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Monday, April 30, 2007

Is the Quebec Art World Sexist?

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It appears that I am getting closer to getting a clearer picture - although once again the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal is showing itself to be incompetent. But to backtrack slightly...

September 21st, 2006 - Jerry Saltz, then art critic for the Village Voice writes a very thoroughly researched article that concludes that the New Work art world is sexist. (5% of the permanent collection on display at MOMA is by women, that's not good.)

October 12, 2006 - Nicolas Mavrikakis a freelancer (who I do not like) writing for Voir decides to jump on the bandwagon and accuses the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal of being sexist. His article was badly researched, and did nothing beyond stating that all the temporary exhibits at MACM this year were by men.

I responded to his article here.

February 22nd, 2007 - Isa Tousignant, the Arts and Culture editor at Hour (a friend and usually top notch writer) piles on as well, paying no attention to anything that happened before 2006 and not even looking at the permanent collection.

At about this time, I sorta go ballistic. So I write to Danielle Legentil at MACM: I get this response back: "Concernant votre demande de répertoire de la Collection du Musée, toutes les informations concernant les acquisitions (achats et dons) sont consignées dans les rapports annuels du Musée que vous pouvez consulter à la Médiathèque du mardi au vendredi de 11 h à 16 h 30." Except for the fact it isn't. At their library they have one book that lists the collection up until 1991 (or so) another book that lists the Lavalin Collection that they got, and then there are all the annual reports since then. Cross referencing something like 18 different books is not something I have time to do, unfortunately.

They do have a database, however no one will let me look at it, and no one will print up a copy for me, and no one will do the counting - pity. Because with all the other museums I asked, it was rather straightforward and easy.

So, drum roll please:

Musée d'art de Joliette: Their post 1960 permanent collection consists of work by approximately 413 male artists and 145 female artists. Or 26% female and 74% male.

The Loto-Quebec Collection
: I don't know exactly when they started collecting, but they have have work by about 500 women artists and 424 men. 54% female and 46% male.

Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal: They didn't quite follow the same style as everybody else, but... They broke things down into individual works. Paintings, Sculptures and Installations instead of a straight and easy count of the artists. They also did not supply me with raw numbers. 15% of the paintings that they have aquired since 1960 were made by women. 12% of the sculptures that they aquired since 1960 have been made by women. And 27% of the installations that they have aquired since 1960 have been made by women.

If the cut off date is moved to 1998, then 36% of the paintings, 14% of the sculptures and 42% of the installations aquired by Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal have been made by women.

If you compare the Montreal art world to that of the New York art world, no matter how you cut it, Montreal is way less sexist than New York, which only leads me to ask what does the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal have to hide?

I'd also like to thank Wanda Palma of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, Gaetane Verna and Lynda Corcoran of the Musée d'art de Joliette for help in getting the figures and statistics.

Alain Lacousière and Jean-François Talbot

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They were the subjects of a nice article over the weekend in the Soleil du Quebec City.

Live at Zeke's Gallery Volume 242

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Still playing catch up with the backlog. Back in August of 2006, Court Lajoie, Vivek Shraya and Lise Monique swung through town and gave a very enjoyable performance. Due to technical difficulties, I was unable to post the recordings until now. But if you would like to relive a time when Zeke's Gallery was not as technically proficient as it is now, click on the appropriate links. As time allows, I will be posting more and more of the backlog here. Unfortunately Court Lajoie's performance is lost for the ages because I screwed up. Apologies to all.

Vivek Shraya's performance [30:00 minutes, 55.2 MB] Stream, flac, ogg vorbis
Lise Monique's Performance [32:20 minutes, 56.1 MB] Stream, flac, ogg vorbis


Court Lajoie


Vivek Shraya


Lise Monique


Vivek Shraya and Lise Monique


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Live at Zeke's Volume 262 - Shawn Snyder

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Live at Zeke's Volume 262 - Shawn Snyder
Notice how badly I take photographs...

On Thursday, Shawn Snyder played here. If you would like to hear his performance, click on the links:
Set One, [53:04 minutes, 79.1 MB] stream, flac, ogg vorbis.
Set Two [1:23:33 Hours, 126.7 MB] stream, flac, ogg vorbis.
During set one Mr. Snyder played his songs American Sweet Gorilla, Anonymous Love Song, Baggage, Coffee Shop, Colors, Concerned, Deja Vu, Dirge, Festus, Giddy Love and during set two not only did he playhis songs Debt, Happy Story, I Wrote Songs, Karma in a Can, Lie in Bed, Plot Twist, Puzzle, Romantic Requiem, SFO, Temptation, Vagabond, Wendy but it was the first time anyone at the gallery had received a standing ovation, and as a consequence he played an encore that consisted of Soulmate, Graduation Day, Pieces of Time.

If you would like to know more about Shawn Snyder his website is here, and his MySpace page is here, and his facebook page is here.


Henri Bourassa gets its Luminous Mural, Stéphane Baillargeon once again, gets it wrong

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In case you weren't aware, there are three new stations all over the place. Back in January 2005, M. Baillargeon wrote an article using anonymous sources that stated Suzan Vachon, Jean-François Cantin and Pierre Leclerc were shortlisted and one of them was going to create a luminous mural for the Henri Bourassa metro station.

Guess who made the art for the Henri Bourassa metro station? Axel Morgenthaler,and it is called Point 98.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I gotta give the AGO points for trying...

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On the Art Gallery of Ontario's blog they announced the launch of something called Collection X. On first glance, I'm not entirely certain how it is that different from the Virtual Museum of Canada, flickr, YouTube, Terminus1525, CitizenShift, Culture.ca, Archive.org and the other hundred or so Web 2.0 socail networking places thatare based around art. But I wish them good luck!

Sobey art award into the Empire art Award?

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When I initially read about Empire Co.'s bid to privatize Sobeys, my first thought was how does this affect the Sobey Art Award? On first blush, as Paul Sobey is chair of Empire and (I think) nephew of Donald Sobey who runs the foundation, I don't think much will change. However, as the mantra behind privatizing anything is to maximize shareholder value and this means moving one more generation and one more subsidiary away - long term (five years or more) I don't think things look good for what I would consider now the bestest art award in the country.

More beating up on British Columbia

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Ten days ago it was art by Huang Yong Ping, Wednesday it was their mayor thinking free museums on boxing day was a great cultural policy. Today it is
removing offensive murals in the Legislature. I can't wait to see what's next.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The department of Canadian Heritage fund plagarism of their own work

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For whatever reasons I discovered this web page which has the exact same words, in the exact same order as this web page from Canadian Heritage. On the web site of Canadian Heritage it states very clearly
"All rights reserved. Permission is granted to electronically copy and to print in hard copy for internal use only. No part of this information may be reproduced, modified, or redistributed in any form or by any means, for any purposes other than those noted above (including sales), without the prior written permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0S5." - source
On the website for Franconnex it states:
"Le développement de ce site a été rendu possible grâce à une contribution financière du programme Francommunautés virtuelles d'Industrie Canada, des Programmes de financement de Culture canadienne en ligne de Patrimoine canadien..." - source
and Franconnex also claims copyright on all the material on their website.

I did not know that the department of Canadian Heritage was in the habit of paying for things twice. I thought all of that had been stopped back with the old Canadian government.

More Art and the Law

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This time, thankfully not involving Zeke's Gallery. According to this article in La Presse, the artist Francine Gagnon needs to go to Quebec Superior Court in order to get the ok to exhibit her heart and both lung preserved and embedded in acrylic resin so that they can be displayed after her death. Not to be crass or anything, but I'd like to point out that Body Worlds 2 is coming to Montreal in two weeks.

Sounds like a fun summer vacation

Canada's New Government needs to introduce its left hand to its right hand

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I got a copy of this press release about the Canada Day Poster Challenge 2007 winner. So I went to the website (as they wrote: "please visit our website at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/affiche-poster") expecting to find images of the winning posters. But, no dice. A day after they announced the winners, there are only images of the 2006 winners. And speaking of winners... Krystal Murray (2004 laureate), Jennifer Truong (2005 laureate) and Sofia Hou (2006 laureate).

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Catching up with the backlog... Live at Zeke's Gallery Volume 96

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For anyone interested, I will be interviewed on the CBC this afternoon at 4pm (88.5 FM or 104.7 FM) and for the interview I was going through old recordings that had been made here. One of my favorites dates from January 27, 2004 when the Pemi Paull String Quartet & Trio played here. The Pemi Paull String Quartet is Pemi Paull, Viola; Rachel Moody, violin; Louise Higgins, violin; and Amanda Keesmaat, cello.

They played the Ligeti Sonata for Solo Viola. The Shostakovich, String Quartet No. 15 (opus 144) and Robert Rival's String Trio which was a World Premiere performance (and recording).

If you would like to hear any (or all) of them, click below:
György Ligeti, Sonata for Solo Viola. [21:26 minutes, 27.5 MB] Stream, Flac, Ogg Vorbis.
Shostakovich, String Quartet No. 15 (opus 144) [33:48 minutes, 44 MB] Stream, Flac, Ogg Vorbis.
Robert Rival, String Trio (World Premiere performance) [8:35 minutes, 11.7 MB] Stream, Flac, Ogg Vorbis.

Unfortunately my pictures from the evening are not accessible, apologies. In the meantime play these loud!

Maybe there is hope for culture in Saskatchewan

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While Paul Werner doesn't hold much hope out for art in Saskatchewan, it appears that in Regina, they have figured out a way to do things better than in New York. In New York, the cliche goes, that you email 'impo'tent' people jpegs of paintings to entice them to buy them. You need to 'know' the right person in order to have the privilige of buying a piece of art. And then they throw a fancy, and expensive, party to flaunt everything.

In Regina, people line up outside the door of the art gallery before it opens, and then buy a painting when ushered in. No muss, no fuss, no jpegs, no party.

Vancouver is dumber than I thought

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I can't stop laughing after reading this article. Apparently Sam Sullivan, the mayor of Vancouver wants to make it a focal point of a long term cultural strategy for the city of Vancouver. Now let me get this straight. In the middle of the largest art market boom ever, Vancouver manages to have the only art auction I've heard of where there were disappointing results. They have a museum that boasts "of nearly 9,000 works of art [which] represents the most comprehensive resource for visual culture in British Columbia." (For those of you who still haven't had your morning coffee, using quantity to tout your art collection is not a particularly smooth move... And for comparison purposes, the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal received more 5% that amount last year.) And on top of it photo-conceptualism is on its way out.

[update 2pm: And I can't believe I forgot about this.]

A good business and culture initiative

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While not new, I just discovered that in Kingston, the Council for Business and the Arts in Canada, has rolled out another ArtsVest program. Matching grants to organizations who get business to donate money. Or in simpler terms for ever $1 raised they actually get $2. Unfortunately I don't know of any program like it here in Quebec.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Culture pour tous, but only for three days

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I read this article about the Culture pour tous organization trying to set up an artist in residence program for three days in September. On first blush it appears to be a good thing. However, with a closer look, it ain't as perfect as it could be because it ghetto-izes culture. I would much rather see them organize an artist in residence program where the artist is in residence at a business, full-time, like any other employee.

A weird (and rare) form of artistic synesthesia

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Montreal is definitely a weird place. Because yesterday was International Book Day. The city issued a press release about unveiling two new statues. I've heard of Grapheme, or color synesthesia, but this is going to an extreme.

How do you say "Tough Nougies?"

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It appears that when things don't work out for the Beaverbrook Foundation, they try to change the rules.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Another Cease and Desist letter

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First Page


Second Page


Third Page

Some people it seems just can't get enough. Back in November I wrote this post. On Friday April 13, at about 7:30 pm I discovered this letter slipped through my mailbox by a bailiff. I immediately called the lawyer who wrote it and left a message. On Monday April 16th, at about 11pm at night, since I had not heard from Me. Carmichael I posted the mise-en-demure.

Sure as shootin' I heard from Me. Carmichael on Tuesday morning. He asked me to change the post from November. I modified it according to Me. Louis Fredericq Charmichael's suggestions and emailed him to make sure that it met with his approval. Since I didn't hear anything, I figured it was done as dinner.

On Friday April 20th, at about 4:50 pm I got this latest letter delivered by a bailiff. Obviously I was wrong.

Now it has officially become ridiculous.

Goreputer... The Film

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Quoting liberally from the cover blurb:
Goreputer is a project that recreates lost footage of a performance at Zeke's Gallery in Montreal on Halloween 2005 that dealt with the fallibility of computers and our need to re-humanize technology. A miniature version of Zeke's Gallery, where the performance took place, was constructed with the help of four of the performers and spectators to re-enact the event from Eric Bond's memory. Through his imagination, the physical evidence that was temporarily lost was found.
If you would like to view it elsewhere, it is available on iFilm, Google Video, YouTube, Blip.tv, MySpace and Vimeo. And there is a high quality version available at Archive.org.


More contemporary African (or is it Bangladeshi?) art in Canada

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A fun article from the Standard about Rakeeb Hassan's exhibit at the Alliance française de Nairobi.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Chris Dorland, Canadian Artist, gives great quote

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In the most recent issue of NY Arts magazine there is a fabulous interview With Painter Chris Dorland done by Leah Oates. In it she asks him; "How do you think the Canadian art scene compares to the New York art scene?" and he replies; "...I couldn’t tell you the first thing about the Canadian art scene." I almost peed in my pants and fell off my chair laughing when I read that! Good on ya! Mr. Dorland. If you'd like to see what or how Mr. Dorland paints, try this, this, this, or this [I get a big kick out of being able to link to Modern Art Obsession!].

You could have had a bargain five months ago

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Beyond helping Creative Works Studio, Judy Scolnik also works at the Heffel auction house in Toronto. I was reading this article in the Vancouver Sun hyping their upcoming action (and it does sound cool!) and I happened to come across this painting by Paul-Émile Borduas.

Estimated to sell for between $30,000 and $40,000 (not including buyer's premium or taxes) last November it had been put up for sale by the Artothèque, here in Montreal. Back then the starting bid was $25,000, there was no buyer's premium, although you can't escape the taxes. As the provenance details do not list another owner after the Artothèque, my guess is that it didn't sell back then, but will likely sell in May.

Want a job? Galerie d'art Le Bourget is hiring

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I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the roster of Galerie d'art Le Bourget, before you send off your CV. If you get the job, please be sure and let me know.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Stuff Seen - Clip/Stamp/Fold 2

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C-

This exhibit and this exhibit have about as much in common as Zeke's Gallery and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Earlier this year, I read this review of the show, or the version of the show that had exhibited in new York. In it Nicolai Ouroussoff wrote "Part of the magic of this show... is in the works' crude immediacy. One side of the gallery is wallpapered in hundreds of colorful magazine covers." In the version in Montreal, they decided that they should make wallpaper instead. Which leaves "the opposite wall a more detailed timeline maps out the evolution of the culture of architectural magazines." Or more succinctly this.

Which as you can imagine is perused in a way more comfortable manner, on a computer screen (or in a book) than it is in a small, brightly lit white cube of a room with three or four tinny speakers screeching stuff that I assume is significant and important, but in fact is rendered worthless because it is impossible to hear anything over the din created by the other speakers.

The thing that passes for a pamphlet (I wasn't able to find a catalogue if a catalogue had been made) had been dumped in a pile on the floor in the hallway before you, almost as if they had been left for the night cleaners to pick up once the place closed.

As Mr. Ouroussoff wrote in his review "all of this would be less interesting today if the magazines weren't simply so alluring: you immediately want to pick them up and leaf through them, reveling in their graphics and textures." So how did the CCA ruin the show, they removed the very thing that made it so darn alluring. And it ain't like they don't have them - in their library/archives/whatever they have where they ask you to wear white gloves they have every darn copy of every darn magazine mentioned in the show.

For Clip/Stamp/Fold 3 what they should do is put up a Plexiglas wall in front of the entrance to the CCA's library it would serve exactly the same purpose; inform the public that they have cool things, but let the public know at the same time that there is no way they will be able to access them in any meaningful way.

Creative Art Gems Slent Art Auction, June 7

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I got an email from Judy Scolnik about Creative Art Gems, a program/organization that she feels very strongly about.

I don't know much about them, but she asked me nice enough like, so I figure it can't hurt. Basically according to this article; it is an art therapy program that "develops artistic expression in people."

It sounds pretty cool, and in order to raise money for the program, they are holding an art auction on June 7. $100 gets you in the door. And while I don't like the fact that they have separated things out into "professional artists," "celebrity personalities," and "members of the Creative Works Studio." Or the fact that the members' paintings are valued less than those of the celebrities - but I'm certain that their hearts are in the right place. If all the work of the "professional artists" just sells for their minimums, they will raise over $60,000. I hope that their goal is more like $120,000 to $150,000.

But whatever it is, I wish them the best of luck. And for those of you who aren't in Toronto, can I also point out these two Montreal organizations: Les Impatients, and Art for Healing.

Friday, April 20, 2007

New Gallery Alert

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Run by André Armand Masson it is in the Regroupement des Professionnels pour la Santé du Sein and the current show is by Nadine Bariteau. Unfortunately, it is only open by apointment. But if you are interested it is located here.

Since when did the Renaissance become "pre-modern?"

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It appears that Hugh Bulmer of Maynards got a tad excited abuot his recent auction. Everybody knows that Valentin Bousch was a Renaissance Artist. I would also venture a guess that while the Bousch stained glass was kick-ass and exquisite, that there is a bunch of other pre-modernist stained glass here in Canada that is as important if not more so.

Details about the Fine Arts department at Concordia

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About two weeks ago Dean Catherine Wild gave a presentation to the Concordia Board of Governors. I found some of it extremely interesting. Apparently people in the Fine Arts department can write a mean grant application, they had a 45% success rate in the SSHRC research/ creation competition. I'm not certain which I find more disturbing - that more than half of the ideas people come up with in the department are shot down, or that the Fine Arts has become so bureaucratic that applying for grants is considered the norm. And if grants are the norm, then I would like to see them copy the next step from the sciences and get things peer reviewed and published.

Let's take Cheryl Kolak-Dudek as an example, as far as I can tell she has had two articles published and I can't find any record online of exhibitions she has had in this century. She is "an Associate Professor of Print Media in the Studio Arts Department." Now for comparison Dr. Grant Brown, an associate professor in the department of biology at Concordia has had 74 articles published. Since he is a biologist, I don't think exhibiting is required, but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that he has given presentations at public conferences, and his articles have been published in books as well - both of which would strike me as being similar.

Then, Dean Wild mentioned that "Fine Arts provides annual average funding of $1,800 per graduate student, while Queen’s, for example, guarantees eligible PhD students $18,000 (minimum) per year." Which I find astonishing since Queen's University does not have any Graduate Students in Fine Arts. How do I get some of that $18,000?

And finally in the article there is this sentence; "FOFA will need to hire about 65 new faculty members over the next 10 years..." Then a little bit further down there is this sentence "On the financial front, the faculty worked to eliminate its projected deficit for 2006/07 by cutting all operating budgets by five per cent, raising undergraduate class capacity by 10 per cent, severely limiting capital expenditures and putting hiring on hold." [emphasis mine] Which is it? Do they need to hire staff? Or do they need to not hire staff?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Henri Barras makes it into the Journal de Montreal

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Way before my time, and hugely influential M. Barras gave an interview to the largest French newspaper in town (which normally doesn't cover art all that much). And then much to my surprise, not only does he have a website, but he also has an art blog as well!

And here I thought I was just going to quote some of his better lines! Now I discover that I gotta read a whole lot more...

Germaine Koh making it big in Cleveland

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She will be participating in Ingenuity 2007, "Cleveland's Festival of Art and Technology." Oooh! From what it sounds like she will be writing something like a traditional blog, but posting it using a slightly older technology.

I still want to know where Catriona Millar exhibited.

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Back in October I asked a rhetorical question, because Catriona Millar was touting that she was going to be having an exhibition here in Montreal. I found it weird. Well apparently has already had the exhibition, although I can't find a record of it on her website, or her alternate site, or in any of the usual places where I would look to find about an exhibit here in Montreal.

Wicked Cool!! Contemporary African Art in Toronto

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Follow me on this one, please. The Daily Monitor is a Ugandan newspaper. They published an article about an OCAD alumnus named David Kibuuka who now lives in Toronto.

Stéphane Baillargeon 0 for 2

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The ADQ named its shadow cabinet (or in French and way cooler - « cabinet fantôme ») and François Benjamin is responsible for Culture and Communication. M. Baillargeon was closer this time, in his guesses he suggested that François Desrochers might get the gig, so he at least got the first name right.

Jay Heuman & Graham Peacock making it big in Salt Lake City

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I saw this article and was very pleasantly surprised to find out that the Curator of the Salt Lake ART Center, Mr. Heuman, is a Canadian. And that one of the artists that he is exhibiting in Mormon country is from Edmonton as well.

Good News

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Assuming the deal gets ratified, it appears that there will not be a strike at the National Gallery at least until 2010.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Stéphane Baillargeon gets it wrong

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Back on the 28th of March, Stéphane Baillargeon guessed (or maybe grabbed at straws, or read tea leaves) as to who was going to be the new minister of culture. Well, it ain't either of the two people he mentioned - the new minister of culture here in Quebec is Christine St-Pierre. Now I'm waiting to see who gets named to the shadow cabinet.

Let's do it again, there's a new Canadian Art Interview by Richard Rhodes on Odeo. This time with Ian Carr-Harris

Ben Doller gives good quote

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"It's enshrined almost in a tabernacle-style frame, so it's more than just a painting — it's a whole object."

I, for one, am extremely happy to know that Sotheby's doesn't sell any half-objects.

New Museum on Friday?

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Buried at the bottom of this article: Public Works Minister Michael "Fortier said he and Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon may have more substantial announcements to make when they address the Montreal Chamber of Commerce on Friday. [Bernard] Roy said that could include an announcement about the future of Silo No. 5, a century-old former grain elevator."

My guess is that it is back to the drawing board. My reasons? Liza Frulla, president of the fondation du Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal has lots and lots of ties to the Liberal party of Canada, the new administration of the port is solidly and thoroughly Tory.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mentos and art

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I've previously mentioned the Mentos ad campaign now it is getting The Hard Sell. Basically, Globe & Mail reporter Keith McArthur's blog that rates advertising campaigns.

Don't do it, Terry. Just say no.

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In this article Saskatoon city councilor Glen Penner is quouted as saying the Mendel Art Gallery is "Just like any other civic service -- such as the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo or rides at Kinsmen Park."

He is either wrong, or blind.

Sorta like me saying the honorable Mr. Penner must be a singer, since he shares the same last name with Fred Penner. If you would like to voice your opinion on wether the Mendel Art Gallery should charge admission, please click on this link to email Mr. Terry Graff, the director of the Mendel.

Alastair MacKay of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery needs to bone up on his geography

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According to this press release Alastair MacKay of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery thinks that Regina, Saskatchewan is on the West Coast of Canada.

Dear PM was first!

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I'm slow when it comes to things that are not art related. So I almost missed Yann Martel's web initiative designed to provoke the Prime Minister into doing something about reading. But, it is quite similar in function to what Chris Lloyd has been doing since January 2001. I will sit back and wait to see if Mr. Martel's actions cause anything to happen.

Monday, April 16, 2007

More Art and Crime stories

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First Page


Second Page


Third Page

Over the weekend I apparently got a visit by a bailiff. It appears that XXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX doesn't like this here blog. Specifically, this post from November.

It also appears that M. XXXXXXX needs to learn the difference between the subject of a sentence and the object of a sentence. I very frequently have the same problem in French. However, in English (and especially if you click on the links in the post) it is obvious that Mr. Martorana was the catalyst for all the arrests and investigating. Personally, I like how M. XXXXXXX doesn't complain about me writing that he tried to sell some fake paintings to Loto-Quebec.

Then don't even get me started about what I think about his gallery.

[update April 17: I got a phone call from Me. Carmichael. He suggested a change to the original post, I said 'ok.' And while it might have been fun to go to court, we won't.]

[update April 23: There is a second cease and desist letter.]

[update May 29: This post has been redacted by court order.]

The launch of Crystal Balls & Birth Canals

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Last night there was a launch of the With Words press book called Crystal Balls and Birth Canals here. In total there were 15 readers (yes that's a lot!)

Now that Zeke's Gallery has a new and improved IT infrastructure (read: a two year old computer instead of a seven year old computer) it is way easier to go back to old habits of uploading the events that happen here on a timely basis. However due to the changes to the new and improved IT infrastructure it is difficult to post pictures of the event (read: I no longer have a floppy disk drive, and am not looking forward to installing one) and instead of individual readers, you're gonna have to listen to all the authors in one big fell swoop - like if you were here.

Part One [32.0 MB, 28:50 minutes] featured readings by Sarah Bernard, Sarah Bernstein, Katrina Best, Joel Brown, Adele Connolly, and Colby Gaude. Click on the link if you would like to download and listen to the MP3, or flac, ogg vorbis, stream.

Part Two [55.1 MB, 35:54 minutes] featured readings by Erica Glaser, Beatriz Herrera, Laurie-Anne Jean-Baptiste, Caitlin Jones, Kasia Juno, and Kat Pobjoy. Click on the link if you would like to download and listen to the MP3, or flac, ogg vorbis, stream.

Part Three [44.8 MB, 27:46 minutes] featured Julie McIsaac, Alex Roodman, Kevin Sexton, Keith Waterfield and Julia Wing. Click on the link if you would like to download and listen to the MP3, or flac, ogg vorbis, stream.

I will try to post pictures later.

In the meantime, I'd like to thank Ann Ward, and Sasha Manoli of With Words Press and Mikhail Iossel for making it all possible. And by all means go and buy all of the books from With Words Press they are pretty and wonderful.

carolgigliotti/new media ethics

Vancouver gets all reactionary on Huang Yong Ping

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In case you missed it over the weekend, the Vancouver Art Gallery acquiesced to the local SPCA, and removed all the insects from a piece of art by Huang Yong Ping (Globe & Mail, CBC). While I find it extremely troubling, what I find most interesting is how it makes Vancouver seem way more conservative than Minneapolis, and Massachusetts where the show has already been, and while they both might be blue states in general I always think that the anything in the United States is more conservative than anything here in Canada. Obviously I'm wrong.

Montréal, métropole culturelle «bien modeste»

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According to this article the city is taking it's sweet time in implementing a cultural plan. The quote I like best is «On est beaucoup en train de planifier et on n'est pas encore en train de faire quelque chose». Or for the blokes in the house: we still have lots of planning to do, and we aren't quite ready to jump into action, just yet. This is 18 months after the cultural plan was written and presented to the public.

Why don't they just give up the ghost, and try and write and implement a housing and social justice plan for Montreal? Or an education plan, or a sustainable development plan? That way when they failed there would be a much larger outcry and people could be held responsible.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

More Art and Organized Crime

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I always get a kick out of things like this. Serge Charron who is in jail for dealing drugs, is also a Sculptor.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Canada Council is not a very responsible organization

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If I used a picture of someone riding a scooter while wearing a bicycle helmet, I probably would have been sued. Good thing they are the government.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Fundraising

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I just got a bill for fixing the door here that I wasn't planning on getting. I feel badly asking for help - but, I'm asking for help in getting it paid. Any amount will be wonderful, and thank you very much in advance. The reason why it is important is that if I pay the door bill, then rent can't get paid.

Rent needs to get paid.

"The Bach Variations" at the Craig Scott Gallery getting good press

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I missed this article the first time around (probably because it did not make it into the art section of the website), it explains the whos, the whats, the wheres, the whens and the hows about the advertisement on your left for the Craig Scott Gallery's latest exhibit.

Unlike the article by Mr. Goddard that I did read (and did not like) from last weekend, this one is informative and entertaining.

May I also remind you that if you are reading this in Toronto, the Craig Scott Gallery is located right here, and if you do visit, please tell him I say 'hi."

If you are not in Toronto, might I suggest that you click on the link to the Craig Scott Gallery and look at the pictures of what you're missing.

Nominations are open for the Prix annuels Desjardins

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And new this year there is one for Cultural Services. Anyone want to nominate Zeke's Gallery?

Lenny Piroth Robert's Guitars

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Saw this article and this picture about this Montreal artist. I wonder if he paints the cigar boxes...

Weird Art Prize

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Since I've been discussing art prizes lately, this one caught my eye. Somehow the Canadian International Development Research Centre decided that they should award about $5,000 to Filipino artists who 'compose digital art pieces that depict the impact of Information and Communication Technologies on the lives of the Filipino people.' I'd love to know how many entries they get. More details here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Do you make BIG ART?

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Then follow the instructions in the picture. If you want to know how good you have to be, check out my review of Phil Allard's show. If you win, make sure that you let me know, ok?

Art prizes going wild!

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In case you missed it Giverny Capital is getting into the art prize game. $10,000 every other year. Who are they trying to kid? It still ain't gonna do diddly for the arts in Quebec. However, I do hope that the jury members are paid. Because they did get themselves a relatively well known jury.

Interesting choices by the RBC Canadian Painting Competition

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With a little aplomb, the RBC named the jury for the ninth Canadian Painting Competition. In short:
Paul Butler, Artist and Gallerist, Winnipeg.
Peter Dykhuis, Artist and Director of the Anna Leonowens Gallery at NSCAD University, Halifax.
John Hartman, Artist, Penetanguishene, Ontario.
Ron Moppett, Artist, Calgary.
Michèle Thériault, Director, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University.
Pierre-François Ouellette, Director and owner, Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain.
Ben Portis, Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
Mary Sue Rankin, Director, Edward Day Gallery, Toronto.
Reid Shier, Director/Curator, Presentation House, Vancouver.
Some comments of the top of my head.
a) Dil Hildebrand, last year's winner is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette, who also hosted a collage party by Paul Butler last year.
b) As it is a painting competition, I'm very surprised at at the quantity of people who do not regularly deal with painting who are on the jury. By my count, six of the nine show or do contemporary art that does not use such a traditional medium as paint.
c) As there are two jury members from Montreal, I'm also surprised that the closest the exhibition is coming is Moncton, NB.
d) I don't know if it is a choice, but I find it interesting that the RBC chooses to do their exhibits in new venues every year. Why do they not return to MOCCA, or MACM or any of the other museums that they have previously exhibited in?
e) Buried at the bottom is this line; "Along with past winners, the winning paintings of 2007 will become part of RBC's Canadian art collection..." And judging by the rules you win the prize and you have to give them the painting for free. This is not good.
f) Rule change notice: it is no longer age driven. You only must have had your first exhibit within the past five years. This is a very good thing.
g) More on the rules, I would love to know how they define "reputable media."

It will be interesting to see if the RBC painting competition makes it to their tenth anniversary. If you wnat to enter this year, click here, before May 4th.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

How much did this cost?

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A classic case of not doing any research before leaping in. I just got an email informing me of the launch of something called Canadian Art News. Somehow they decided that Arts News Canada, Akimbo, the RCAAQ, the Canadian Information Heritage Network, and this map weren't doing diddly, and Canadian artists needed yet another incomplete website to waste time viewing.

If you want to go global... there's

Inform, The Art Newspaper, ARTINFO, Bloomberg.com, Artfacts.Net, Arts News Around the World, Museum Articles, Blogs and Headlines, Your Gallery - Blog On News, Views, Diaries, Photo-Journals, ART POST, artnet Magazine, http://www.cafad.com/jobsinword.htm, ART LTD, The Believer, Artclair, Artclair, CONTENTS, Henri Art Magazine, AVR, ARTnews, Paris Art Contemporain, Global Museum, and another gazilion and a half that I don't know about, that obviously are not doing the trick.

And if you want calls, try these on for size:
http://artdeadlineslist.com/, http://lists.artengine.ca/mailman/listinfo/sharemtl, http://lists.artengine.ca/mailman/listinfo/pdmtl, http://www.instantcoffee.org, http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/artfound-list, http://www.finalchapter.com/museum-l-faq/, http://lists.c3.hu/mailman/listinfo/artinfo, http://atcalls.cont3xt.net, http://www.artservis.org/english/okroznica.asp, http://www.artfact.com/ and another gazilion of those as as well.

On a postive note, I'd be more than happy to help François-Marc Gagnon of The Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art turn Canadian Art News into something that truly rocks if he (or whomever is responsible) asks me.

So this is how it feels on the receiving end?

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Back on April 1, Paul Werner spoke here at the gallery. While he was in town he also was interviewed on CKUT (fast forward to 33:20) and he also wrote about his trip here in Montreal. My first reaction was to say "Sufferin' Succotash!!" I then realized, that like always, Prof. Werrner cuts extremely close to the bone. I will say that I agree with some of what he writes ("This made his artworks oddly predictable and predictably dull.") and disagreed with some of what he writes ("Apparently the PQ was more interesting as a counterweight to neo-liberalism, federal dominance and English-only speakers than it was for whatever it was for. Like speaking French.") but found all of it extremely entertaining.

And now that the gallery has it new-ish computer, the recording of the talk will make it up onto the internet sooner rather than later. Then, finally, if you want a copy of prof. Werner's book click on either of these:

or

Or you can swing by the gallery where I have copies of the French version; «Musée et cie : Globalisation de la culture» as well.

More on the prices for Jeff Wall's work

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On Saturday I made fun of Peter Goddard, partly becasue he was trying to write about buying art - when he missed the prices of Jeff Wall photographs by a factor of ten. Well, it appears that Mr. Goddard was right - if it was still 1995. In today's Telegraph there is an article that mentions in passing how the Tate bought a Jeff Wall photograph for £103,000, 12 years ago.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Terri Muir Master egg artist

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Last Saturday there was a cool article in the Globe and Mail about the art that Terri Muir makes (pictures: One, Two and Three). I wish her luck in becoming a Grand Master (if she in fact is try for that).

Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean has got an Art Blog on!!

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Hey! Hey it ain't the Monkees. And hey, hey, hey - ain't ain't Fat Albert, but it is wicked freakin' cool! I'm not quite certain how Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean's art video blog slipped under my radar, but now that I know where it is, I am not going to let it go.

It also appears that she has taken a very particular interest in the arts. According to this article by Julie Smyth, Her Excellency has made some significant changes to what normally has hung on the walls. New this year; William Kurelek, Wanda Koop, David Thauberger, Charles Pachter, Paul Emile Borduas, and a bunch of paintings by Jean Paul Lemieux.

Greg Colbert makes it to Malaysia

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And there is a very nice, in depth article about his travelling exhibition Ashes and Snow along with a sidebar article on Mr. Colbert's background.

Congrats all around to Michel Rabagliati, Munuera & Morvan, and Pascal Rabaté

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I'm a little slow to the party, but last week Promo 9e Art gave them all a prix Bédélys. Or for the blokes in the house, a fairly significant prize for French comic artists.

Michel Rabagliati won it for Paul à la pêche.
Morvan & Munuera won it for Spirou et Fantasio à Tokyo.
And Pascal Rabaté won it for Les petits ruisseaux.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Peter Goddard should know better

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In today's Toronto Star he writes an advertisement that I think masquerades as an article about buying art. If you are interested in starting an art collection far better to read The Intrepid Art Collector by my friend and art blogger Lisa Hunter.
Some of the mistakes Mr. Goddard makes:
  1. Implying that if you buy a painting by Kim Dorland its value will increase four-fold. In order for it to increase in value you must be able to sell it. Instead of knowing the price Jamie Angell is selling Mr. Dorlands paintings for, I'd much rather know how much Mr. Angell is buying them for. Then you'd be able to know if they have increased in value.
  2. Implying that there are only three neighborhoods where you can buy art (and they all happen to be in Toronto, too!)
  3. Stating that there are not too many galleries that will take work back in trade. If the gallery that represents an artist isn't going to keep an artist's price afloat, who will? There is a reason why you can get used furniture cheap. It should not be that way with art - but it appears that it is in Toronto.
  4. If in one sentence Mr. Goddard writes "It's a terrific place to see an enormous range of what's available and what it will cost, with a range from around $200 to 10 times that – or more." It is not a good idea for him to write two sentences later, "Expect to part with from $1,000 to $2,000 to start a collection." And one sentence later quote Mr. Angell saying "You can get in the market for as low as $400, especially in the Queen St. area." Is it $200? Or is it $400? or is it $1,000? And wouldn't it be a good idea to mention if he were talking about paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints or something else? And what size?
  5. Writing that Jeff Wall's work is going for more than $250,000, while technically correct, shows how far this article by Mr. Goddard is from reality. In the New York Times Magazine, Arthur Lubow wrote "(As for his own prices: While a large Wall photograph infrequently appears at auction, his dealer’s price — and remember, a gallery generally charges much less than an auction resale brings — is about a million dollars. The typical buyer is a museum or a major private collector.)"
And there are more, many more. (Ann Webb is not only a collector of videos, but also Reel Artists film festival organizer and acting executive director of the Canadian Art Foundation, which is the organization that publishes Canadian Art Magazine, which Mr. Goddard touted a little higher up in the advertisement that I think masquerades as an article.

Anyone who writes a line that reads: "Guaranteed, it'll be cutting edge again sometime soon." Sounds like they are a telemarketing huckster who would be better off working at Galerie Concorde. As I said at the top, go buy The Intrepid Art Collector by my friend and art blogger Lisa Hunter. (Besides if you click on the links here, and then actually buy it, Zeke's Gallery gets 4% of the price as a gift certificate good at Amazon.com!!)

or

And just for the record, I normally like what Mr. Goddard writes, but this article just doesn't cut it for me at all.

Friday, April 06, 2007

If you go see the Fernando Botero exhibit in Quebec City...

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I've written previously about L'univers baroque de Fernando Botero that is currently up in Quebec City for about another two weeks, and I personally wish it had been this exhibit instead. But since it isn't, I almost forgot about this interview done with Mr. Botero late last year.

In New Haven, Art Almost Everywhere You Look - New York Times

Are we still at the beginning of 2007? Or are we more in the middle now?

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According to the website for the exhibit Beyond Narcissus which showed in Long Island City last year, it was (is) suppossed to be showing here "at the DHC/Art in the beginning of 2007."

Are they late? Or am I jumping the gun?

Clarence Tillenius may I introduce you to Sarah Anne Johnson?

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I just discovered that Clarence Tillenius' Dioramas have been moved from Winnipeg to Ottawa. I can't help but wonder if Sarah Anne Johnson saw them when she was a child, and was particularly taken with them, as it is not a far leap to imagine Mr. Tillenius being an influence on Ms. Johnson.

Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal in full on fundraising mode

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On the 12th of April it'll cost you $1,000 to get in the door. However, on the 13th it'll cost you only $100 to get in the door - and you get to hang with Ben Mulroney and Alexandre Trudeau (personally I think they should have gotten Catherine Clark to be on the committee, same basic qualifications as Mr.s Mulroney and Trudeau, except Ms. Clark comes with an Art History degree).

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Contemporary Art in Montreal

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Google Maps has just made it so simple to modify their maps that even I could do it. So I did. I've created a map of all the Contemporary Art spaces in Montreal. I will be adding to it regularly (I hope). If you would like to add to it as well, and make it even more complete than it would be if I worked on it, email me and I will send you the fancy link.

"...using 18th-century English case furniture to hedge double-A corporate bonds..." or more on art as commodity

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I most definitely got a big kick out of reading that line from this article by Alix Nyberg Stuart from CFO Magazine

A place for Quebecois artists to exhibit in Vancouver

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I came across an article about Ani Müller, which pointed out that her exhibit in Vancouver, at the Centre culturel Francophone de Vancouver was closing tomorrow. And while I'm fairly certain it did not set any records or shock anyone, once again it showed that there are a gazillion and a half places to exhibit here in Canada.

I betcha that there are Centre culturel Francophones in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, a bunch in Ontario, New Brunswick, and maybe even Nova Scotia.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Guido Molinari on YouTube

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I was bored. I discovered that someone had come here looking for Mr. Molinari on YouTube.



I figured I could make it easier for them...

Shane Schick says that the Canada Council will save $21.65 per application

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15,000 grant applications divided by $324,700 saved equals $21.65 saved per grant application. According to this article in IT Business. The company that is going to be profiting from the savings, is called EMC, and the program that they are going to be using is called Documentum. A couple of questions of the top of my head, isn't there a Canadian Company that does something similar? And if they are now 'partnering' with the Canada Council for the Arts, is there any chance that they will also sponsor some arts (or culture) events instead of racing?

Interesting Career Path for Heavyweight

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Step one in 2000: Exhibit at the Saidye Bronfman Centre.
Step two in 2001: Cover of Juxtapoz Magazine.
Step ?? in 2007: Punching chewing gum out of blister packs in the metro for Mentos. (At least it is raining, and the weather is ugly.)

[update April 19: I used to have an illustration from Heavyweight in this post, but got asked to take it down, so I did. Then to clarify some things; while I was referring to Mr. Buller's work - I was using it to point out how bad I thought the Mento's campaign was. If you read this post, you will see that I am not alone in my thoughts on the campaign. I found it unfortunate that Mr. Buller would choose to help them out. I would have much preferred that Mr. Buller had been given 100% artistic freedom to create what he wanted, with whatever materials he wanted by Mentos, and as the piece he made for them was roughly ten times the size of what I've seen Heavyweight do on canvas, that he got paid at least ten times the amount of money that a 5' by 5' canvas would cost. If it is the case that Mr. Buller got paid as much as I think his art is worth, and that he was given 100% artistic freedom, then I apologize to him, Heavyweight and anyone else who might have taken offense at what I wrote.]

Canadian Artist, Jessica Pezalla making it in San Francisco

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She is currently taking part in a two person exhibit at Mark Wolfe Contemporary Art. If you scroll down, way down, here, you can read where Debra Koppman writes
Pezalla employs easily available materials, including papier-mâché, felt, wire, epoxy clay and rocks to build sculptures and installations that unfold over time. Building what she describes as “waterless human-scale aquariums,” Pezalla uses obviously artificial materials to create a parallel universe, resembling but not imitating natural ecosystems. Filled with repeating open organic forms, the “sea life” presented has clearly emerged as much from imagination as from observation. Some of the pieces walk across the floor, others are attached to the walls, others hang down into the space. Some have color, but more of the structures are white, whether made of paper, felt, or epoxy-coated wire. In addition to suggesting sea-life in a quirky kind of way, they also reference other living and not-living things. Crab Nebula, for example, brings to mind wheels piled up on top of wheels, just waiting to move on, as it does its namesake.
If you're in the San Francisco area, the vernissage is tomorrow night. If you go, please let me know what it is like. Thanks

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Stuff Seen - Jason E. Lewis

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B-

Once again, I'm playing catch up, as this show happened way back at the beginning of the year. I thought briefly about giving it a C+, but decided against it, as most of what would have caused me to downgrade it, is that both shows I've seen at Oboro this year have had numerous broken pieces of art in them. Although as this was the first one, and I did not know that I would see more broken art in the future, I don't feel that I can change things after the fact.

But as any museum worth its salt would promptly remove any painting that had been damaged from view in order to repair it - I can not se ehow Oboro allows broken art to be displayed. It does not do anyone or anything any good. Intralocutor was the piece that was busted.

So we're back to where we started. Five pieces of work by Professor Lewis (full disclosure, I can vaguely remember one night five or six years ago when he came over here and we drank an awful lot of beer and had a great time - I figure because of this he is not a stranger, but as it was a while ago, we ain't best friends either). When I read the line, "Jason E. Lewis collects together a series of text-based interactive works that explore the border lands between conflicting cultural identities, memory and history, and the visual and the textual." I almost gagged. I think it translates into something appraoching this: Prof. Lewis has made a five pieces of art that use words in ways that you don't expect. They require you, the viewer, to do something in order to make them work. Because it is the thing to do these days, we'd like to point out how Prof. Lewis' culture is not likely to be your culture so there might be some difficulties in understanding some of the work. Then as this is art, and some people expect it to look pretty, you might be surprised as well when you find it isn't.

Going through them one at a time: Text Organ was a pretty piece of technological switching. Using a keyboard as a typewriter sort of object. Unfortunately one of the things about a keyboard (and an organ) is the ability to play chords. Text Organ did not take this into account. Then if I am going to look at an instrument in a gallery context, say like at Wilder and Davis, they are presented in such a manner as to be gazed upon politely. If someone wants me to play the instrument, it is not presented in the same manner as well, and normally a teacher is present as well. Suffice it to say there was no teacher present - and as a consequence I noodled around with it, sort of in the same way I would noodle around with a fancy pen to see what color the ink was, and how it felt in my hand. Or more bluntly, so what's the point? It was not evident at all.

Nine ("a screen-based interactive in the form of a nine-tile puzzle. One tile space is empty; the viewer/user has to rearrange the remaining tiles to compose a picture. As the viewer/user grabs one of the eight tiles to move it, the image on its face fades into another image, and yet another, and on and on in a continuous loop.") was cool for about five minutes. I succeeded in getting the pieces all on the same image and then felt like I had accomplished something. The image itself wasn't particularly memorable.

What they Speak When They Speak to Me, ok touch screens are fun, for 30 seconds.

And now that I think about it, I think Cityspeak was broken as well. Or maybe I was just dense, as I couldn't figure out how to send a text message, and I was cellphone-less.

Which leaves me with the only piece that was fun. Intralocutor, despite being busted was cool. If you would like to do something similar, SimulScribe and SpinVox are available. But with the addition of the cameras I definitely got a more gangster rap sort of feel.

The Zeke's Gallery Blog; an explanation

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Prompted by S. Lane Faison's guide for aspiring art critics, I thought it might be cool to explain the whys and the how comes here.
On the Zeke's Gallery blog, I attempt to see and write about as much Contemporary Canadian Art as possible. Good, bad or indifferent. I will give my opinion on and about the art without worrying if I step on any toes, or upset any applecarts. I will also point out anything that I discover written about Contemporary Canadian Art that is available to all on the internet.

Shelley Miller in New York

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I just found out that Ms. Miller is in a show called Sugar Buzz at the Lehman College Art Gallery in the Bronx. Pictures here.

Silos and Museums what's up?

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In yesterday's Toronto Star, they describe the new museum that they want to build in Toronto, as Martin Knelman writes, "adjacent to the giant Canada Malting Company silos." Here in Montreal, the Musée d'art contemporain wants to transform Silo No. 5 into part of their museum. Last October Mario Cloutier wrote that it was an idea on life support, although since then, Marc Mayer has told me he is still pushing ahead with it and believes it is an absolute necessity.

I just want to know what the fascination with Silos is all about.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art has got a blog on!

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It is called Amigo Motel, and appears to be updated about once every two weeks.

Hotel Art

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La Presse and the New York Times. The local paper makes mention of the exhibits at the Hotel Nelligan, the Germain, the Queen Elizabeth, the Château Frontenac, and the Auberge Saint Antoine. The out of town paper explains how to do it better.

Cosimo Cavallaro vs. César Sáez

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Cosimo Cavallaro - 169,000 results (0.61 seconds)
César Sáez - 685,000 results (0.39 seconds)
Chocolate Jesus - 5,350,000 results (0.26 seconds)
Geostationary Banana - 89,300 results (0.44 seconds)

I would score it for Mr. Sáez on points, but not by much. Mr. Cavallaro does get a serious boost from Tom Waits.