Thursday, April 30, 2015
Who would have thought that when Artspeak opened its doors in 1986 it would one day mount an exhibition that would "tour" to a private gallery. But that was the case with Valérie Blass's My Life, whose curatorial text by Artspeak director Kim Nguyen is included on the Daniel Faria Gallery website.
For my Canadian Art review of the Artspeak exhibition, click here. For Wojciech Olejnik's Momus review of the Daniel Faria exhibition, click here.
Another exhibition that implicates notions of public and private is Ron Tran's The Kitchen Garden at Home/Store at 221A, which I reviewed for Canadian Art last week. For that review, click here.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
This song was pretty magical when it was released just before Christmas, 1987. An amazing duet, one I imagined would be sung again and again by its principals, Shane MacGown and Kirsty MacColl, every time the season neared.
But then MacColl's life was cut short by an accident in 2000, and MacGowan, well, he seems to spend as much time writ[h]ing in the ether, allowing himself to be cartooned back at us, than he does at love's "live" mic.
Monday, April 27, 2015
Ewan MacColl wrote hundreds of songs during his lifetime, most of them in the British folk/labour tradition. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (1957) is a song MacColl and Peggy Seeger wrote about their love for each other. Fifteen years later, it was covered by Roberta Flack and was ranked the number one song of 1972 by Billboard Magazine.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Derrick Knight's Travelling For a Living (1965) is a BBC television documentary on the Watersons, a family-based singing group from Hull, Yorkshire. At the end of this clip they sing Ewan MacColl's "The Thirty-Foot Trailer."
Here is MacColl singing the tune with his sweetheart, Peggy Seeger.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
A small room inside a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.
The road ahead is over 200 miles long, and I will leave for it shortly. A small bag beside the passenger window. A change of clothes, a toothbrush and floss, and a book.
Hopefully all goes well, and at the end of the day I will have my trailer.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Monday, April 20, 2015
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Saturday, April 18, 2015
This year's recipient of the Audain Prize for the Visual Arts for Lifetime Achievement is Michael Morris.
The image above is of Michael's Boxed Venus, 1967, silkscreen on acetate 39.25" x 29.25".
Is it me or does this image not look like the personal computers that arrived on our desk tops some twenty years later?
Friday, April 17, 2015
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Tonight we celebrate the VIVA Awards.
This year I served on the Alvin Balkind Curator's Prize jury. The name we came up with is Cate Rimmer.
Cate is the founding director/curator of Artspeak. After that she was the director/curator of Truck Gallery, in Calgary, before taking a job at the Charles H. Scott Gallery at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she is today.
Behind the Sign is one of the exhibitions Cate curated at Artspeak. Among the collaborations between poets and visual artists is a project by Peter Culley and Sara Leydon.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
I was hoping to hear Catriona read from her latest book, Corked (2014), after I read Ted Byrne's thoughtful review of it in the most recent issue of The Capilano Review, but I read too long (something I never do!), and Catriona only read from her latest project, "Reveries of a Solitary Biker" (a collaboration with composer Jacqueline Leggatt and clarinetist François Houle).
Ted's review brought to mind another book that "spoke" from the perspective of a domestic (slave) labourer: Alice Randall's response to Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind (1936) -- The Wind Done Gone (2001).
Catriona did not have any copies of Corked with her, so after the reading I walked to Paper Hound and purchased one.
The bulk of Corked is made up of poems that begin "Dear Proust," but here is one from the opening section, a poem I read more than once on the bus ride home:
I'm so catty in green.
Will such hides express one
single shout of greening
rosemary? My hat's green
Will's laugh zooms for lichen's
jagged wood, out-ditched hiding
and hugging (this hat's really
a gem), the wild jag I dance
heists my love's knot. My snazzy
hat's a jumping hide
Grabbed by some wanting,
decked much within green's
reasons -- my hat has grown
so going -- kind swarthy cruising,
kind bunting blooms, it all
rings green around here. My hat's
so damn green.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Tomorrow at noon Catriona Strang and I will read at SFU's noon hour Lunch Poems series. In looking for things to read, I came across five lines I started last year, only to lose track of them.
Re-reading these lines, which seem to characterize a condition, I wondered how I might ground them. That's when Peter came to mind.
So that's what I did yesterday: finished my poem while walking through the woods with Pete.
doctors all yourself
Monday, April 13, 2015
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Friday, April 10, 2015
Thursday, April 9, 2015
A highly-staged publicity photo for an upcoming Images Festival performance by Jess Dobkin, entitled "How Many Performance Artists Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?"
Is there anything left to chance? This is the question I ask myself of a work whose title takes the form of a question.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
CCA Wattis is one of a number of feeding stations on Contemporary Art's long march. Jens Hoffmann was a director there, as was Ralph Rugoff before him.
The current director is Anthony Huberman, who will be lecturing at Artspeak this evening at 7:00 pm. The lecture is entitled "Have You Heard the One About the Cow, the Frenchman and the Bottle of Budwesier?"
For those wanting more information, Artspeak's messy website notes that the lecture will include "Some thoughts about wall texts, press releases, exhibition brochures, catalogues, and other modes of address -- aka: how an art institution expresses itself."
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Monday, April 6, 2015
You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.
Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time——
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal
And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend
Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.
It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene
An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.
The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.
I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You——
Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.
You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who
Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.
But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look
And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I’m finally through.
The black telephone’s off at the root,
The voices just can’t worm through.
If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two——
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.
There’s a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Saturday, April 4, 2015
In this ABC Movie of the Week we begin with Miranda, 19, who finds the world "meaningless, cruel and stupid." Frustrated by her behaviour, her father gives her a box of reel-to-reel tape recordings made by her dying mother when Miranda was a baby.
Friday, April 3, 2015
Thursday, April 2, 2015
This story was written in rather difficult circumstances, and subject to frequent interruption. Indeed, when the first chapters appeared in Chambers's Journal early in 1916 the narrative was barely half-finished. Sometimes I almost despaired of ever completing it, for it can perhaps be understood that writing on board a small ship actually at sea in time of war is impossible for more reasons than one.
The reader is cautioned against accepting the story as an official account of the part played by a certain section of the Navy during the war. Incidents described are true; but, for reasons which must be obvious, it has been necessary to give them fictitious colouring. It also seems desirable to add that all my characters are fictitious, and that each chapter was submitted to the censors at the Press Bureau before publication.
It should be added that a considerable amount of matter is contained in this volume which did not appear in Chambers's Journal when the story appeared in serial form.
More than ever am I deeply sensible of the very real debt which I owe to my wife, both for her help in revising and correcting the proofs, and for her many suggestions for improvements.