Inspiring this issue was an email, giving contemporary art gallery-going instructions, accidentally sent to us by an anonymous
mother who is an IC list serve member:
Message written above a forwarded instant coffee local (Toronto) events listing:
Hi, here is the cool stuff. Go to the opening of YYZ at Richmond
401 they usually have films. I need to check out forest city gallery for myself, but I think it is far. There is a lot of poor stuff out there but you will have to find out for yourself. Go to Spadina 80 and check out a bunch of galleries at once. Then go to the fifth floor, say hello to Antonia Lancaster who is a friend of mine, and ask her what you should see. And thanks for the sites. I'll check them out when I have time.
Talk to you soon
We sent some friends emails asking them to describe the art scene in their cities. We sent out about thirty emails and didn't
get the enthusiastic reply we were hoping for, meaning the responses didn't flow in as we expected. But we did get some
responses from surprising places.
Why Gallery Going? Well it is a form of pleasurable research that has to do with our lifestyle.
Instant Coffee Š .
Send letters to the editor to email@example.com
|Saturday Edition Feature
1. Excerpts from letters describing gallery going in Toronto 2001
From a letter to Ed Deary, (14 Sept 2000)
Finding inspirational treasures on the Radiohead website. This from there:
this will take a long time to load up.
think of it as walking through a gallery.
imagine your glass of warm cheap wine. the sweat under
your jumper. the hooray north oxford wife-swapping types
with cash. the snidey critics. the billowing woman with
the uncomfortably loud mundane monologue. your old
tutor the one who told you couldn't paint for shit. the
pristine white walls. the young dot com couple worrying
about whether it will clash with the carpet. the discreet
cocktail drum and bass noise...
From a letter to Nick Eley (14 May 2001)
I go to openings, introduce myself, shake hands, meet artists whose work I've seen around, and generally, I feel like I'm performing a piece called "Being Ingratiating". I must admit to a certain fascination with my ability to win people over with a touch of flattery and "oh, I've seen your show!" I guess this is why I describe it as seeming like a performance, because I don't really know how I do it. I guess hanging out with B---- all those years taught me something.
From an MSN Messenger chat, (11 October 2001)
christ, art is beginning to drive me crazy again
stupid crowds and stupid parties
it's always the same
how many parties can you have in a year? gee
you're art boy insanito
sure, why not
why not what? party or be an art boy
you said you were going to art parties all the time and it was making your *crazy*
oh yes. I'm not planning on going to the gladstone / that's mostly why / but at the same time it's crazy because...
...volunteering at Mercer and at C magazine, you get all of these invites in the mail, and it makes you realize just how much is out there, and it's like top 40 radio....this stuff that people pour their passion into and it just gets lost between the selections. It's depressing
i understand what you're saying...
what's that expression same shit, different smell.
yup. That's it exactly
eventually you realize that you are going to these things outta habit/ or because you*should*/or because you kinda don't wanna miss it - just in case its intriguing for a change
yes. That's it, it's mostly habit...don't have anything else to do. I guess I'm just noticing how many of these things involve alcohol...and I like to drink, it's just I dont like to drink every bloody week...it's no fun if it's regular...
It just seems tedious right now. There's a glut of social activity. Come January I'll be desperate for something social
plus there's a level of pretension i could do without
2. The Palais de Tokyo by Laura Borealis
The Palais de Tokyo is the mirror opposite of the contemporary art gallery of paris. It's a grand set of buildings, like a
horseshoe with a bite out of the bottom. Sculptures and grand staircases. The grounds are in a bit of disrepair, and set the
tone for the post-apocalyptic interior of the palais de tokyo. It's very blade runner inside. and the free admission policy for
the day we arrived, made it seem even more like a casual accident kind of happening. People wandered in, there wasn't an
obvious path to follow. There were notices on cheap easels to announce events. Supersized transluscent photos of ordinary
folk covered the large windows of the front wall. raw space, exposed concrete and beams, in stages of
destruction/construction, made me wonder if the building was structurally sound. As we wandered through, there were
installations that people felt free to interact with, one looked like an artist's live/work studio with a piano, there were polka
dots adorning every surface. There was a very club like retro listening station with trendy decor, where techno music came
from the underside of metal mushroom structures that were six feet high. There was a supersized office garbage can with
tons of magazines and tvs in it, there was a wall that people were helping draw on, people were eager to contribute to that.
There was a kind of bad short video by a french guy on a jumbo screen. There was photos by that lady who looks raped in
very lush plant life, you probably know her name, she's famous. There was a pile of dirty hills and a video next to it showing
ten or so men in fire dept gear, running furiously over these hills. There was a derelict hallway where there were photos of
soweto, with garbage and stuff strewn around for atmosphere. There was a wall that was demolished. There were tables of
asian dollar store plastic goods, a box of money and two bull horns, presumably this was a performance site where they sold
these goods, and talking through the loudspeakers.
There was a booth for the curatorman. you could engage him in conversation, but he wasn't present when i visited. next to
that was a massive painting of famous artists from the last hundred years or more, right up to the present. This was the
backdrop for the discussion area where there were scheduled meetings open to all. There were many slogans promoting a
free approach to art making and dialogue. but, hello, talk about context, the huge (photorealistic) painting of the artistic elite,
giving their larger than life two cents to the dialogue isn't very liberating. There was also an installation of a scorpio
constellation lights on the floor, and huge projections of natural landscapes. It was also like the interior of a trendy club.
The coolest thing in there was a tea oasis, down some stairs. the floor was painted like huge flowers, there were japanese
style cushions and tables around for people to lounge on and they served a really great tea for the price of one euro. the
servers were dressed in beautiful red silk dresses. behind them were a series of really good videos by japanese artists (from
what i could tell). one of a woman sitting on a bench for a really long time, and another of maybe blood swirling in water,
first only a little, and then a lot, turning the whole screen red. both were very long videos and added to the relaxation of the
There were lots of international freaks wandering about, taking it in.
After we left, we walked across to the modern art museum and the blandness of the cafe there, and the controlled exibitions
were a downer after the big open heart of the palais de tokyo.
I think curatorman needs some guidance as to what might be interesting works. I recommend removing the terrible reminder
of the celebrated and wealthy artists of the 20th century. But as an effort to move art spaces into the present and near future,
I think it is an interesting and worthwhile thing. As civilization declines, there will be impromptu events where artists and
viewers meet in abandoned buildings to stage optimistic, hedonistic, voyeuristic, and depressing events. Hopefully in the
future, there will always be that tea room in the chaos where we can act out a peaceful moment.
love, laura borealis
3. Bogata, Colombia: promo for El Parche
eduardo consuegra / michèle faguet / josé tomás giraldo / alejandro volovisky
El Parche, is an independent, not-for-profit art space located in Bogota's Bosque Izquierdo. Passed over by the constant
demolition and construction process that has erased much of Bogota's architectural history and identity in a misguided
attempt at modernization, Bosque Izquierdo has for many years been a safehaven for artists and intellectuals. The name of
the space derives from the term appropriated by upper-middle class kids used to designate a group of friends, their places
of reunion, but above all the vacuous leisure activity of an entire generation of young people who came of age during the
economic and social crisis of the 80s. The mission of this project is twofold: to provide a space of dialogue through which
local Colombian artists might reach out to one another across a fragmented and dispersed set of institutional and social
boundaries and to bring artists from abroad to Bogota in order to establish a network of artists of diverse backgrounds
whose work, nevertheless, demonstrates shared conceptual interests. In addition to the gallery space, El Parche will host an
international residency program that will provide accommodations for invited artists and curators in order to allow them to
create new work and to develop projects specific to their experience of residing in this city. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Helsinki (Finland)
Helsinki. Cold. Wet. Motor-racing mad Finns (oh, then there's hockey as well). If you've not been here, it's a bit like Edmonton with a very small part of Montreal thrown in for good measure. And architecture - are we sick of Alvar Aalto and his magnificent modernist monstrosities or what?? Sorry if you're choking on your cappuchino, but really, I'd always thought Form should follow Function, but we've got concert halls with bad acoustics, buildings with leaky roofs, and eyesores in the cityscape. Not that Aalto is the only one to blame - some of his more contemporary colleagues have continued the tradition. Take Steven Holl for example, a nice American from California invited over (or did he win a competition, I don't remember now?) to design the new Contemporary Art Museum, Kiasma. This building looks great in fact - as a sculpture - and this was how it was received when first opened. "Oh, why did they have to put this art in here?" was the sort of comment you heard during the opening exhibition! Yes, it was a place of pilgrimage for many a student of architecture, camera at the ready, while they took time off from their real hero, Aalto. Now it probably is not too hard for most of you to understand that the weather conditions in most of California are somewhat different to those in Helsinki. We have snow. Not just a few light dustings but a lot. For weeks. Or months. Snow is heavy. Snow stays on flat roofs, but falls off sloping roofs in rather unpredictable ways. Kiasma has a very sloping roof, curvey you might say. So you can't use the rear entrance to the museum during the winter months for fear of decapitation from large pieces of jagged ice. And then there's the damp and leaks, the missing electricity points, the strange toilets (I think toilets are very important in public buildings, you can never find one when you need one).
So what about the ART in Helsinki I hear you mumble? Well, art here has been somewhat different to the mainstream art world I would say. First a little history. Finland is a comparatively new country. She gained her independence (from Russia) in 1918. Modernism is the tradition, and actually for visual art and design I think it's not a bad thing after you've been brought up surrounded by chintz and clutter. But Finnish Moderism always seems to take the form without the substance. There is no strong conceptual understanding of social or political themes. There was a period in the 1960's and 70's when many artists were committed communists that there was a lot of socialist realism created, but this drew from influences across the border in the Soviet Union, not from the western art world. So to get back to today, 2002, there is a general trend now for photography and video or film, but works have to look cool and be aesthetical. They shouldn't be about anything too obvious, in fact the less you can understand the better. It's a blending of modernist design with some superficial ideas of conceptual art.
There's a well-known fact amongst Finnish artists that the shortest way to success here is to succeed somewhere else first - it's probably the same in all small nations. Take Eija-Liisa Ähtillä, currently one of the most well known Finnish artists internationally. As a video and film maker she has been scorned by the local critics and curators until suddenly they realised that everyone else was showing her work so they'd better get in on the act too. There will be a retrospective of Eija-Liisa's work at Kiasma this coming year.
Curators need courage to show new artists, new types of work. If they've seen it before, abroad, it must be good and ok. It's like the saying in the IT industry, no one has ever been fired for buying Microsoft. So it was quite a surprise to visit ARS 2001 at Kiasma, a large international show, and see Political works. It was like, PC art has come to town! There are artists from every small country you can think of. Some works you might even question "is this art?". Very courageous indeed. Just 10 years too late. Oh well, better late than never. ARS closes this coming weekend, but hopefully you'll still find something else interesting to see while you're here:
Kiasma is the must-see for most art lovers, even after what I have said! http://www.kiasma.fng.fi
Next stop should be the Helsinki City Art Mueum, most of which is now housed in the Tennis Palace (converted from a building used in the 1954 Olympics). This is actually a great space in a complex, which includes cinemas, coffee bars and shops. Very pop cultural, and their exhibition programme reflects that attitude as well. Open late at night for the cinema going public to drop in while waiting for films to start. http://www.taidemuseo.hel.fi/
The City Art Museum also has a great website for all the outdoor sculptures in Helsinki - more than 200 of the. There are lots of photos so you can actually visit Helsinki without even coming here. It's in English at http://www.taidemuseo.hel.fi/english/veisto/index.html.
The Art Hall (Taidehalli) is devoted to temporary exhibitions, and can vary greatly in quality and style. Currently showing is Teemu Mäki, young-ish enfant terrible of the Finnish art world, although he's as commercial as they come. http://www.av-arkki.fi/taiteilijat/teemu_maki.html will give you some idea.
Forum Box is another gallery space for temporary works. It's actually some sort of old industrial space built under a road flyover, and a concrete box as the name says. Tends to concentrate on sculptural and performance based work. Also see Gallery Sculptor for more sculptures and installations, although you may find the odd painter there as well.
For your day trip visit your time will be just about up, but try to pop in to Gallerie Kari Kenetti, one of the few commercial spaces showing interesting work. It's right opposite to a nice bar called Tori, so you can get refreshed after all that slogging around the city. After all is said and done, art is an individual thing. You may be lucky and come here and find a piece on show that you absolutely love - or you may find nothing. Just remember, even though the weather is shit bad some of the year, don't come in summer and expect to see art, as that's when every self respecting Finn is either out drinking on the terraces or relaxing on a boat or at their summer cottage somewhere far from the city.
- Andy Best (email@example.com)
Rating: six out of ten (worldwide)
2. Matsumoto (Nagano-ken, Japan)
The art scene of Japan is similar to the culture, it is often difficult to penetrate, full of high-context situations and rather inscrutable. Notable art events recently have been the Yokohama Biennale, with works by Tokyo performance artist the Bread Man (whom tapes loaves of bread to his head then interacts with people in often exotic locals), Rirkrit Triravanija (with a packed corner full of attic goods) and of course all time fave Yoko Ono (who showed a authentic WWII boxcar with original bullet-holes piping garage rock). Montreal graffiti trio, Heavyweight, (Dan Buller and friends) are hosting a show and events in Shibuya Parco Gallery, featuring club and music inspired drawings from the last year. This show goes on until January 8th. Japan's digital solution to Cindy Sherman, Mariko Mori (no relation to myself), serves up a heap of new work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Another self-portrait based art-history reflective artist, Yasumasa Morimura, pays tribute to Frida Kahlo at the Kirin Plaza Osaka.
On the local scene there is not much to report. The Henri Miller Museum of art (O-Machi), which has a lovely collection of Miller's dreamlike and childlike drawing's is unfortunately closing soon. There are rumours of another gallery in the Eastern area of Nagano-ken, which exhibits modern works of art by Yayoi Kusama and other Japanese artists, but I have yet to track this place down. For Japanese Indie lovers, P-heavy, Nagano all girls band have an up coming show at HotLab on Sunday January 27th. For linguistic entertainment check out the wesite, www.engrish.com for a few giggles.
Unfortunately I do not get a chance to experience gallery art on a daily basis. For aesthetic satisfaction I gaze upon the perfectly groomed Japanese gardens and the constantly changing cloud formations over the mountains. Even if the 'art scene' is difficult and often inaccessible, there is much beauty in the smaller and more intimate spaces of rural Japan. Neither 1 nor 2.
- Cynara Mori (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rating: two out of ten (worldwide)
3. Tapai (Taiwan)
Right now I am living abroad. For now I consider Taipei a home-town of sorts, and I have found what an amazing art scene Taipei has.
The museums and galleries have the standard touring shows of Dali's, Cezanne's, Picasso's, but what is really interesting is the diversity of contemporary art that is being created here. Taiwan is a country with turbulent political history past and present, which the contemporaries are referencing in a diversity of mediums.
Just two months after the Taipei Art Fair, the Mega Arts Lottery-Artist Exhibition opened. Involved in this project are 78 Taiwanese artists. This exhibition is a lot less polished than the Taipei Art Fair. For example, at the Art Fair, there was work selling for 10 million NT. The average price of work selling in the Mega Arts Lottery starts at 2,000 NT, (which is about 100 dollars Canadian) and goes up from there. The aim of the Mega Arts Lottery was to be less commercial, more of a promotion of the artists. The works range from multi-media, works on paper, installation to oil paintings.
I was especially interested in the oil paintings. The small oil paintings were hung as a collage. The overall presentation was very eclectic. Individual pieces ranged from, red line, white line, red line, to figurative works and some were completely abstract pieces. There was a size restriction on the paintings (a reflection of the lack of space in Taiwan...make it smaller and crowd it together), which I felt restricted some of the artists. But at the same time, working in a smaller format allowed a greater number of works to be displayed; representing many artists. The small canvases were almost like a name card, "if you like this work, you should see my bigger pieces".
Artist Chen Ching-yao created a photo series called "Yueh Fei Fights Chang Fei, Bubbles All Around". This series shows Chen and his friends dressed as Japanese soldiers violently taking over sticker-photo booths on the streets of Taipei. Chen felt that the sticker booths epitomized the Japanese dominance of culture in Taiwan by parodying through transformation sticker-photos from their original use as advertisements for the sex business in Japan to cheap amusement for Taiwanese teenagers. I thought that Chen's photographs required more viewing space. Previously they were hung at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, where they had more room.
The installation work was one of my favorites; Wang Wen-teh's installation was called "The Story of Iron". The artist was talking about the history of iron. His installation was in a cubicle. In the cubicle were two rusted old sewing machines that are made of cast iron. The sewing machines sat on two separate cinder blocks. In this piece it was evident from the erosion of the sewing machines, that through the machine itself, the iron had a birth, (of form) a life, (usage as a sewing machine) and death: the consequent dilapidation and the inevitable erosion. However through being resurrected in the installation we see that the iron has a re-birth. It was a symbol of the strength of iron. The artist was aware that in industrial design iron has been replaced with cheaper, more streamlined friendly materials. I felt that this piece could have also been talking about the industry in Taiwan, and perhaps the sewing machine was a symbol of Taiwan's industrial recession. In this setting one can strangely enough appreciate the beauty of iron.
This is one of many things happening in Taipei right now, Taiwan for that matter. The artist in Taipei are challenging the conventional Taiwanese ideas; coming from North America this may not seem like a big deal. But when you are at a punk rock gig, in some bar in Taipei, and the band is screaming, "SAY NO TO CHINA!", and everyone is going crazy screaming it back at them, then yes, challenging the old ways in Taiwan is new, politically, socially, culturally. Taiwan, though industrially progressive, still has a lot of traditional Asian ways.
The next exhibition that I am going to check out is at the Julia Gallery, it is called Cross-strait Women, Artist' Works Exhibition, I don't know anything about this exhibit, but judging from the title it has to do with Mainland China. Can't wait.
- Janna Popoff (email@example.com)
Rating: seven out of ten (worldwide)
instant coffee coffee link
Nicolas Bourriaud first gained attention in 1997 when he published a book called Relational Aesthetics (in French - it's supposed to be translated into English sometime this year). In this book, he explored contemporary artistic activities in which interrelationships, and their performance, constituted a form of contemporary artistic practice, as is seen in the work of "Rirkrit Tiravanija, Philippe Parreno, Liam Gillick, Pierre Huyghe, Maurizio Cattelan, and Vanessa Beecroft"(Artforum April 2001)
More recently, Nicolas Bourriaud posits quite obviously that the DJ and the programmer are the central figures in today's culture. "Artists," he said in the Artforum interview from last spring (linked below), "provide access to certain regions of the visible, and the objects they make become more and more secondary. They don't really 'create' anymore, they reorganize. There are two dominant figures in today's culture: the DJ and the programmer. Both deal with things that are already produced."
(Artforum article from April 2001, good introduction. Recomend clicking on "print article" to get it all on one page)
(click on "Conference Text". This is from a conference he gave in Turkey last September, so the text is translated from French into English by someone who probably speaks Arabic, which accounts for the fact that it isn't very well written).
(interview from 1998)
(java plugin required)
(breakdown of Bourriaud's book, "L'esthétique relationnelle")
(publisher of "L'esthétique relationnelle", providing a blurb)
(scroll down, click on Bourriaud's picture for a Realvideo lecture he gave on his 1999 book, Formes de Vie, a year ago)
submitted links(send link submissions)
David's sig: "Free as freeware, human as you"
ic supporter links
This Week's Cookie
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant-coffee powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa [the powdered kind]
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped pecans
Cream first 3 ingredients until light.
Add next 4 ingredients, mix well, and then add nuts.
Shape in 1-inch balls and put on greased cookie sheets.
Bake in preheated 325-degree oven about 15 minutes.
Cool on racks.
Roll in confectioner's sugar.
Makes about 6 dozen
1. Toronto (Ontario, Canada)
Kate and Cecilia's quick picks
When picking these (spaces/events) we considered quality of the artwork/product, if they were worth the look-see, how much they impart of/to the local contemporary art scene, their uniqueness in that context, and whether we actually go/look on a semi-regular basis, or at least wish we did, factored in as well. Nothing stunningly out of the ordinary. Categories are not exclusive.
agyu [art gallery of york university]
mercer union centre for contemporary visual art
the power plant
bus galleries/katherine mulherin gallery
ydessa hendeles art foundation
One Stop Shop
(kill more art in one go - each good for at least one whole afternoon)
morrow complex [morrow avenue]
queen street west gallery district
(to get access to equipment, training, pros)
charles street video
trinity square video
toronto image workshop
(places to gather information)
caro [canadian artists representation Ontario]
the a.g.o's research library & archives
visual arts Ontario firstname.lastname@example.org
warc [women's art resource center]
(pick it up, get it, check it out)
instant coffee local events list/saturday edition email@example.com
(booze and schmooze)
vaseline [lee's palace, last friday of the month]
karaoke at the gladstone hotel [most nights, or after queen west openings]
openings: best are mercer union, bus galleries, yyz, art metropole, paul petro, zsa zsa, the power plant, art system
the hidden cameras [any live show]
(once a year)
(don't bother unless you have a car, live out there, or catch a ride)
agyu [art gallery of york university]
forest city gallery [london]
the blackwood gallery
Rating: between seven and ten out of ten (locally)
2. Peterborough (Ontario, Canada)
One evening, as I happened to be downtown Peterborough on Hunter St., at the heart of Peterborough's thriving art scene, there were three gallery openings all in one night! When I first moved back to Peterborough, I was frightened by it's southern Ontario small town appearance. Until I got past this unsavory edge, it was a hard, cold pill to swallow in the dead of winter, but underneath that misleading exterior is a thriving, pulsing, artist's heart of culture.
The galleries that I know about in Peterborough are:
The Art Gallery of Peterborough or AGP, located at 2 crescent St., Peterborough, Ontario, K9J 2G1, right in Del Crary Park on beautiful little lake where the Festival of Lights and Fireworks take place in the summer. The AGP runs all kinds of children's programming and workshops for teenagers and adults. They have one large and one small exhibition space, art rental and sales, and are having a giant fundraising yard sale coming up in February. Right now there is an exhibition by Michael Waterman in the main exhibition space, he has hung some of his collaged works as well as installed his Bone Chapel from which the show derives it's name, a concentrated collage of objects that is an entire room, floor, ceiling and walls, truly a spooky and must see experience. Upcoming shows include Christina Laade in the smaller upstairs space. Phone 705-743-9179/3661 or http://www.agp.on.ca for more info.
Artspace is an artist-run center located at 129A Hunter St. W., P.O Box 1748, Peterborough, Ontario, K9J 7X6. Run by David Lariviere and his team of volunteers, Artspace is a truly novel experience. Recent shows include Kriistina Laade's recent work. The current exhibition is Probe by Jewel Goodwyn and Andrew Harwood. They incorporate "notions of the burlesque, the comical and the grotesque in order to caricature media propagated constructions of sexual identity and voice." This show goes well with the Vagina Monologues that are coming to Peterborough in February. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Friday, 12-6. Drop in to chat with David Lariviere, It is always an interesting experience. Artspace, David Lariviere, Director phone: 705-748-3883 email: firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.artspaceptbo.com
Right next door to Artspace is the Hunter West Gallery, where they usually hang big pictures.
The Peterborough Arts Umbrella is a community art organization run in association with the Gallery in the Square that's located right inside the front doors in the lower level of the Peterborough Square Mall. They run a non-profit Gallery where you must be a member to have a show. The PAU is a resource center for the arts in Peterborough and surrounding area. They also offer rehearsal/meeting space, computer use and Internet access, Digital audio and video multi-media workstation, and more. They can be contacted: The Peterborough Arts Umbrella P.O. Box 823 Peterborough, Ontario K9J 7A2. 705-749-3220 email@example.com or http://www.pau.dreaming.org
Another place to check out is The Akin Gallery that's run by the people at Cossars Art Centre (an art supply store) located at 168 Hunter St. West 705-745-5684. The Akin Gallery is a studio and exhibition space that is a community based, economical space that is rented for $75 a week on a first come first serve basis. Upstairs is Longstocking Studio, and if you are lucky, you will get to meet Nicole Bauberger, the prolific painter that works up there.
Other cultural hotspots are: The Red Dog Tavern for Music, The Only Café (The only place for smokers to have a coffee or a beer and some great food since the new bylaw) and their upstairs counterpart the non-smoking Gordon Best Theatre which has bands and theatre and their monthly Performance Art Bang. Contact Scooter: 705-876-8884. All of these are located on Hunter Street and shouldn't be too hard to find. For good food check out The Only Cafe, The India Food House, and the Night Kitchen on Hunter Street (you can stand at one place and spit on the others they are so close), and there's always Hot Belly Mammas and the Old stone Brewery on George St. beside Haaselton's Coffee Shop, just south around the corner from Artspace that has some cool art up. The Planet Bakery is up on Water Street, just to the right after you pass Artspace, and their food is great too, but if you are going for food, be sure to have cash ready, as these places don't accept debit.
Oh, and Don't Forget that The Silver Hearts play the Montreal House every Wednesday night. The first time I went, the trumpet player went from playing the trumpet and the piano at the same time to stomping on top of the table in front of my friend who carefully protected his beer and his hands from being crushed.
And stay tuned, as there is a movement afoot to bring an arts program to beautiful Trent University. Their Arts Festival is coming up at the beginning of February.
- jessica rowland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rating: six out of ten (locally)
1. Timothy's suggestions for band names, or artist run centres:
1. The Cute Camera Batteries
2. The Milwaukee Walkie Talkies
3. Light Bear Pee
4. Disposable Articulation
5. Master Nation
6. Separation Seminar
7. The Rainforest Drones
8. Stop Sending Spam
(with stylized SSS logos)
9. Dogs vs. Cats
10. The Tea Bags
2. Kate's suggestion for a band name
3. Jinhan's week in review
fri (jan 18): beautiful sunny day, mild
Mexico city is a different city when you have a car, subway/bus stops running around mid night and taxi cabs are pretty
dangerous off the streets for gringos like us
and when Galia our host generously offered us her 85 Datsun two door sedan which belongs to her sister I was elated
there is this Korean Soju Bar called Soju Bang in Zona Rosa we wanted to check out
stopped for a quick soju cocktail and decided that Korean immigrants in Mexico do a good job of being nearly invisible
have you noticed in Willian Gibson's novels, he loves the name Zona Rosa and Mexican things in general??
went to see James Young, an American ex pat who lives in Centro Historico
it turns out that they are having an impromtu party....
Miguel Caldron and his entourage were there with Lewis a flash designer, Gava a painter, Antonio Outon, director of Sala
Del Cielo who spent several years in Canada
later that evening we went to a film wrap up party at La Faena, a wax museum of bull fighters doubling as an old timer bar,
now a hipster party place (Jenifer mentioned it in the last issue of I.C.S.E.)
as if on cue dj's stopped playing salsa music when we entered and started playing 80's pop music like Beat It, holiday by
Madona, crazy huh?
sat: The night before Miguel told us that there would be a screening of a new video by Silverio a solo act by this sweet guy
named Julian at this porn theatre called SAVOY in Centro Historico not too far from where we used to live
but it turns out that our friend Renato had a meeting with Julian the day before and he didn't mention such event taking place.
so no event.
Mexico city's art scene is pretty tight circle that is really great if you are transplanted here, like us, for few months at a time
made spaghetti for dinner
later Renato and his new girl friend Yvonne who is a graphic designer and jenifer and I went to this bar called San Remo. It
is a left over from the seventy's with wall trimming and all. Think red. I asked Renato what was so special about this bar
and his answer was; "oh, I don't know they have prostitutes and peanuts."
sun: woke up pretty hung over to voices downstairs. Lola and Mario had dropped by to visit Galia. slowly got up and went
down stairs to a muy rico breakfast of quesadillas and freshly squeezed orange juice.
had to go to this coffee bar/design studio in Condesa
Gabriel m is helping Rodrigo and Edith with website stuff for their new gallery, Garash where instant coffee is holding an
event. For some reason one of the fonts we used for the invite wouldn't translate when we turned the quark file into a TIF
so we went over to brain storm. we never figured it out.
We had Galia's sisters car so we went to Museo Arte Carrillo Gil; a gallery where they mounted "Do it."
We were beat from two late nights so we went to a movie virgens de la sciarios (our lady of the assassins). We just
assumed that the film would be in English with Spanish subtitles (this is our only formal form of learning Spanish) so we were
surprised when we found out that the film was in Spanish--no subtitles. we stayed anyway. the film. well. some nice
moments. I emailed Robert Lee about it and he said that he liked the idea of young kids with guns who go around shooting
anyone who annoys them. he also said that we were lucky not to understand the dialogue cause it sucked.
got home and passed out.
mon: another sunny and beautiful day
couldn't find my date book which doubles as my phone book with all the essential contacts.... looked everywhere
went back to the design studio to see if I left it there
on our way back we found this quaint little market right in Condesa, I guess rich people have all the benefits
Jenifer and I went shopping for four wheels for our carritos in the centro, taking the subway from Chaputapec station, then
we decided to get off at Salto del Agua on the pink line. spent the whole afternoon looking for the right speakers for the
tues: met Rodrigo and Edith for coffee in La Roma where Garash gallery is located....we were so late for the meeting that we
decided to take the cab from the Auditorio subway station
our cab driver was excellently fast, shifting confidently, manning his four speed gear box of a 1600 VW engine, He also ran
red lights and everything. so I tipped him extra.
we needed one more wheel for the carritos
so went to find this in Centro, lucky we were near the pink subway line
didn't feel like cooking so we went around the corner to see what tacos and tamales our neighbouring food stands have.
two chicken taco with salsa verde and two tamales cost 12 pesos not too bad for dinner
wed: can't stand waking up to another sunny day
Jenifer woke up puking all over the place; she was a goner all day
could it have been the tacos and the tamales?????
lunch at Museo Arte Carrillo Gil, San Angel
performance by Gustavo Artigas who represented Mexico at last Venice Biennial...it was mostly an empty spectacle. free
beer makes for a better party 5:30 everyone left just as the beer ran out
thurs: Another sunny but hazy day, sun and muggy air makes for a good winter
because none of the buildings are centrally heated or climate controlled hot outside often makes for cold clammy inside
First day of the SITAC curatorial conference in Mexico City
opening at Galeria Arte Mexicana, Stefan Bruggemann's work which wants to look like conceptual art but really smells like
commercial work and utterly pathetic
agua/water/wasser show opening at Antiguo Templo de San Agustin cathedral on Isabel la Catolica and Rep. de Uruguay in
Centro Historico (very near where we used to park our car) a large scale public work group show...Thomas Glassford's
water piece was nice
fri: another sunny and beautiful day, can't take the sun any more
second day of curatorial conference in Mexico City.
Jenifer sheepishly attended another day of conference
whereas I went ahead and met up with Renato and Mario two Mexican independent film makers who mostly pay their bills
by doing commercial work. Renato's last commercial was colourful but entirely bland selling chocolate flavoured milk to
kids. They are good ol'boys very helpful to us gringos.
went to visit the hojalateria, a Mexican body shop, earlier on we decided that it would be easier to have Mexican labourers
do manual work for us.....
tonight our favourite band called "duopanamix" Mexican Electronica is playing at this new club called cuba 27.
4. Timothy's week in review
sat (jan 19): I overslept. I should have gotten up at noon, when I woke, but due to the usual lazy fantasies, ended up catching a couple more hours of winks, and got up around 2. At 4.30, I went to the main branch of the library to borrow Jorge Luis Borges' "Collected Fictions", which at first I almost was unable to borrow, since I had 8 bucks in fines from October. I gave them five and they let me borrow it. This was a minor annoyance, but given that they let me take it, I put it out of my mind quickly. So I spent the evening immersed in these stories that I should have read long ago, reflecting on the fact that I hate so much fiction because so much of it is uninteresting, but these Borges stories, full of mysterious books and characters, are right up my alley. Watched Jack Black on SNL, which was also a reminder of how good brilliant things are. The week before, Cat Power's songs expanded the richness of my world beyond measure, and finally made me understand viscerally the limits of corporate culture. Listening to those songs, I felt there was no longer any need to watch TV again. This is the power of human creativity. Cat Power, Borges, and Jack Black, all seem to be examples of how sad, tired, and limiting homogenous culture is, and how amazing it can be to let people be exceptional.
sun: Dad made a turkey in his big cast iron pot. It was good but a little overcooked. Worked on some of my essays, read Borges stories.
mon: Finally did my laundry.
Found a website (www.lcarscom.net) which reproduces the trek interfaces. Downloaded some animations, and deleted some. I went through the computer and tried to clean it up - deleted all of Michelle's stuff (with her permission) which freed up 16megs.
The turkey leftovers were turned into a good turkey soup.
tues: Got up around 1.45p / up late watching TV then listening to Cat Power. Did some more laundry. Sent off a Halifax IC announcement in the afternoon. Michelle is gone for two weeks on a cross Canada business trip.
wed: Got up around 1.30. I replied to Steve's letter, and as well to another letter I got from C in the evening. I also went to the grocery store, where I bought a new toothbrush and my own toothpaste, since I'm sick of Crest.
Had a good supper that consisted of mushrooms, green onions, onions, garlic and spinach heated with olive oil, some poultry seasoning, pepper, and the addition of curry sauce. Let simmer until water boiled off and sauce thickens. Yum. Ate this and triscuits while watching one of the best episodes of Enterprise yet - "Dear Doctor". Memorable moment - The crew is watching "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1943) which is interesting enough, that it would be over 200 years old at that point (imagine if we had video from 1794!) Ensign Cutler asks Dr. Phlox, "They don't have movies where you come from do they?" He replies, "We had something similar a few hundred years ago, but they lost their appeal when people discoverd their real lives were more interesting". I've said similar about the appeal of politics over reality tv shows.
thurs: I woke up at 1.30p, after being up for about an hour and half around 7am, cause Michelle was calling from Calgary to chat with Mom.
I woke up in the afternoon after dreaming of watching a big ass news story on TV, the details of which were hard to follow since I was watching it in the kitchen, and the extended family (including my maternal grandmother) was there chatting and making a lot of noise.
(I remember Nanny bending over to sweep something from underneath the kitchen table). The subject of the news was that they thought a nuclear weapon had gone off... images from India and Pakistan were flashing across the screen intercut with the pundits. A menacing looking mushroom cloud ala Hiroshima (but in DV colour) was featured prominently, in addtion to a scene of it being on the front page of the Globe and Mail.
There was video of the event taking place. A dirty cloud fireball shooting up into the sky from the right of the camera frame, reaching a specfic point in the distance, where it became invisible, then a briallant fireball expanding and creating the nasty brown m-cloud. I watched this with my father and said it had to be nuclear, at least a small one, to create that much energy that fast.
The details emerged - an american war plane had bee hit with a missile as it flew over india/pakistan. The war plane carried two small nuclear weapons / and thus, the missile ignited them, and hence this event.
I was all gung ho to go downtown, about to leave the house actually, when I checked my email - good thing, cause Jenny had written to postpone our planned meeting that night. I still wanted to go downtown, so I tried to make plans with Sasha, but alas she wasm't up to it.
Applied for some jobs online / Peter Gzowski died / Ordred pizza for supper / spent the evening reformating resume and cv.
fri: Aimed to take the 11.55 train - got to the station at 11.50, but was still able to buy a coffee and get my ticket validated (since it was frayed it wouldn't cancel so I had to go to the booth) and jog up to the platform just as the green go arrived.
Once I got downtown, I walked up to Queen St, browsed in Pages, then went over to Bak Imaging on Spadina to drop off some slides for duplication. Then went back over to Queen to catch a streetcar. Dropped into the magazine store right there at Queen and Sp and saw Rosemary, so we exchanged some friendly whats-new chat.
Arriving at Mercer at 1.45, I met the new intern, Samm, and we began stuffing the enevelopes with the brochures for the next show, opening on Thursday.
I was there until about 5, and I was in the mood for walking, so I strolled along Queen St, slowly making my way back to Union Station. Arriving home around 7.30, I made fish and french fries ('cept the potatoes aren't very good for frying, so it wasn't as good as I'd hoped) and worked on the computer. Went to bed around 3, after watching some TV (the usual: Politically Incorect; Conan O'brien; Star Trek).
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