Monday, September 25, 2006

Stuff Seen - Mike Hoolbloom



Apparently he is big in Toronto, but that didn't impress me much. Last week we went to go see his show at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery of Concordia University (incidentally, I don't like the new website, it requires too many clicks and doesn't have enough information clearly marked).

They've got five videos for you to stand in front of, for a total of 50 minutes and 29 seconds. All of the videos clearly have a beginning a middle and an end. All of them, unfortunately are looped so that you invariably come in during the middle, and see the end and then see the beginning. As I've said before and will say again, I do not like this in the least bit. The only thing that saves the show from a worse grade is that by showing 'In my car' and 'Rain' back to back, at least one video gets seen the way it was intended.

The other thing that I liked was that it got me thinking about how completely clueless and stupid SODRAC is. They are trying to enforce copyright in the visual arts. Before they do that, I would like them to enforce copyright in the works.

Mr. Hoolbloom's videos are complete and utter in their disregard for Canadian copyright law. For that matter, so is the piece by Tania Kitchell currently at UQAM, and I don't know how many gazillion others pieces of art I've seen that are illegal. Until such time as SODRAC has figured out how to make artists comply with Canadian Copyright law, I do not think they should try an enforce it on consumers. -Rant Off.

That all being said, Mr. Hoolbloom uses way too much text in his pieces, what should be evident with his use of visual and audio means does not need to be rammed down my throat by the text. The text also enforces a break between images that I found very distracting. The three pieces in the column of TVs ('Male walk,' 'Last thoughts,' and 'Tracks') were impossible for me to watch, as they initially and consistently come accross as one three channel video, and there really isn't any connection that I could find between them no matter how hard I tried.

And finally, to elaborate on my crack about the new Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery of Concordia University website, I quite like this page, but why does it have a title as banal and meaningless as 'Ways of Thinking?' And why isn't it in or linked to or from the page about the exhibit itself? And what happens once the exhibit moves, does the page disapear?

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