Friday, October 31, 2003

"Alex Janvier has filled a former Cold Lake, Alta. bank building with 200 of his own paintings that have never been seen before by the general public. The building has been renamed the Janvier Art Gallery."(CBC > Arts News)

Metasearch Alex Janvier > WWW Arts Resources

Picture Gallery >20 years of the Turner Prize

Thursday, October 30, 2003

"The ghoulish cruelties in the Disasters of War are meant to awaken, shock, wound the viewer. Goya's art, like Dostoyevski's, seems a turning point in the history of moral feelings and of sorrow - as deep, as original, as demanding. With Goya, a new standard for responsiveness to suffering enters art. (And new subjects for fellow feeling: as in, for example, his painting of an injured laborer being carried away from a building site.) the account of war's cruelties is fashioned as an assault on the sensibility of the viewer. The expressive phrases in script below each image comment on the provocation. While the image, like every image, is an invitation to look, the caption, more often than not, insists on the difficulty of doing just that. A voice, presumably the artist's, badgers the viewer: can you bear to look at this? . . . "(Susan Sontag. Regarding the Pain of Others. p 44 -5)

:: note :: . . . maybe spend some time with the naughtiness . . . the Chapman Brothers may have something to say beyond sensationalism . . . they took me to Goya . . . an example of educating the imagination in the tradition of Artaud's Theater of Cruelty . . .

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

"The bad news is that one work has been deliberately added to the exhibition (by the Chapman Brothers) in order to outrage our guardians of public morality. This has become a Turner Prize tradition, one I am sorry to see. Because, otherwise, the exhibition of the shortlisted artists is curiously coherent. In their different ways, they all share a pessimistic view of nature, history, sex and society, expressed in work that is often beautiful, always compelling."(Telegraph > Arts > Ignore the naughtiness )

:: note :: . . . many times it would be rewarding to ignore the naughtiness . . . knee-jerk reactions are far too easy to initiate . . . thank goodness for a perspective that goes one step beyond . . .

One function of literature - of important literature, of necessary literature - is to be prophetic. What we have here, writ large, is the perennial literary - or cultural - quarrel: between the ancients and the moderns.

. . .

One task of literature is to formulate questions and construct counter-statements to the reigning pieties. And even when art is not oppositional, the arts gravitate toward contrariness. Literature is dialogue; responsiveness. Literature might be described as the history of human responsiveness to what is alive and what is moribund as cultures evolve and interact with one another.

Writers can do something to combat these clichés of our separateness, our difference - for writers are makers, not just transmitters, of myths. Literature offers not only myths but counter-myths, just as life offers counter-experiences - experiences that confound what you thought you thought, or felt, or believed.

Literature can tell us what the world is like.

Literature can give standards and pass on deep knowledge, incarnated in language, in narrative.

Literature can train, and exercise, our ability to weep for those who are not us or ours.

. . .

To have access to literature, world literature, was to escape the prison of national vanity, of philistinism, of compulsory provincialism, of inane schooling, of imperfect destinies and bad luck. Literature was the passport to enter a larger life; that is, the zone of freedom.

Literature was freedom. Especially in a time in which the values of reading and inwardness are so strenuously challenged, literature is freedom.

(Guardian Unlimited Books : Review : Susan Sontag :)

Sunday, October 26, 2003

. . . saturday participated in a sweat lodge ceremony on the land of the Whitecap followed by a heaing prayer pipe ceremony at St. Paul's Hospital on sunday . . . many thanks and honour to Walter and Maria . . . to Willie, Matthew, Evan offerings of respect and gratitude . . .

Saturday, October 25, 2003

I would explain it with the example of the time problem. We all know the
mechanical time of a television program which is basically derived from
peoples' working hours and the petty mercantile uses they make of their
leisure time. For the Greeks, Chronos stood for time that leads to
death, time that consumes itself. Chronos is a gigantic god who devours
his own children. His antipode in the Greek pantheon is Kairos, "the
fortunate moment." Kairos is a very small, dwarf-like god with a bald
head. But on his forehead he has a tuft (of dense hair). If you catch the
tuft, you're lucky. If you are just a moment too late, your grip on his
bald head will slip and you won't be able to hold on to him. This
character, Kairos, is the "happy time" that is hidden in the time of
people's lives, in their working time, in everything they might do. He is
an object of aesthetic activity. With Chronos on the other hand, you can
only become a watchmaker.

The time-machine...

Artists can't really stop the time-machine either. And it's not even worth
describing it. Kairos is the element through which we live, and to
recreate this principle in the center of TV-Chronos, even if only for
seconds, is our sole purpose. And it is no different with texts. Hidden
in a long text, there are perhaps three lines that count. A small amount
of Chronos is still very dangerous: his canine tooth can crush you, while
at the same time a very small dose of Kairos will suffice, as it is a
counter-principle, a completely different kind of time.
( Interview with Alexander Kluge (by Hans Ullrich Obrist))

Kluge prepares for the Büchnerpreis

Friday, October 24, 2003

A picture named gathering.jpgStalking the Wild: a metaphor of struggle

Artist Iryn - Working Description

"Wild Onion Stalk, thread / knots

Materials from nature have their own distinctive integrity. Their own strength and weakness. I needed to accept the organic character. I fought the material wishing it to fit my imagination. However the material never loses. I compromised continually.

The action of tying.
Difficult to untie.
After the tying the individual character loses its uniqueness.
Yet . . . Binding and bonding the thread & stalks creates strength.
We people tie things together every day.

A picture named tying.jpg

I gathered them pulling the stalks from the ground and snapping off the roots. Broke them.
Then spent days making them stand again.
A huge frustration. What am I doing in the name of art.
The sculpture ridiculed me.
Just leave them alone they stood by themselves. By the river the stalks were beautiful - are beautiful."

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

"Finally, a Zizekian fractured fairy tale (see The Plague of Fantasies (London: Verso, 1997), p. 74 and 84n25). A young woman, an unhappy, scorned-by-her-family-and-peers princess, befriends and kisses a slimy frog. The frog turns into a young, handsome, rich prince, and their friendship turns to Love in all its glory. After five years of marriage, however, the princess sees that her prince is just a frog. (Analyze the tale using the concepts of the "real" and the "Real.")"(Slavoj Zizek on Fantasy)

". . . in life, we never really do anything for the first time, always repeating past experiences, habits, rituals, conventions. Life is Theater."(Augusto Boal from introduction to Performance Studies by Richard Schechner)

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

""Remember the Future." For the future is the stage, that grand canopy that drapes and folds our most unspeakable desires, the stage that promises to dramatize our pasts, to enact them in such a way that we might begin to understand them, to touch them, to know them, to become intimate with them. Those past that we have still not encountered we label "ends" so that we might one day reach them. For we know that there is no future that remains untouched by the whispering pass of our many pasts."(phelan & lane the ends of performance : Orlan, a comtemporary French performance artist.)

Sunday, October 19, 2003

"He continued: "This voice spewed out of me. I chased the novel with all the energy I had in my bloody life, and the redemption at the end of the novel was the hope and omen for redemption in my own life.""( > Books : Drugs and Deceit Lead to Writing as Redemption)

Saturday, October 18, 2003

A picture named hanBokArtist.jpg

Han Bok Illumination
Container for traditional woman's summer dress

Artist: Iryn

Materials: Fabric, bamboo, wood, wire, twine and paint

Statement: As a Korean living in Canada my appreciation has grown for my own tradition. I wanted to create a container which would reveal or open up its content. Using soft pastel colours I wanted the beauty of tradition to be expressed and honoured.

Friday, October 17, 2003

A picture named miles.jpg

". . . with Davis's fierce musical intelligence guiding the performance around him. "He had conversations with everyone he worked with," remembers Henderson. "What not to do, look out for this, but be yourself and just listen to it. He'd say, 'Here it is, this is the way I see it, but you do what you do.' ""(Guaridian Unlimited > arts . Friday Review > 'Releasing this has destroyed Miles')

:: note :: . . . don't think so . . . back then (1970) witnessed a Davis conversation . . . an incredible concentration with sense of purpose . . . as audience there was the distinct feeling of listening in on some unknown personal quest/journey in the form of dialogue . . . we were summoned to be as still & quiet as possible . . . i responded with reverence and respect . . . still do when the music requires . . . nothing can destroy that . . .

Thursday, October 16, 2003

"Some of his recent abstractions are supposedly inspired by Einstein's theories about perception and the speed of light: a fuzzy metaphor implying that the artist works at one pace and his critical public responds at another. A sly storyteller, a charmer and old-style rabble-rouser, he still has a restless imagination, huge energy, and an uncanny knack for spotting how two unlikely things go together. A woman washes her back with a turquoise sponge beside a giant egg yolk. The painting was inspired by a Florida sunset, Mr. Rosenquist has said. Pure poetry."( > Arts > Art & Design: Mixing Glossy Pop Images Into Haiku Writ Large)


Wednesday, October 15, 2003

"The arts are important, we are told, not just for our inner lives but for the positive effects they have on education, on the economy and on the future of the region. But do arts leaders really have a place at the table among the power players in Hartford?"

. . .
"Fay: We took our 15-year-old sons to see "TopDog/Underdog," and it's one of their favorite plays. We were thrilled that our boys had a chance to see that show, which we saw with them and had an opportunity to discuss the depths of that play with them. To me, that's the kind of thing that shapes an artistic appreciation in young people, in all of us. For me, that's where the conversation should reside. I'm making a point. I wish we were not so consumed with operational stability. So when we get money, we could put it behind some great vision. I think when you have that great artistic success, people's lives can be changed by it, moments in history stand still. I can reel off a half a dozen in my own experience. Those are the moments that make people really committed to the arts."( Arts And The City's Future A Roundtable Discussion On Vision, Money, Attracting Audiences And Taking Risks)

Tuesday, October 14, 2003


. . . attended a decidedly bourgeois, trifling tale . . . frustrating that a institution of higher learning would not recognize what Sartre so succintly observed so many years ago . . .

1. Rejection of psychology

Psychological drama is basically ideological holding that man is not conditioned by historical and social factors, that human nature is the same everywhere. The rejection of psychology implies a desire to reach deeper into forces that ultimately shock.

2. Rejection of plot

The belief that the purpose of plot (trifling tales) was to please & simply diverted and distracted audiences into the beginning, middle, end constructions.

3. Rejection of realism of any sort.

Realism is at bottom a philosophy, a bourgeois philosophy and, in fact, realism is only valid at the conversational & insignificant level. The critical theater needed to contact the subterranean forces - the essential conditions of the human adventure which we can no longer grasp.

Monday, October 13, 2003

. . . Ancestral Place . . . the temple is a brisk ten minute walk from the Saskatchewan River and a stones throw from the original Saskatoon railway station (now converted to a small upscale mall) . . . up the hill is Caswell School . . . located in the lowlands . . . a small depression just before the grasses reach the river . . . the place was an ideal spot for a camp . . . sheltered yet not too far from water . . . dreaming one night . . . after burning the golden leaves of fall in a pail which filled the temple with smoke and left traces of the smell of burning for at least a week . . . dreamt of an old, solitary plains cree rider dismounting his horse and making camp right in the middle of the temple . . . the trail led through the center of the temple . . . he came from Duck Lake and was perhaps on a journey to locate the place for a sundance . . . well now it takes an act of imagination to present the story of Ancestral Place . . .

:: note :: . . . s lot changes name to s' lot . . . the s had been a space . . . a shifting, shaped space . . . the spirit searching . . . a sense of surprise . . . a sacrificial song . . . a structured support system . . . the self source speaking . . . there is motive to metaphor and ancestral place . . . s . . .

Sunday, October 12, 2003

A picture named Sidha Karya
"Wearing the sacred mask of Sidha Karya, a mythological Balinese figure representing death and renewal, Nyoman Catra, the performer, surveyed the scarred skyline of Manhattan and said, "People are trying to destroy our world, our country, our village." In keeping with Balinese tradition, he was playing a character in a 15th-century story, but he was also speaking of contemporary events as he connected the terror victims of the two islands - Bali and Manhattan - by turning them into inhabitants of one town."( > Arts > Theater: In Bali, All the Post-9/11 World's a Stage)

:: note :: . . . art as purification ceremony . . . a type of community based theater with efforts to involve, mobilize and politicize . . . in the process expand the boundries of what is called "art" . . .

Saturday, October 11, 2003

"I have no count, but I sense a dwindling number of people in the academic world who are unclassifiable. Neil Postman, who died Sunday, was one, and now we can say he will always be one. Such figures -- with reputation but no real discipline -- have a tendency to make people think. Postman had that."( technology:Neil Postman: A civilized man in a century of barbarism)

Neil Postman, 72, Mass Media Critic, Dies( > Obituaries)

:: note :: . . . remembering reading "The Disappearance of Childhood" (1982) as a first year education student and the passion the words stirred . . . though later felt the need to pursue the ideas in a larger context the writings of Postman always sparked topics of research . . . the insights, provocative analogies and metaphors were often far more arcane than the culture they sought to illuminate . . . am reminded of when McLuhan was called upon to explain, he said his intention was not to explain, but to explore . . . rest in peace . . .

Friday, October 10, 2003

A picture named NO_1_BROT.JPEG
Chester Brown

A picture named r3-urban_legends_63.jpg
Rocking Raven: Tales of the Raven and other Haida Manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

lots more at Sequential // Comics and Arts News & culture in Montreal and the greater Canadian community

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Bloody Hand

Your man, says the Man, will walk into the bar like this — here his


Mimic a pair of legs, one stiff at the knee — so you’ll know exactly

What to do. He sticks a finger to his head. Pretend it’s child’s

play —

The hand might be a horse’s mouth, a rabbit or a dog. Five


Walls have ears: the shadows you throw are the shadows you

try to throw off.

I snuffed out the candle between finger and thumb. Was it the

left hand

Hacked off at the wrist and thrown to the shores of Ulster?

Did Ulster

Exist? Or the Right Hand of God, saying Stop to this and No

to that?

My thumb is the hammer of a gun. The thumb goes up. The

thumb goes down.

(Poetry by Ciaran Carson)
Ciaran Carson
A picture named audio.jpgl
Belfast poet wins top award

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

"Theatres shouldn't be dutifully educational, but divinely inspirational. They shouldn't have to worry about their social relevance or town-hall efficiency targets, because their purpose is no more materially quantifiable than a church's. As Michael Gambon graphically puts it in Richard Eyre's diaries, published last week, "a theatre isn't a place where you impose rules on people; it's a dirty radical place where an actor can work with a fag in his hand". This element of anarchy is a theatre's life force."(Telegraph:arts:The arts column: theatre - home of divine inspiration )

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

"Tall, wooden spears (from Brazil) are perched along a wall, and some Chinese calligraphy hangs on another. And on tables and chairs and the rest of the floor, you see African masks and drums and canes, along with dozens of Inuit carvings of birds and hunters. All these treasures are from Crombez' travels around the world, searching for the Simple Truths, the Guiding Principles of Healing. Travel to the Outer World of cultures and countries and to the Inner World we humans inhabit when we're sick and want to be healed but don't know how"(cbc: ideas abolut healing)

Madang Kut uses ritual enactment to reconstruct a collective life of harmony based on the spirits of playfulness and inclusiveness. By transforming socially oriented theater into a shamanistic ritual act, the performers and spectators can create collective ecstatic moments, a truthful portrayal of reality, a practical method of social change, and a healthy image of the people - the four essential elements of madang kut. this transition from theater to ritual allows a onstant invocation of social memories and realitites that, in turn, transforms silenced histories of han
into healthy histories of shinmyong and also offers possibilities for constructing an alternative history.
(Performing Democracy: Contemporary Madang Kut of South Korea: Dong-il Lee)

Sunday, October 05, 2003

"In 1971 an ad hoc group of activists in Vancouver who for two years had been protesting American nuclear tests on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians without success, decided they too needed to ignite a spark. Their plan was to sail a broken-down boat named the Phyllis Cormack to Amchitka to "witness" the next bomb test. Hampered by storms and the U.S. Coastguard, they were forced to turn back, with expectations that their venture had been a failure. But thousands of supporters who had been following their efforts in the newspapers greeted their return and a second boat was immediately sent out. The second boat was still 700 miles from the island when the bomb went off and it appeared that all had been for naught. But as a result of the worldwide media attention the U.S. announced an end to tests on Amchitka and the island was restored to its prior status as a bird sanctuary. It was the first victory for Greenpeace."

"For Hoffman and the Yippies their actions and the ones that followed were part of the long history of guerrilla theater, "probably the oldest form of political commentary," says Hoffman. "We would hurl ourselves across the canvas of society like streaks of splattered paint. Highly visual images would become news, and rumormongers would rush to spread the excited word.""

"For the Canadians their Alaskan Sea adventure grew out of a Quaker belief called "bearing witness." A person who bears witness to an injustice takes responsibility for that awareness. That person may then choose to do something or stand by, but he may not turn away in ignorance. From this belief and a modest first adventure has grown the organization that claims over l.5 million contributors and offices in 17 countries. The organization's name was coined in preparation for that first adventure, green to signify the activists' conservation interests, and peace to signify their second goal."(Community Arts Network: Witness: The Guerrilla Theater of Greenpeace by Steven Durland)

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Friday, October 03, 2003

A picture named t08.jpg
(. . . photographic images of Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park by several Alberta Photographers.)

:: note :: . . . many years ago visited the breath taking mystery of Writing-on-Stone . . . tragically during an extended camping visit an act of vandalism destroyed one of the petroglyphs . . . since then more and more of the remarkable stone carvings are enclosed behind wire meshing or cages for protection . . . we protect our past from our present selves . . .
wood s lot linked to The Himalayan Art Project . . . petroglyphs are alike the world around . . . the above image told me a story of a shamanic dance despite being described as a "fallen warrior" at the site . . .

Thursday, October 02, 2003

dark blue
sheets fly into the sky
a ritual of fall
will icarus return

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

the frost came night killing last

had the garden two days ago picked clean

remembering gold leaves tumbling down into pools of paths