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.

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