Thursday, June 22, 2017


For a second I thought this Harper's article was subtitled "Who owns black paint?" and was about Anish Kapoor's ongoing struggle to secure the exclusive rights to Vantablack.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Hand of the Landlord

An artist's version of negative billing: graffiti that requires a similar action from the landlord, provided the landlord is against such actions.

Another Bill worth posting:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

80s Poem Revis(it)ed

Shared House
 for Cornelia Wyngaarden

northdown kickass princess kid all bossy with fear arrives is
indifference as’m goddess thick with instance is’m
dandered at the lack of patricular resistance as in said gesture
mattered not on consensus chorewheel clacking done-thats
but on toilet seats with hinges

a wall away tucked into the den’s red deco chair inez stares as
nothing’s unplugged television reflects the hall behind her
bicep vein-twitch eyed by passing royalty
a tremor sent and registered as inez counts back from ten
awaiting her return

still new to her room as if breathing it in for the first time then out 
some unseen hole her highness draws the blinds
dumps her bag on the futon before more forward steps back
down the hall to claim the wall opposite inez
as if to say

it’s sisters sure but my star beats yers 

tamsin is screamed because the house is in her name and it’s royalty
who refuses to be told it’s her turn to do anything inez says
it’s yers cause if it isn’t then it’s powerflex so no more
ponytalk it’s tamsin’s to decide because it’s her alamo
and it’s inez who was first within’t 

what started as a painting was cut up to decide itself
left to map performance’s haptic handstand whorls
lifted from the floor and entered into trauma’s grid
a match because it’s grandma’s trapline 
left to rest at the foot of the bed

what’s this inez says unasking knowing that it’s excellent
what’s this but a three-point teaching moment turned on her
when she was royalty’s age just loud enough that enough come running
inez’s critique powered by what little she knows
but enough to fill those lower lids

of royalty’s left to explain her art as if first met by those come running
the melt felt from fresh eyes feeding fires behind familiar faces
the stink of rethink as royalty is reduced to the sum
of her defenses on the morning of an interview
for a job that is beneath her

Monday, June 19, 2017


At 5:05PM Saturday I left the house near Kingsway and Knight and walked to 5th and Burrard for the 6:30PM screening of My Cousin Rachel (2017).

The walk itself took just under and hour, with a ten minute break outside the Cancer Control Agency, where I bumped into Lisa Prentice, and a 30 second break two blocks west, where I stopped to take a picture of VHG/UBC poster boy George Bowering.

The link for George is to a Western Front reading he did in 1974. The book he reads from is one of my favourites -- Curious (1973) -- "a book of meditations," he says, or a "picture book" and/or a "portrait book," as Ed Dorn told him.

One of George's heroes, Gertrude Stein, wrote portraits of her fellow artists. Like Stein's portraits, George's are not only affirmative complimentary, but also critical complimentary and entertainingly ambiguous.

More recently Andrew Berardini has taken up portrait writing.

I have nothing positive to say about the current film adaption of Daphne du Maurier's My Cousin Rachel, where we are encouraged to feel aghast at "Philip"'s immaturity, while "Rachel"'s complexity is left flapping.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Cool Breeze

A Neil Campbell painting at Griffin Art Project's A Cool Breeze exhibition.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Paper Hound

On my way back from North Van I stopped at the Paper Hound to see what's new in used books. Rod was at the desk, which is always a pleasure because I have known Rod a long time and it's good to catch up.

Atop a cabinet across from the desk stood a number of books. I picked up one of them, only to take note of its holder.

"It's a coat hanger," I said to the book holder.

"Kim made those," said Rod. "She made one, we liked it, now she can't stop."

I asked if I could take its picture. Rod said he didn't think Kim would mind.

"It looks like a hound," I said. "It looks like a hound as if van Tee had drawn it."

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Polygon Gallery

Earlier this week I took the Seabus to North Vancouver for a tour of the Polygon Gallery (to the right of the Q Tower below).

Scheduled to open in November, 2017 the Polygon's various spaces are more or less defined, with a white oak upper-floor to be installed next week.

Unlike some recent buildings, the Polygon has chosen to name only those spaces where artworks (pictures, sculptures, publications) are displayed.

One space I returned to more than once during the tour is a small south-facing room with a view of downtown Vancouver. This space, according to Polygon officials, is intended largely as a place of rest, relaxation and reflection.

I love this space, and I love it that the Polygon extended the window from its original plan so that those enjoying it can see for themselves why it is a good idea.