Friday, October 21, 2016

Proposition 11/8

We have heard how it takes a village to raise a child. But will we hear in the wake of 11/8 how it took a humiliation to raise a fascist?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

"On Inventing Women Artists in a Post-Truth Era"

On the flight back to Kelowna from St Catherines I thought a lot about what Lisa Robertson said to me after I delivered my paper on post-war through lines in Vancouver art, the birth and death of a city built on real estate (speculation), the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the "conceptual poetry" of Kenneth Goldsmith and U.S. police shooting victim Michael Brown.

Lisa said I did not say enough about women artists, and though I will agree with her every time on this topic (one can never say enough about women artists), I myself could not call her on fictions that, for instance, had her declaring Jane Ellison to be a founder of the Western Front when, though Jane has been continuously active at this artist-run centre since the late-1970s, she is not considered to be amongst the group that acquired the building in 1973 (once again we have real estate determining the narrative of our cultural ecology).

Does someone have to be there at the beginning of something to qualify as a founder? What is it, then, to found something? I am grateful to Lisa (whose own paper was entitled "The Collective: a Truly False History of the Kootenay School of Writing") for inspiring me to ask these kinds of questions.

This morning I awoke to a nice article by Caoimhe Morgan-Feir on the Canadian Art website, where, in this age of operative portraiture, the Canadian Art editor gives a recent history of invented artists, not "real" ones. Among those mentioned (I was waiting to see her name when I started the article) is Carol Sawyer, who for years has shaped, modelled and performed the mysterious -- and under-recognized -- pre-war European artist Natalie Brettschnieder.

Carol is the third presenter in UBC Okanagan's Visiting Artists Series and will be reading at Room UNC 106 at noon on November 14.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Polaroid Song (2011)

Like Letraset, Polaroid is another obsolete medium known by its brand name.

I like the description of this film, regardless of the gender: " be taken seriously, she must experiment and evolve."

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Indians Play at Progressive Field

While waiting for my flight at Pearson International Airport yesterday I overheard a conversation between two women, one of whom was telling the other how Doug was seeking an injunction against the use of the Cleveland Indians name and logo in the progressive city of Toronto.

(And yes, I have chosen my words carefully here, because the stadium where the Cleveland Indians play is called Progressive Field.)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Festival of Readers

Yesterday's Festival of Readers offered space and materials for an afternoon of bookmaking at the St Catherine's Public Library. At the other end of the room a community group performed its play.

Among those at the bookmaking table was Beth Bromberg (far right), who made this inch high figure using rub-on decals, what we once referred to by its brand name, Letraset:

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Conference Pics

George Bowering delivered the Thursday night keynote address for the Concept of Vancouver conference at St Catherines's FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre:

The following morning, at the Niagara Artists CentreSteve McCaffery was supposed to present a monitor piece he made in the 1980s of Jeff Derksen begging ("the first video panhandler'), but the technology wasn't working. Technology failed McCaffery moments later when, after deciding to "read instead," he found the letters of his latest book too small, the lights above him too dim. (To the right of McCaffery is conference co-organizer Gregory Betts. To McCaffery's left is Karen Mac Cormack.)

Elizabeth Chitty showed some of the work she made and contributed to in Vancouver in the 1970s and 80s, and the context in which that work was made.

Dana Claxton Skyped in an introduction to her video The Patient Storm (2006).

Irene Laughlin performed to a Bud Osborne poem.

Lisa Robertson read a "truly unofficial" history of the Kootenay School of Writing -- a poem called "The Collective".

Kimberly Philips opened an Access Gallery touring exhibition in the NAC's rear space.

bill bissett delivered a short set of works that included a poem he wrote over fifty years ago, called "Strange Grey Day This" (1964).

The day ended at Greg and Lisa's spacious house, where Derek Beaulieu, Liz Howard, bill and I are staying.