontents yesterday. Which led me to the Morning News interview. Which in turn led me to kristanhorton.com.

Who was there?


There's this press release from the Liberal Party of Canada touting some sort of cultural roundtable that was held in Quebec sometime over the weekend (I guess). It would be interesting to know who was on the guest list.

[update 2:30 pm: According to Stéphane Baillargeon of Le Devoir Fabienne Larouche, Céline Hervieux-Payette, Francis Fox, Jean Lapointe, Roch Carrier were some of the invitees.]

Monday, May 14, 2007

Robert Landau gets great press in an out of town newspaper


First: Bloomberg News, then Artworld Salon. Go!

Does anyone have a picture of Danièle Bergeron's house?


Not exactly an original idea, but a good one none-the-less. According to this article Danièle Bergeron has used old election signs to create some sort of art project/housing somewhere in Saint Henri. If anyone has some pictures, or knows where it is exactly, please don't hesitate to share. Thanks

[update May 16: Thanks to Galerie Quartier Libre we now have a picture]

Failsafe material for extremely slow news days

Anyone want to help me organize one of these here?


Last year, Time Out New York got a panel together to rate the reviewers. It would be a fun thing to do here as well.

Curating six and a half years ago


I'm dreading having to read this six year old book, because it is a 175 page pdf document. But Curating Now: Imaginative Practice/Public Responsibility can serve as a useful pupose in trying to figure out if anything has changed since last century.

Dada Art History


It is a real slow news day, so I'm going back through files to find some dusty stuff that hasn't seen the light of day yet. The New York Review of Books review of the big Dada show at MOMA last year by Charles Simic.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Robert David Live at Zeke's Gallery volume 263


Last Thursday Robert David played here at Zeke's Gallery. If you would like to hear his performance click on the links:
Set One, [48:58 minutes, 75.4 MB] stream, flac, ogg vorbis.
Set Two [45:41 minutes, 70.2 MB] stream, flac, ogg vorbis.
Then, just because I can, I decided to add two older recordings I have of Robert David playing here from 2002. Both are with Joel Zifkin and Andrew Cowan. More details are here. If you would like to hear either their performance from March 14 or April 16 of 2002 click on these links:
March 14, 2005, [68:08 minutes, 74.2 MB] stream, flac, ogg vorbis.
April 16, 2002 [49:02 minutes, 50.4 MB] stream, flac, ogg vorbis.
As per normal, I'm still working on getting pictures up - but in the meantime play 'em loud.

René Viau gets sloppy


Interesting art politics going on in this city. On the first Saturday that the fancy-ass and very prestigious Biennale de Montréal 2007 is open, Le Devoir, the only newspaper in town with two art critics reviews a Jocelyne Alloucherie exhibit at Roger Bellemare's gallery that has nothing to do with the fancy-ass and very prestigious Biennale de Montréal 2007.

However, it did not make me read beyond the first paragraph of the review, because it appears that M. Viau has stars in his eyes. He writes that Ms. Alloucherie recieved a $60,000 grant from the Quebec Government like it was something amazing and wonderful. Whereas I would ask, if Ms. Alloucherie's career was so phenomenal why would she have applied for the grant. He then goes on to try to impress me even more by writing that Ms. Alloucherie is represented by galleries in New York, Paris and Turin. From the research I have done (which I warn you, is not comprehensive) it appears that Ms. Alloucherie is represented by the 511 Gallery in New York, but hasn't had a show there since 2003. And The Box Associati in Turin but their website no longer exists, pretty phenomenal representation if you ask me. And while it seems that she is still represented by Françoise Paviot in Paris, information is sketchy at best, and it is quite possible that she hasn't had a show there since 1999.

Biennale de Montréal 2007 and PowerhouseArena, tight like that.


In keeping tabs on where things fit together, I discovered this morning that Paul P. is exhibiting simultaneously at the fancy-ass and very prestigious Biennale de Montréal 2007 and at the PowerhouseArena in a show called The Male Gaze. It must mean that the PowerhouseArena is as fancy-ass and very prestigious as the biennale, right?

And according to this article in the New York Blade Paul P. is also exhibiting at the Daniel Reich Gallery as well. He must be a busy man.

Doyon-Rivest get Fluctuated


Over on the other side of the Atlantic there is this website that is more design than content. However, Doyon-Rivest got blogged on it ('cuz bloggin' is where it is at). Pity that Fluctuat.net couldn't even get the link to the Doyon-Rivest website right.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Terry Graff needs to talk to Ron Tyler


Mr. Graff is director of the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon. Mr. Tyler is director of the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth. The Mendel is contemplating charging admission. The Amon Carter museum is stopping the practice of charging admission. The population of Fort Worth is about 600,000. The population of Saskatoon is about 200,000, and it would take about 28 hours to drive from Saskatoon to Fort Worth.

Interesting ways to see art on the Left Coast


Vancouver and Los Angeles. Obviously I'm partial to the LA one, because we have one here in Quebec as well.

The new museum policy?


I think that RPP stands for Report on Plans and Priorities, because while I'm fairly certain that Bev Oda has a Registered Pension Plan and the department of Canadian Heritage has a Remote Presentation Protocol, I am Resuming Play Procedure and linking to what the department says it wants to do right here.

- Thanks tons! to Lee Boyko for pointing it out.

Maybe there's money in this after all

Les Arts et la Ville and Culture Montreal


Les Arts et la Ville and Culture Montreal. Isn't that sort of like duplicating things? And if both (or one) disappeared would that mean there was more money for artists?

The Status of Ontario's Artists Act, 2007:


In its entirety:
Schedule 39
Status of Ontario’s Artists Act, 2007


1. The purpose of this Act is to recognize that artists make contributions to Ontario’s economy and quality of life by,
(a) strengthening and invigorating our arts and culture sector;
(b) helping to create liveable, vibrant communities;
(c) encouraging civic engagement in cultural life; and
(d) fostering a culture of innovation in Ontario.


2. In this Act,
“artist” means an individual who is a professional creator, interpreter or performer in any artistic field, including,
(a) literary arts,
(b) visual arts,
(c) electronic, multimedia and Internet arts,
(d) film and video arts,
(e) crafts,
(f) performing arts, including theatre, opera, music, dance and variety entertainment,
(g) the recording of sound, and
(h) the recording of commercial advertisements; (“artiste”)

“Minister” means the member of the Executive Council to whom administration for this Act is assigned under the Executive Council Act. (“ministre”)

Recognition of artists

3. The Government of Ontario recognizes that,
(a) artists have made, and continue to make, invaluable contributions to Ontario’s economy, quality of life and sense of identity;
(b) artists’ creativity enables the arts and culture sector to innovate, grow and remain competitive;
(c) artists of all ages and backgrounds are central to Ontario’s growth as a creative society;
(d) artists’ diverse artistic and cultural traditions are the foundations of Ontario’s cultural tourism;
(e) the work of artists contributes to Ontario’s educational excellence and creates life-long learning opportunities; and
(f) artists enhance and enrich the cultural life of communities across the province and strengthen Ontario’s social cohesion and economic vitality.

Minister’s responsibility

4. The Minister is responsible for developing a strategy on arts and culture to guide the development of policies as they relate to artists.

Government undertaking

5. The Government of Ontario undertakes, as far as it considers it reasonable and appropriate to do so, to,
(a) encourage the development of provincial, national and international marketing and promotion strategies for Ontario’s artists and their work;
(b) facilitate the creation of training and professional development opportunities for artists;
(c) develop partnerships across governments to foster a culture of innovation and creativity that promotes artists;
(d) engage Ontarians in the artistic and cultural life of the province by helping to make artists’ work available to all Ontarians;
(e) promote artists’ health and safety;
(f) foster the development of strategic partnerships between the technology sector and the arts and culture sector to create innovative new ways to promote artists and their work;
(g) strengthen the ability of arts and culture organizations to provide support to artists;
(h) create forums for artists to access information related to their work; and
(i) encourage municipalities to,
(i) promote artists as part of local cultural tourism initiatives, and
(ii) develop their own cultural policies.

Celebrate the Artist Weekend

6. (1) The first weekend wholly in June in every year is proclaimed as Celebrate the Artist Weekend.


(2) The purpose of Celebrate the Artist Weekend is to recognize and celebrate Ontario’s artists.


(3) For the purposes of subsection (1), a weekend is Saturday and Sunday.

Advisory committee

7. The Minister may establish one or more advisory committees to,
(a) consider issues relating to artists, the role they play in the arts and culture sector and any other matters that the Minister considers appropriate; and
(b) advise the Minister on those issues.


8. The Act set out in this Schedule comes into force on the day the Budget Measures and Interim Appropriation Act, 2007 receives Royal Assent.

Short title

9. The short title of the Act set out in this Schedule is the Status of Ontario’s Artists Act, 2007.
Somehow, despite what this press release says, it doesn't strike me as being landmark.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Best of Montreal & Top d'ici


[update May 10: There is one more day to vote, thanks again in advance for yours.]

It seems it is that time of year again. The Montreal Mirror has its popularity contest.

For those of you who might be new to the blog, the city, the internet, or life in general. Zeke's Gallery, the real-life art gallery that supports and lends a name to this blog has won "Best Art Gallery" for five consecutive years. This blog, has been the third best blog, for two consecutive years. Consistency is my middle name. If you have the time and inclination, I'd be much obliged if you voted for Zeke's Gallery as best art gallery again.

If you are going to fill in a ballot, please let me remind you that you need to fill in at least 25 answers for it to count. If you need some suggestions or ideas, try these on for size:
  1. Best political/social cause: The Arts
  2. Best local radio show: Homerun
  3. Best local radio host: Bernard Saint-Laurent
  4. Best neighbourhood: The Plateau
  5. Best waiter/waitress: Hugo at La Montée de Lait
  6. Best sleazy dive: Brutopia
  7. Best watering hole: Aszu
  8. Best pickup spot: Any art gallery in town
  9. Best happy hour: Musee d'art contemporain vernissages
  10. Best terrasse: La Rotunde at the Musee d'art contemporain
  11. Best drug: Beer
  12. Best musical act: Pat Lehman Band, United Steel Workers of Montreal, Katie Moore, Little Birdie, Sarah Mangle, Kyra Shaughnessy, Pierre-Yves Martel, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Philippe Lauzier and lots more...
  13. Best country/folk act: United Steel Workers of Montreal
  14. Best jazz musician: Pierre-Yves Martel, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Philippe Lauzier
  15. Best singer/songwriter: Sarah Mangle
  16. Best local actor: Adam Kelly
  17. Best spoken word act: Kyra Shaughnessy
  18. Best museum: Musee des beaux arts, Musee d'art contemporain, Musee Emile Berliner
  19. Best gallery: Zeke's Gallery
  20. Best art exhibit: Naledi Jackson, tyson howard, Tricia McDaid
  21. Best author: Lisa Hunter, Daniel Allen Cox
  22. Best magazine/zine: The Mirror
  23. Best cartoonist: Billy Mavreas, Dstrbo
  24. Best Internet Service Provider: VIF
  25. Best florist: Florateria
  26. Best kitsch/antique store: Monastiraki
  27. Best cheap eats: Vietnamese Sub
  28. Best late-night eats: Dollar Pizza
  29. Best breakfast: Dim Sum
  30. Best Chinese : Beijing
  31. Best Indian: Mysore
  32. Best Japanese: Isakaya
  33. Best Mexican: Mex-I
  34. Best Middle-Eastern: Andalos
  35. Best Portuguese: Le Roi du Plateau
  36. Best barbecued chicken: Rotisserie Portugalia
  37. Best poutine: La Banquise
  38. Best coffee: La Vieille Europe
  39. Best non-chain coffee: La Vieille Europe
  40. Best locally brewed beer: Brutopia
  41. Best drag queen: Miss Gina
  42. Best standup comedian: Uncalled For

The Art Business in Vancouver


Back in March, I asked if it was really true that the Vancouver Sculpture Biennale raised $3 million. According to this article in Business in Vancouver magazine, "the Vancouver International Sculpture Biennale Foundation (VISB) generated $2.6 million in March..." Notice the new verb used to describe what they did, and it appears that a 15% margin of error when talking to the CBC is standard business practice on the left coast.

Then the article goes on to quote Barrie Mowatt as saying "The foundation is spending a portion of its proceeds to buy five of the sculptures to create a legacy collection: Dennis Oppenheim’s Engagement Rings, which has been on display at English Bay; Sorel Etrog’s King and Queen, which has been on display at Coal Harbour’s Harbour Green Park; Michel Goulet’s Echoes, a set of 10 stainless steel chairs that has been on display near Sunset Beach; Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Vancouver walking figures at Queen Elizabeth Park; and Dennis Oppenheim’s Device to Root Out Evil, the upside-down church at Harbour Green Park." while the article from the CBC article says "However, five works that did not sell will be offered to the City of Vancouver... The money raised will help support the next biennale..."

And the article continues to quote Mr. Mowatt as saying 'the Abakanowicz piece alone is worth US$1.6 million.' So if I understand correctly, there is someone in Vancouver who appraised Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Vancouver walking figures after they went up for auction and did not sell as being worth US$1.6 million. Last I heard, an appraisal was used to determine fair market value (FMV) of an object. Now you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I was certain that someone, somewhere had told me that "The role of auctions in the art market is becoming increasingly important as they bring together a number of categories of buyers and sellers such as collectors, dealers, estates as well as the general public... Prices achieved at auction (the hammer price and buyers' premium but not taxes) are thus important, and in some cases the only verifiable indication of market value." While I wouldn't go so far as to call Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Vancouver walking figures worthless or valueless, if I was appraising them I sure as shooting wouldn't say that they were worth the low estimate that was given in an auction where they didn't sell. Then because it is getting late, I won't even bother getting into a discussion about the sentence '"But we weren’t paying retail," said Mowatt, who declined to reveal legacy collection works’ purchase prices' Other than to say I find it an very interesting choice of words.

Finally, because despite what you think I really do not enjoy questioning what Barrie Mowatt says, and I truly believe he is trying to do good - but if he thinks that the Vancouver Sculpture Biennale is "the only civic sculpture biennale in the world and the only one that is free to the public." the I would love to know what he calls The Palm Beach International Sculpture Biennale, the Poznan International Sculpture Biennale, and The Ein Hod Sculpture Biennale?