Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Every two months I receive in my inbox a list of ten to twelve upcoming exhibitions in BC and Alberta and a question, Which of these eight would you like to write on?

When I first started writing these two-hundred-words-apiece previews, I chose exhibitions by artists I was familiar with. Now I lean towards those I am unfamiliar with, which is another way of learning.

Sometimes the previews go slowly. Other times, like the recent batch I received last Saturday afternoon, they go quickly. I started yesterday afternoon and finished last night at 10pm, sending all eight to my editor, Janice Whitehead, who publishes Preview: the Gallery Guide.

I had just finished my seventh preview at 3pm when I decided to get out of my pyjamas and get a walk in before the sun went down. By 4pm I had departed Woodhaven's winding forest road for Boyce-Gyro, which I walked successfully, swinging my arms back and forth, taking deep breaths, then driving five blocks south on Lakeshore to the Eldorado Hotel for happy hour and what turned out to be the last three innings of the Cleveland-Boston MLB playoff series.

Two pints and a burger for $25. Not bad. As for the service -- even better (though I was sitting at the bar). And the music? This was most soothing. Not sure what stream the bartender had tapped into, but to hear Sibylle BaierJudy Henske and a First Songs era Laura Nyro has me going back there next week, after I return from that conference at Brock.

Here is the last paragraph from yesterday's last preview:

A particularly compelling series is Benesiinaabandan’s little resistances (2015). Here, the Anishinabe artist gathered personal photos, arranged them in pairs, scanned them, crumpled up the print, scanned it, printed it onto vinyl and attached it to a 59”x59” box form for wall display. The transformation of the work is carried in its description as it moves from the plural “them” (original photos) to the singular “it” (scanned versions). Most resonant is that which is present in the work’s title: an anthology of resistances authored by each of its transformations.

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