Thursday, March 23, 2006

Stuff Seen - Graff : 40 ans et pas de poussière



This one I really liked (duh!) for a number of reasons, and on a number of levels. As some might know already, I'm not a big fan of the way the various levels of government fund the arts these days. But this does not mean that I don't like the art, or the exhibitions. This is a perfect example of both sides of the coin.

We had gone over to the Big National Library (I love literal translations!) because they had a bunch of exhibitions that I wanted to see. Now I knew about Galerie Graff, I'd also known about L'affaire Corridart, but I didn't know that Graff & Corridart were sorta like twinned. This is what happens when you don't know your art history and you run smack dab into a didactic exposition.

The stuff they had on display was wicked cool, I recognized a bunch of names, and then sorta got wistful at the idea that their art was (despite the title of the show) gathering dust on the mezzanine of the library. Everybody and their mother has been touting about how gosh darn popular the new and improved library is (given what it used to be, that's not a difficult task). Unfortunately despite the apparent popularity they haven't quite figured out how to incorporate the exhibits into the library in such a way, so that people actually want to look. Notice how many people are in this picture...

I don't know if it could be considered a case of presenting exhibitions that the clientele doesn't give a hoot about, or if it is the other way around. Nonetheless, it took a good dozen people to get this show off the ground, from Madeleine Forcier on down. Which leads me to believe that the budget for this show would be somewhere around $50,000. Now my question would be if nobody at the Big Bibliotheque is looking at the show, is this the best way to have spent the cash in order to publicize and teach people about the kick-ass stuff that Graff has done?

To be honest, I don't know. I'd say it looks better than even money that in 10 years the Musée des Beaux Arts hosts a 50th anniversary show. However, if you truly are trying to teach people, then perhaps mounting a touring exhibit like they did in Nova Scotia and send it off to schools at a cost of $1,500/school might be better. 30 odd schools, 500 to 1,000 students per school, you do the math.

But enough about the bureaucracy of exhibiting art. Seeing stuff from Corridart, the Graff Dinner, Pierre Ayot and others was lots o' fun (if you hadn't figured it out). I got a thrill out of seeing a copy of the judgment for Corridart, and did a double take when I realized that they had snagged the flat-file display idea straight from the Musée d'art contemporain's Borduas room. Make sure that you open all four drawers in both displays.

If anybody goes to see this and then also discovers the Ferron exhibit, can you let me know where it is. We spent 45 minutes wandering around the library, asked four different people (one of them twice) and no one could give us a straight answer as to where it was and how we could get to see it.

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