Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Wicked Park






Below is a location for the record store in the movie High Fidelity. I figured The Cappucino Kid, Ranting Dullard and Asterisk might like to see this one. It's all abandoned in Wicker Park.



When Price Makes Porn of Art

Fantastic quotes from Robert Hughes' just published memoir in this book review by Peter Goddard. Check it out:

ON MONEY: "The stuff I can't stand is that reverential poppycock churned out by people who still believe that the price of a work somehow enhances it as an object. It's just a lie. It removes the work of art from the common frame of understanding and discourse. It makes to into a fetish object. It kills it.

"No ordinary person can look at (the $150 million [Canadian] paid recently for Gustav Klimt's Adele Bloch-Bauer 1 [1907] by cosmetic magnate Ronald Lauder) without loathing (the painting). Obviously, I don't want to go out and attack the Klimt with an axe. But I think it's obscene. Maybe it's the main kind of cultural pornography."

Other Robert Hughes ditties here.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Does Art Live In Syriana?

During the Warhol/Supernova exhibit in Toronto this summer an alternative press published a whistleblower-style blurb about a curator in a major public and private funded gallery in Canada. I became interested in this article because I couldn't find any coverage of the allegations in the Canadian mainstream media. Frank Magazine reported that David Moos told gallery volunteers not to mention a neighbouring exhibit of Warhol to patrons, a move that may breach the mandate of the Art Gallery of Ontario. The mandate of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is to: cultivate and advance the cause of the visual arts in Ontario; offer education and other programs on the origin, development, appreciation and techniques of the visual arts; collect and exhibit art and displays; maintain and operate the gallery and its facilities; and stimulate public interest in the work of the gallery. Usually the Canadian mainstream media may cover art scene activities on it's back pages, a revealing practice on the status of art in Canada, but considering that taxpayers employ staff at the AGO overlooking these allegations inspired me to request an interview with David Moos.

I was very pleased and impressed that David Moos agreed to an interview, which we conducted through two primary e-mails. I sent my set of questions to the Public Relations department at the AGO, and the Public Relations department returned his responses. I have only read through this entire interview once at the time of this post so that I may reflect and consider comments and my own responses with other bloggers. In my initial response to David's responses I found several traditional themes and a few surprises in his responses. Although the traditional role of a curator is to preserve artifacts I was surprised that the artists he referenced did not include underground, alternative or lowbrow artists. And I was surprised he would consider accepting a donation of a Damien Hirst work to the Art Gallery of Ontario. Damien Hirst has killed an animal to restore an art work, not only did Hirst taking the life of an animal for art oppose my personal ethics, Canadian law agrees with me.

I look forward to reflecting on this interview and hope other artists and art lovers find some value in the exchange. I intend to respond further to some ideas in this simple experimental interview in the comments area. I think David Moos was a very good sport to participate because I asked him some unusual questions.

Candy: Thank you for sharing your time by doing an online interview with me David. I am really excited for this opportunity for a view into the life of a curator in Canada. I realize this is a huge dedication of your time from a busy schedule with your work load and family life, and I really really appreciate your sense of adventure to participate with me.

David: I am pleased to have a dialogue with you and try to address your thoughtful questions. Here are some answers or responses to some of your questions.

Candy: I loved the Warhol/Supernova show at the Art Gallery of Ontario this summer. I was lucky enough to see both the Chicago setting and the Toronto setting of this awesome perspective on Warhol's legacy. If I hadn't been invited to the "artist's evening", a regular event at the AGO, I might not have seen the Toronto exhibit. I couldn't afford the $18.00 charge for the show. In Chicago, the exhibit was only $10.00. I can't imagine how many families could afford $40.00 to enjoy this Warhol experience, especially considering it is their tax dollars that pay for the AGO's operation. How much do you think is too much for the public to pay to see a show at the AGO?

David: In terms of the admission price of “Andy Warhol/Supernova,” I think each museum has to reach its own conclusions about the exhibition experiences it is offering. If you are to compare the Chicago presentation with the Toronto version of this exhibition (that was actually conceived by Douglas Fogle at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis), then I think you are comparing two very different exhibition experiences. Only in Toronto do viewers have the David Cronenberg guest-curated experience, and Cronenberg substantially impacted the presentation of the exhibition. A crucial aspect of the AGO exhibition experience is the audio guide, or what we refer to as the “soundtrack” to the exhibition. Viewers are strongly encouraged to take the audio wand and let Cronenberg play exhibition guide because he is so insightful and creative, and because his conversions with other Warhol luminaries brings the material to life in ways not palpable in Chicago or Minneapolis. Also—and this is important not just for the exhibition’s visual complexion, but for Warhol studies in general—Cronenberg (in collaboration with me) developed the notion of screening Warhol films adjacent to the paintings within the exhibition proper. To have painting and film-making sharing the same wall and the same visual space is a breakthrough. Warhol may have done it in 1968 at his Moderna Museet exhibition in Stockholm (what didn’t Warhol do?), but this is the first time in recent years that this dual-medium presentation has occurred, and it has far reaching implications, offering up a new way to comprehend what Warhol was achieving in those staggeringly creative early years of 1962-1964. Also, because Cronenberg wanted to emphasize the darker side of Warhol’s imagination, we expanded the selection of disaster paintings, adding such landmark works as “Red Disaster,” “Foot and Tire,” “1947-White” (the only suicide painting in “Supernova” in any of the three cities), and, perhaps the ultimate car crash painting “White Burning Car.” Coupled with the augmented “Jackie” material and a few other additions, the Toronto exhibition is quite a powerful presentation. Is all that original content worth $18.00? I suppose the audience decides and the success of the exhibition so far is some indication that there is a balanced value for dollar proposition installed in “Supernova.”

Candy: I was in Nashville a year ago looking at art. The Fisk University has a huge collection of art donated by Georgia O'Keefe from her husband's estate. I was in a hotel across the street from another gallery,The Frist, and they couldn't tell me anything about the Fisk University collection. We had to google the topics to find out about the Fisk's Alfred Stieglitz collection. We were dumbfounded and made complaints to the Frist museum. When we tracked down the gallery at Fisk, not only was it an outstanding collection, their gallery had literature about the city's art scene including the Frist. The lack of cross promotion of an art scene was depressing to us and indicated a lack of enthusiasm, pride and professionalism to me in a large operation like the Frist.( I have noticed since our visit The Frist have added links to the Fisk and other galleries on their website. PROPS!) Imagine my surprise to find that a similar stagnant cross promotion was occuring in a public Canadian gallery? There were two Warhol shows in Toronto this summer and it was as if the AGO didn't know the Oakville exhibit existed. Do you think this is the way to lead a progressive contemporary art scene in this country?

David: I agree with you that collaboration is the key to success. We met with the Oakville Gallery staff prior to our Warhol exhibitions opening and brainstormed collaborative possibilities regarding cross-promotion. We included each other’s exhibition material in our press kits and we did a brochure swap so that each institution had information available about the other’s exhibition. We were generally pleased with the joint promotion.
In terms of collaborative ventures, I and my colleagues in the contemporary art department (and I may surmise, across the AGO), are involved in many collaborative projects. For example, this summer I co-curated, along with Kitty Scott of the National Gallery of Canada and Stephane Aquin of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts the exhibition “Sound + Vision: Contemporary Photographic and Video Images in Contemporary Canadian Art,” a major summer exhibition at the MMFA that was on view until October 22nd. The exhibition was drawn from the three museum collections and serves as a context within which the work by emerging Canadian artists can be seen against the contributions of older, iconic Canadians. The MMFA produced a thin publication with a trialogue by the three curators, which I could send to you if you like. This example of a close collaboration is the kind that I favour, as all participants have an equally engaged voice and stake in the project from start to finish.
In recent months I have been in contact with colleagues at other Toronto institutions (such as Kelvin Brown, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Culture at the ROM), in order to propose collaborative projects. The fate of our shared ambitions remains to be seen, but our dialogue is strong. I note a similar level of open communication with the Power Plant (Director Greg Burke serves on my department’s Contemporary Curatorial Committee). Given these examples, I don’t think the Nashville paradigm bears much resemblance to the AGO’s position in the contemporary art community. And, I am not even mentioning the various advisory boards and committees that me and assistant curators Michelle Jacques and Ben Portis have vital engagement with as participants and/or leaders.

Candy: What Canadian curators work do you admire, and for what reasons?

David: Stephane Aquin, Curator of Contemporary Art Montreal Museum of Arts.
Daina Augaitis, Bruce Grenville, and Grant Arnold at the Vancouver Art Gallery
Why?
Solid work: compelling and timely exhibitions accompanied by serious essays in substantial publications

Also, I appreciate Andrew Hunter, a curator who has worked at numerous Canadian institutions, for he is always patrolling the fringe of creative possibility in curating and creating innovative projects.

Can I ask myself an elaborated version of your question…?

Michael Auping, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Gary Garrels, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
Madeleine Grynsztejn, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Candy: What Canadian contemporary art holds your passion and why?

David: So much Canadian art holds my passion for a variety of reasons. I’ll name some artists who I think are producing important work that will continue to shape the discourse around visual culture both within Canada and internationally. Tim Lee from Vancouver is intense, brilliant, witty, profound and his work speaks to the heart of what it means to be Canadian in the early 21st century. Kent Monkman is one of the ultimate painters at work and he has managed to make postmodernism seem once again profound. His perfectly painted new narratives of North American landscape painting recode the world according to an aboriginal point of view. And he accomplishes this on a grand scale that transports the viewer back in time to a space of other possibility. Iris Haussler has created one of the more beguiling environments I have encountered anywhere in the artworld, in an unassuming house on an unassuming street in Toronto. If you have not been to 105 Robinson, I urge you to take the tour and encounter the recently discovered private world of Joseph Wagenbach, which is a truly mind-expanding experience. Her total-environment can certainly be considered in relation to efforts by internationally celebrated artists such as Gregor Schneider or the recently deceased Jason Rhoades. I also especially admire the work of Francoise Sullivan, an artist who in typical Canadian fashion, has created a body of work over the span of a lifetime but has received only modest acclaim. Her multifaceted oeuvre is staggeringly groundbreaking. For example, she pioneered the genre of performance in contemporary art. Her achievement would be more widely celebrated if Canada realized how valuable the work of such artists is in a broad cultural context. Sullivan’s diverse work that commences in the late-1940s deserves to be critically appraised and celebrated. The list of worthy names is enormous, but these four artists offer a glimpse of my thinking today.

Candy: My first art course at university was with Mowry Baden. During the first week of classes he counted us. He said, "Out of the two dozen here today, half at most will still be practicing art in five years. In ten years only three of you will still be practiicng art." I remember laughing and thinking, I'll still be here, and that must be what the cliche "struggling artist " means. Young as I was, I didn't realize that most people who pay for education do not land up in the profession they studied, but art surely seems to have the biggest odds against it. What role do you feel the AGO, and you as a curator, does or should play in the support of unknown and struggling artists?

David: How can the AGO support unknown artists… by being the most accessible and inspirational resource imaginable, and by functioning as a platform to promote their efforts. The AGO aspires to become a place where ideas can be exchanged and creative conversations staged. Generating a discourse and providing a framework within which new ideas and creative ambitions can be nurtured is a crucial ambition of the AGO. And not only should young artists feel embraced and inspired at the AGO—but creative minds from all disciplines should become engaged (designers, illustrators, musicians, ventriloquists, et. .al.)

Candy: A couple things disturbed me while reading an article in Frank magazine. Frank magazine's Loose Lips column said "(Moos) consistent advice to patrons and collectors that buying Canadian art is a bad investment has done little to endear him with our homegrown wards of the Canada Council." How do you reconcile working for a Canadian funded art gallery with this advice?

David: Did I say that Canadian art is a bad investment? No.
Does Canadian art offer opportunistic collectors intent on making money through the acquisition and re-sale of artworks the same kinds of rewards available in international contemporary art? No.

The value and depth of the international art world has geometrically expanded in the last decade. Witness the rise of the art fair as main trading floor of the art market—from Basel, Switzerland to Basel, Miami, from New York’s Armory Show to London’s Frieze. Witness the boom in New York Gallery real estate, where super-galleries such as Gagosian (another additional giant new space opened on Oct. 25 with an Andy Warhol exhibition), David Zwirner (recently opened two new galleries on either side of his existing gallery), Pace Gallery, Matthew Marks, Marian Goodman, et. al. Many of the artists exhibiting in these galleries command prices that can only be sustained through the vast internationalization of the art world. Witness the role that the mega-private collector now plays in setting taste, manifesting curatorial opinions and asserting the value of certain artists. Witness the role that auction houses now play in assessing the value and currency of emerging artists.
Realize that the art world has changed. The stakes are so much higher and most cultured individuals have realized this, as have most cities that are heavily investing in their culture sectors (Toronto being a great example of this consciousness).
The Canadian art market is smaller in scale than international markets. Think of the staggering prices realized by young British artists such as Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili, Sam Taylor-Wood, to pluck three diverse artists from the panoply of expensive young talent. To my knowledge, no Canadian painter commands about $1 million per painting, the way Ofili does. (Peter Doig is the one exception, and his market was made outside Canada).
From the point of view of playing the art market in the manner that one plays a stock market, my advice would be to trade internationally. Is this something I advocate? No. Would the AGO be interested in acquiring (most probably the only way to do so would be through donation) a Chris Ofili painting, or a sculpture by Damien Hirst, or a major work by Sam Taylor-Wood? Yes. And yes, the Doig would be great as well.

Candy: James Surowiecki, in The New Yorker, said " In the end, the more people come to think that art is a good investment, the quicker it will become a bad one." Why is it a good practice for a curator to discuss investment when according to some estimates less than one percent of all art purchased makes a profit in resale?

David: For the curator of a major collecting institution not to be aware of the art market is…simply not possible.

Candy: I am sick of going to galleries and seeing what I call "oneliner art" or "punchline art". Most of the time I feel like I've walked into a bad Vegas lounge act. Ba dum bump. Outside a Chicago public museum right now there is a car coming out of the ground pulling a trailer. Ba dum bump. An artist funded by millions of Pounds dropped a bunch of ping pong balls down a flight of stairs in Britain. Ba dum bump. I can give you many of examples, over twenty or thirty years. I believe that treating art like it's purpose in culture is for investment has partly contributed to this desperate attempt to entertain the few people who go to galleries. To the majority of the public art has become...a joke. Art programs suffer and for regular people they see artists and curators as a waste of money, and worse, time. What do the words ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO mean to you in 2006?

David: I don’t think you will find much “punchline art” in the contemporary program at the AGO. But you may find art that defines the difference between easy art and truly challenging new art. By the way, did you see the Tino Sehgal work installed this past summer at the AGO?

The meaning to me of “Art Gallery of Ontario.”
We Bring Art and People Together and boldly declare Art Matters.

Candy: Which 5 works would you acquire for the AGO if money were no option?

David: The needs and dreams are many, but with the exception of Eva Hesse, I will list painters and stay only in the 50s and 60s:
Any of the following would be fine with me…and all would need to be major works:
Jackson Pollock
Barnett Newman
Clyfford Still
Philip Guston
Joan Mitchell
Cy Twombly
Yves Klein
Yayoi Kusama
Francis Bacon
Lucien Freud
Jasper Johns
Roy Lcihtenstein
Helen Frankenthaler
Edward Ruscha
Eva Hesse
Jean-Michel Basquiat

Candy: What work do you have hanging in your bedroom?

David: John Wesley, “Second Honeymood,” 1993, acrylic on paper, 22 x 30 inches


Candy: What was the last work (painting, sculpture, etc) you purchased, personally?

David: Julianne Swartz, “Periphiscope,” 2003, electric conduit, lens, mirror, wire, plastic, clock, motor, mylar, light
Dimensions variable

Candy: What percentage of your income do you spend on the purchase of works by living Canadian artists?

David: I haven’t bought a work of art since moving to Toronto two and half years ago, because I have been more focused on collecting books. I feel that collecting for myself, while endeavoring to groom and grow the nation’s premier collection of contemporary art, may cloud my judgment and give rise to conflict of interest. I prefer to think 100% AGO collecting thoughts, rather than dabble with my own personal ambitions.

Candy: Are you, personally, an affiliate member of CARFAC?

David: No, not a member.

CAA Only a member in years when I attend the annual meeting in order to present a paper (once about every 3-5 years).

Candy: In a curator's day/ year/ etc. - to whom do you feel most open to criticism by, and why?

David: By the public, whether I respond to an email by an interested museum visitor who is a regular citizen, or I read a review in a local newspaper or magazine. Criticism… I thrive on it.

Candy:
Name 7 living Canadian artists whose work you feel is underappreciated?

David: Iain Baxter& / N.E. Thing Co., Betty Goodwin, Anitra Hamilton, Kent Monkman, Evan Penny, Michael Snow, Fran├žoise Sullivan.

Candy: Name 7 dead Canadian artists whose work you feel is of the best there is in the world?

David: Paul Emil Borduas, Jack Bush, Emily Carr, Greg Curnoe, Gershon Iskowitz, David Milne, Jean-Paul Riopelle.



Candy: I suggest we set up a tent outside the AGO year-round and offer kids who are homeless, often unable to fit into traditional school settings, art lessons. I will find and schedule the artists to give lessons and restaurants that will cater lunches. This will be the third innovative cost savvy dynamic proposal I have made to the AGO in the past year. Would you start an art literacy program with me for street kids?

David: Why that single group in need? Are there other groups of similar need? Do I have to choose among groups? Am I most interested, right at this moment, in new Canadians, people who have literally just stepped off an airplane from a distant land? Would I invest in a program directed toward them first if I had to choose? Is money an issue in your question, or are you just fabulating? What about handicapped children, before street kids? What about children who have grown up in dire poverty before street kids? What about children with terminal diseases… Am I inclined to privilege those who have had no choice, perhaps.

Further References:
Zeke's Gallery.
Frank magazine tradition(Canada's Jon Stewart?).
Shark life for art.
Animal care in film production.
Art Gallery of Ontario funding.
Canadian media magnate and AGO sponsor, Ken Thompson.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Canada's Greatest Artists

More lists. Why not take a few minutes and look at some of Canada's Greatest Artists. A little anticipation to posting an interview with curator of The Art Gallery of Ontario, David Moos, tomorrow.

Top 100 Art Players

I've decided to become a Swiss artist.

There is only one Canadian artist on this list so it's time for me to go Heidi on your booty, world.Guardian Unlimited Arts | Arts news | French tycoon tops art power list. Or maybe I should become a search engine? Just know, every time you drop by to visit and chew the fat with me I'm crawling my way into the art list.

The most surprising inclusion on this list, at number 100, is the search engine Google. Mr Weich insisted it was not a joke. "Many of the curators we speak to have mentioned the potential of [the photo-sharing site] Flickr as a viable exhibition area - that in a few years from now they'll be curating online to millions of viewers.

"And while we quickly concluded that Flickr has a way to go yet, it did make us realise how much we rely on Google for our art information. In a strange way, the number of hits an artist, curator or even a dealer gets can legitimise him in the same way it can anyone else."


And speaking of art...I will be publishing an interview with Canadian curator David Moos tomorrow. Hope you can stop by again, don't be shy!

13 Lists That Intrigue Me:

1) People who gave away the most money to help other people
2) People who helped abandoned pets in urban settings
3) My "to be read" list of books
4) People who did something constuctive to help conserve the wilderness.
5) My "to be viewed" list of movies.
6) My friends and families phone numbers.
7) Percentage of income given away by corporations.
8) Endangered species list.
9) Account of stars and planets
10) List of top books ever. Even if I don't agree with all of them.
11) People's favourite music.
12) Thursday Thirteen lists.
13) Lists of lists.

Sunrise and Sunset, October 28,29,2006.


October 28, 2006, 5:30 p.m.


Visit other sunsets: Asterisk, Shep, Diana, Pickled Olives and Ems. I wrote on my hand so I would remember to take a photo. I was having a pint with Stagg after running errands and ran outside to take this pic. It's 4 a.m. right now, and I'm waiting for the sun to come up. Yawn.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Conspicuous Consumption

The original title for the movie Citizen Kane was AMERICAN.

To this day, many viewers still believe the mysterious word Rosebud, whispered twice in the movie, when Kane dies and when his second wife leaves him, represents an object or a person. Rosebud is actually a time.

To constantly guide the audience to understand the meaning of Rosebud, time is referenced within the story of Charles Foster Kane throughout the movie. So is reality. Characters are seen talking in the reflection of windows, through a glass window, in shadows, in tiny reflective sources and most obviously, through the memories, or reflections, of several characters. The movie begins with a version of a man's life told by an old fashioned media, the news film. A film is a mixture of light,reflection and glass, the celuloid projected through glass onto an opaque backdrop.

Citizen Kane remains a cliche addition on the must see lists of almost every player in Hollywood or film history. It remains a marker of stature because of the technical innovations in narrative, the flashbacks, the unreliable narrators, the camera angles and constant reminders of storytelling devices. It deserves to be re-visited for it's technical acheivements alone. Citizen Kane offers another much more valuable contribution to culture than it's formidable mise en scene. The movie also captivates audiences and critics with it's explorations of power, corruption and vanity.

But the viewer finds themselves caring about this greedy, cold and narcisist man, Charles Foster Kane. Why?

Early in Kane's career we find he has constant battles with authority. His guardian has always tried to control Kane as a child and then as a young man. When his guardian warns a 25 year old Kane that he is going to lose money on his publishing ventures, Kane says, As long as there are "decent hardworking people in this country being robbed blind by money mad pirates who don't have anybody to look after their interests" he will be the one to print the news for them and represent their concerns. Kane's battles with authority begin altrusitc for the underdog until power comntrols Kane and becomes the abuser himself. Both his wives are starved for his attention and love. He betrays his best friend by his corrupt ethics no longer the champion of the working man, but rather a champion only for his own desires and status.

Not only do we begin our quest to find out who is Kane through a newsreel, we follow a journalist who is sent out to discover, what made this man tick, and why did he say the word "Rosebud" on his death bed? The layers and formats for storytelling never cease throughout the movie. Eventually no one but us finds out what Rosebud really is. Something far more powerful and intangible than an object, a history or status.

For thousands of years humans have had economic stature associated with possesions and consumption. Our life depends on what we consume. Conspicuous consumption has manifested within economies in several fashions. In one manner having jewels and fine fabrics and wearing them was a way to frighten or impress our rivals. Jewels came from the deep earth, depended on slaves and gruelling labour to possess them. One's rival would feel how could they possibly compete with such a tribe who could attain mysterious magic light from deep within the earth. Fire and jewels have long been associated with magic.

Another form of conspicuous consumption was practiced by a social leader by giving away such items. A tribe or societies leader who kept the trinkets of power to themselves was looked down upon, their status was maintained instead by doling out food, jewels and animals. (today we see Rosie, Bono, Madonna, Oprah practice this form of conspicuous consumption)

Today conspicuous consumption has quite a different meaning. When someone drives an SUV or van, wears designer logos and clothes and carries a cell phone or drinks expensive lattes and cappucinos, they are not showing their individual status. Most people go into serious credit troubles to pay for their vehicles and designer clothes and drinks. Conspicuous consumption now reflects ones allegiance to the masters and leaders of our culture. We dress like them, eat like them and we all know one can not change their status within our culture unless one looks like the political and financial elite. When we drink a latte or drive an SUV we are not broadcasting our high status we are proving our submission to our dominators. Risking our own financial and environmental stabilty we demonstate our belief in their worth over our own worth.

Citizen Kane was a shopaholic. He bought endless things and created his own world grasping for a feeling that was lost in time. Much has been made about the movie being inspired by Randolph Hearst, a man whose life paralled Kane's, but the source of Kane's conflict was taken from Orson Welles childhood. The drive for acceptance and praise is rooted in many peoples dedication to fitting into our society. We want our masters to accept us and grant us ascent: our status within this closed economic matrix represents love and authority approval. Changing the title from American allowed the movie to become global in recognizing the end of childhood as a catalyst for how we live as adults. The profound abyss in Welle's childhood worked it's way into the script and drives home the danger of alienation and abandonment within families and communities that causes most conflict within our world today.

Citizen Kane still deserves to be on all must see movie lists.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

Odds And Ends...

" Yes, it's true, I had a Jesuit education. That's where I learned about fear." Hitchcock on the Dick Cavett Show which TCM network is playing a marthon with Cavett introducing the episodes (Bette Davis is on in the background right now, that is if it's possible for Davis to be in any background.
.........
"I didn't offend you did I? Did I say something offensive to you as a Catholic?" Sarah.

"I'm not really a Catholic anymore, you know. I suppose I practice a sort of secular Catholicism, one that involves ritualizing certain aspects of everyday life and imbuing them with a spiritual intensity they might not otherwise possess but I don't want to put too fine a point on it." Grissom.
..............
"May I get that for you? Or does that offend you?" Cavett, reaching to light her cigarette.

"Oh no, I'm not woman's lib." Davis.

"Well, I am you know." Cavettt

"You mean you've liberated a lot of women?" Davis.

Long pause, laughter.

"You see really, only the men can do that anyways." Davis.

Gallivant And Swish

Hi, I am probably over at your blog catching up. I feel terribly behind on reading other people's blogs and am spending at least today out and about at other blogs. Hope you got a pot of tea at your blog, because I'm on my way. If you want me to stop by your blog in the next 24 hours, especially if I've been a lazy visitor leave me a comment and I'll be there soon. Actually, my blogger was acting up all Friday and some of Saturday...couldn't leave a comment at others blogs etc...so I'm going everywhere today...see you soon!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Sanford and Son


I am always salvaging something from the garbage. Actually, both Stagg and I are salvagers. He doesn't throw away anything. I am always editing everything around here. We have excellent "garbage" behind us. Red, you would croak! I missed a wild side table yesterday...I meant to go get it, but forgot. It's not there now. There are all kinds of trucks that drive around Chicago and pick up stuff on the street for resale. Our back alley is a feast. This isn't that great, but I brought it home for that outdoor art sale. This morning I'm looking at the studio wondering what the heck to do with this shef...brainstorm! Turned out we need a shelf for cds and it fit just right next to the desk in the kitchen. Actually, not the kitchen. The kitchen is galley style and we have a dining area attached by an arched doorway, where of course we have the desk and computer.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Movies

I made a pact with myself to keep this weeks Thursday Thirteen to under 50 words. Here goes with 13 favourite movies of all time.

It's A Wonderful Life
Citizen Kane
Breakfast At Tiffany's
Rear Window
Star Wars
Raging Bull
Bringing Up Baby
Raiders of The Lost Ark
The Godfather II
Fight Club
Cassablanca
Run Lola Run
Some Like It Hot

100 Movies You Must See. I've seen them all except for 2. How many have you seen on this list?







1. Darla

2. Wendy Ann Edwina D\'Cunha e Pereira

3. Eveline

4. Caylynn

5. Maribeth

6. Jeff
7. Janet

8. The Shrone

9. Cheysuli

10. Amy the Black

11. buttercup

12. Tug
13. Anthony

14. the cappuccino kid

15. Patchwork Anahata

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Turn Down The Lights and Live

Movies were always an influence in my life. I remember being home sick from school and watching whatever happened to be on tv. No cable. Often an afternoon B movie. I barely remember a movie about some bus crash in remote area and about 20 people struggling to live. I was fairly young and I remember being fascinated by their various personalities and clashes and then the puzzle solving skills. I have no idea what this movie was and have never seen it since, but I have since been fascinated by disaster and survival themed movies.

I lived in a northern town that only had one movie theatre so we took whatever came to town all in stride. A movie was a movie was a movie. Some really excited me, some were so so. There didn't seem to be any logic to the kinds of movies the theatre bought. They could be really old ones, or made five years earlier. I'm sure it was whatever the dinky little place could afford. I never noticed such things, I just liked going to movies. But I remember the night, it was a Halloween when I saw a scary movie, a psychological film with incredible exotic locations, sets, art work, colors, actors and images. I left the theatre and it was the first time I ever thought "Movies aren't what I thought they were, something is going on here..." I was a teenager and just remember thinking what did that mean? And knowing it meant something for the director. It's the first time I understood a directors influence on movies and on me.

I completely surrendered myself to movies. I went two three times a week. I memorized actors and directors. In art school I took a class of film appreciation. Or some such trendy course name like that. It completely fucked with my head. We had two professors and they seemed to take turns directing the class on alternate weeks. One of these profs said he was choosing movies that corresponded with philosophical or political themes. I had no idea what he was talking about. One class the professor introduced an old movie. He said he was going to show us ten minutes, then discuss the introduction for the rest of the class and then watch the entire movie next week. So down go the lights, we watch the movie for a few minutes then abruptly despite being warned, off goes the movie. It was torture. The prof said the cat walking up the stairs represented the actress's sexuality. He said the mans cast was symbolic of impotence. His camera was the extension of his phallus. He said the woman saying her name and turning on three lights was her agency or self awareness. To tell you the truth it was so utterly mindblowing to a hick from a tiny town on the Canadian west coast I felt like someone had slipped something silly into my koolaid. The movie was Rear Window.

I never missed a class.

One evening he showed us Oh Lucky Man and said it represented Anarchy. Another he showed us Victor/Victoria and said it explored the political collaboration between suffragettes and homosexuals. Another night he showed us S.O.B. and said it detailed the fall of the musical in Hollywood. It was a double bill that night with Singing In The Rain which he said detailed the issues surrounding silent film to color and sound films.

This prof was a guru and god to me and perplexed me and quite possibly changed my entire life.

Years later I thought I would look up his name in some library. He turned out to be the definitive Hitchcock scholar.

I will always love him for opening up my soul to reading movies in a whole new way and he demonstrates the potential for transformative learning in so many ways for me.

Last week, As Stagg and I sat having a beer at Millenium Park's patio in a rain storm, I said, we must go get Rear Window on dvd. We had both seen it obviously, but never together. It is one of my dearest pleasures for us to watch our favourite movies together for the first time. As we watched the extras (EXTRAS on a Hitchcock dvd how wonderful!) there was my old shaman from film appreciation class, the wonderful Robin Wood.

Review of Robin Wood's Revised critique

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Search Engine Words That Brought People Here...

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Jigg's Dinner from the East Coast of Canada.

Lynn at Motivated Motion has a wonderful post today about food and life in a remote east coast area.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dia De Muertos


City of chicago is apparently a moody creature. They assigned us a permit, took our money and then cancelled our permit. No outdoor festival. Look how sad our art looks waiting to be shown but stuck in our hallway.

No worries! We had an awesome weekend anyways with one of the hightlights being a visit to the Mexican Cultural Centre in Pilsen for their annual Day of The Dead exhibit. Below are some of the candy skulls we bought. The art was incredible. Thats a Dia De Muertos mousepad.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Busted!

Attention The Underground Baker and Mister Anchovy both of you have checked out the online bookclub I've participated in for ten years. And you're both fans of McCarthy's work. I've spent many irreplaceable hours telling you about online arguments and discussions well lookie here, somebody else noticed:

From The New York Times Book Review:

"Eleven-Seven: Cormac McCarthy's fans--they gather in the forums of 'the official Web site of the Cormac McCarthy society'--are smarter, and definately more laid back, than those of just about any other living writer. They have names like Clem, and tend to refer to themselves as 'fellers.' Watching them hash out their feelings about McCarthy's new novel, 'The Road'--see No. 4 on the fiction list--is like listening to the members of Waylon Jennings's old band talking on a back porch somewhere, smoking cigarettes and plunking squirrels with varmint rifles. One burning issue in the forums right now is McCarthy's strategic deployment of the number 117. In his new novel, 1:17 a.m. is when clocks stop and the world ends. In his last one, 'No Country for Old Men,' there was a gristly motel murder in Room 117. And so on. Is McCarthy referencing the Book of Revelations? Genesis? Who knows? 'That's the Bible: you can make it support an argument any which way.'"

Jibarito's


I don't want anybody to know about this place or how delicious and economical the plaintain sandwiches are. Yep, finally, I found a replacement for that silly bread. A plaintain sandwich!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thirteen Random Things I Am Thinking About...

1)Beautiful floorplan, and interesting things to think about a "golden rectangle" in architectural history. Thanks to Canuck Hockey Girl for inspiring me to track this down today.

2)Found this article at The Chronicle of Wasted Time blog. Is America ready for this man? The article says he needs to prove his leadership skills. The thing is, if any Democrat took a stand and got off the fence, they would have a sweep of popularity. They just have to man up.

3)The playlist at cool woman Heavy Mentalist makes me daydream today....I have it on while I am writing today...good mix, check it out! Cherryl is a fascinating thinker say hi!

4)I am anxious to buy Al Pacino's three dvd set. There is an esoteric film of an odd strange British play I've only read. I have been coveting seeing Pacino's secret version for almost 15 years. The nimble fox just dropped it finally now. I watched him on the Actor's Studio the other day and it was really cool. I have seen the movie Scarface, maybe a hundred times. Haven't seen it in about ten years. It's reissued on dvd. I think I need it.

5)My stuff for sale on eBay is keeping me busy checking on it's stats of visitors. I've never sold anything yet. But it's fun thinking about it being out there...

6)In the background on the news I think I heard Oprah and Bono are downtown shopping. I should be with them saving the world! Or at least let's go for a Guinness together...

7)Does it matter if we die from a supernova, a natural extinction level event or from complete utter resource and environmental breakdown from human occurance?

8)Thinking about this painting. Is it finished? Is it finished? We say YES! This is a floorcloth...so we're displaying it on the ground at art festival this weekend.


9) This painting shown above, is 10'x7'. We don't drive. Now, the outdoor art festival we are showing this at is only about 20 minutes away to walk. Guess what? We remembered we saw a shopping cart under the El train the other day. Yep, we have it down in the basement right now. We are loading the rolled floorpiece, four easels and four smaller paintings into the shopping cart and dragging it (because the front two wheels are stripped) 20 mitues away. We are so ghetto.

10) I am in the middle of reading two books. Heat by Bill Bufford and To The Nines by Janet Evanovich.

11) I want a cigarette so badly today. I won't I won't!

12) Really impressed my sister is getting photos and several posts on her blog. She's got too little boys and is super busy, but her blog makes me feel like I'm hanging out with her.

13) It's true, I just saw the news story. Bono and Oprah are downtown shopping! Right now! I'm going crazy thinking about it. They are promoting the "red" program, raising money for medical treatment for AIDS patients in Africa. I feel very left out. In fact, I think I'm pouting. I LOVE YOU BONO!!!


Thursday Thirteen is a bunch of people getting to know each other in a specific format through a blogging exercise and linked network.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My Ottoman Nightmare



The idea of making an ottoman out of magazines has turned out to be one of my more harebrained ideas.


By the time I tried to move the glued together magazines onto a bench to paint, I realized the grave error I had made. I thought it weighed about 30 pounds, but Stagg said much more.



I moved this mass of glue and advertising to the bureau, because I don't know what else to do with it, it weighed about 50 pounds.


Coca-Cola and Cormac McCarthy

"There's no such thing as life without bloodshed," McCarthy says philosophically. "I think the notion that the species can be improved in some way, that everyone could live in harmony, is a really dangerous idea. Those who are afflicted with this notion are the first ones to give up their souls, their freedom. Your desire that it be that way will enslave you and make your life vacuous." NYT's interview with McCarthy, 1992.

Coca-Cola references in Cormac McCarthy novels:

The Orchard Keeper, p. 199

Suttree, pp. 23, 70, 71, 72, 156, 185, 392

All the Pretty Horses, p. 221

Cities of the Plain, p. 114

No Country For Old Men, p. 20

The Road, ARC pp. 19, 123

"Stacking up stone is the oldest trade there is," he says, sipping a Coke. "Not even prostitution can come close to its antiquity. It's older than anything, older than fire. And in the last 50 years, with hydraulic cement, it's vanishing. I find that rather interesting."From the New York Times Interview in 1992.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Floorcloth, In Progress.


Here is what the canvas looked like early this morning. We've been working away all day and so far, this is what we have come up with...um, we had a title, but we forgot what it was...

We thought this was 10 feet by 10 feet, but it's 7'x10'. It's been a super fun day painting and negotiating who is where and what on this thing. We are happy to report, that even after collaborating, we are still talking to each other.






We had part of the painting coiled up on the floor...and then you can see we flipped it around now to work on it this way. We'll have to move it a few more times just to mix up paint directions and to manage the whole canvas as it doesn't exactly fit on the wall. It could, but then we'd be covering the door.







Asterisk's Brew Finished


Uptown Arts Festival, Chicago Oct 14-15.

Stagg and I are participating in an outdoor art fair this coming weekend, Oct 14 and 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunnyside Street in Chicago( between Dover and Magnolia). It's a very pretty location with about 30 other artists. We haven't figured out exactly how we are going to display things, and so our solution is "make more stuff" heh heh. He is asleep right now, but I am up early reading and drinking tea...and our projects for today include...
Painting these shelves I found in the garbage yesterday.

Making a ten foot by ten foot floor cloth, and here you can see the canvas we have to work with, it looks lonely there in the dawn dark doesn't it? I don't know we might glue stuff on it, lots of paint. I'll take some photos once we get started.
And then below, are a bunch of salvaged magazines that we use for collage. I am going to try to make, um...er...an ottoman out of them. I really don't know yet how I am going to do that. Thought I'd start to glue pages together inside the magazines, then acrylic the magazines together and start dripping paint and then shellac the mofo. We'll see. Sometimes I get these ideas and they turn out too crazy to show anybody. Now, I should be busy with my acrylic gel medium right now on these magazines instead of blogging...but well I like to work under pressure. And sheesh, god knows where we are going to find the room around here to do this today...