Saturday, January 28, 2006

Stuff Seen - Andre Martel



Last week I was in Ottawa, besides visting the National Gallery and getting to see 40 Part Motet, I also got to see a bunch of other stuff too.

One of the reasons I like waiting a week before writing about what I saw is that one real easy way to figure out if it was good art, or bad art is to see if I can remember it. I found it quite interesting that today when I went through the papers that I collected from Ottawa, there were about half a dozen business cards, invites, or other promo fluff that had me scratching my head and going, "hmmm? What did I see there?"

But one show that I did remember was Andre Martel's, at the Ottawa School of Art. While I'm not quite certain I agree with him on the choice of title, the stuff he exhibits is wicked cool. As it says in the press release, "sculptural works that are made from aluminum, plexiglass, slate, cast lead, concrete, steel and in some cases steel cables and electric motors." Not all of them move, and some of them look downright dangerous, they have what looks like bits of car engines, those pointy things that surveyors use to make sure that their string is straight, and a bunch of springs, too. In a nutshell pretty darn intimidating.

What I found interesting after the fact was in reading the press folderol, M. Martel writes "The Work is the Great Teacher..." and cites as influences Zen Buddhism, Synergetics, Paganism, Albert Low, Dr. Julien Jaynes and Erich Neumann. It sounds like he should aim to have a show at the Gesu if he ever gets out of Ottawa.

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