Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Michelangelo Antonioni, R.I.P.

The film world lost two greats yesterday - Bergman and Antonioni. Actress Sarah Miles, who appeared in Antonioni's classic Blow Up, told the BBC today that Antonioni was "a rogue and a tyrant and a brilliant man". Woody Allen called Bergman the single greatest film artist and joked about his desire not to die on a sunny day - "I can only hope it was overcast and he got the weather he wanted."

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ingmar Bergman, R.I.P.

I'm reluctant to have this blog become an obituary page, but thought it worth noting that Ingmar Bergman died in his home today at age 89. For more information:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Jeremy Blake, R.I.P.

Jeremy Blake is missing and presumed dead. On July 10, 2007, Blake's longtime girlfriend, Theresa Duncan, committed suicide. A week later a woman called 911 to report that he saw someone swimming out to sea from New York's Rockaway Beach. Blake's clothes and wallet were found nearby but he has not been heard from since.

Update: Blake's remains were retreived by a fisherman about 30 miles to the south of Rockaway Beach off the New Jersey shore. A suicide note was also found.

Upcoming Mercer Events

The stand-up will have to crouch and the bands may be cramped, but for the closing of the MiniBar at 37.5 Lisgar Street, Arturo P Handler presents a cabaret night of comedy, music, and possibly a tap dance act. Dean Baldwin will of course be on hand to mix drinks.
Friday July 27th at 9pm.

Two days later Dorit Chrysler (who the Village Voice dubbed “The Theremin Queen”) will perform a live set followed by a Theremin workshop. The following week she travels to Meaford Ontario to perform at the Electric Eclectic Festival (see below).
Sunday July 29th at 8pm

The following Friday Brian Joseph Davis releases his must-have CD compilation “The Definitive Host” which features his 2006 Mercer Union project “Yesterduh”, “Ten Banned Albums Burned, Then Played” and many other works. The event will feature performances by Davis and other acts.
Friday August 3rd, 9pm.

As always, admission to these events is free.

Three Days of Concerts and Camping at the Funny Farm

Next weekend is the 2nd annual Electric Eclectics festival in Meaford Ontario, featuring internationally acclaimed musicians and sound artists including Danielle De Picciotto & Alexander Hacke (of Einstürzende Neubauten), a rare live performance by Toronto’s Mary Margaret O’Hara, the world’s first Noise group The Nihilist Spasm Band, Dorit Chrysler (see above entry), the legendary Tony Conrad and many others. The festival runs from August 3rd to 5th and at $60 for the entire weekend (including camping) and with single day admissions as low as $10 this is irritainment bang for your buck. For more information visit www.electric-eclectics.com.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Check out some quick footage of Anitra Hamilton's Beater project, part of the group show Seducing Down the Door, on at Mercer until July 28th.


Saturday, July 7, 2007

Recess with Therese Mastroiacovo

“Alarm bells are ringing, Willie.”
Grab your umbrella, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the torrential art downpour of "Recess," part of Mercer Union Hall where exhibiting Mercer artists reflect on their work after (and if we're on top of it, during) each exhibition.

A while back I sat down with artist Therese Mastroiacovo to talk about her exhibition in the front gallery...

The exhibition holds two main elements, one being the balloon, and the other being the installation of drawings on the opposite wall. While the balloons quite literally spell out the word, “now” (pictured) while the drawings take a more subtle approach in documenting the word and its use over the past few decades.

Mastroiacovo has taken magazine covers and dutifully reproduced them in pencil drawings, making sure to include the word “now” as a central theme, a term used widely in art magazines, either in titles or in cover stories.

CT: So, which was conceived first? The idea for the balloons, or the drawings?

TM: The balloons kind of came about as I was doing the drawings, so I suppose it’s safe to say that the drawings came first. They were gradually conceived and drawn between 2005-2007…

CT: It’s interesting that these two variations represent a timeline in different ways.

TM: The balloons are definitely a more physical approach to dealing with time than the drawings. The material used (silver mylar) will droop and sag over the course of the exhibition, while the drawing represent a large span of time based on their dates. The years aren’t always shown in the drawings, but I think it’s important to remember that the word “now” has been used in a contemporary art context for three, almost four decades.

CT: Were you aware of how comical the balloons would be? Balloons automatically spell fun.

TM: (laughs) Yeah, they definitely have their own character. It’s the same with each drawing, in a way, but the balloons have their own personalities, especially in their potential to sag…

CT: The drawings are primarily of magazine covers, was there a specific editing process as you were drawing them? In some cases they’re cut off or look as though they’ve been altered (apart from the actual drawing).

TM: There weren’t any specific guidelines, but in some cases I completely omitted the artwork. I also purposefully added the date if it wasn’t shown close to the title or logo of the publication.

CT: Did you focus on any country in particular?

TM: No, the magazines came from all over the world. In many cases, they’re also translated, but getting a global perspective on the use of “now” as it’s used in Japan as well as The Netherlands is important. By drawing them it shows a greater perspective of how we use language in contemporary culture.

And finally, I had asked Therese to respond to this video as my “idiot last question”. Unfortunately, there was a lack in communiqué after our interview and for whatever reason, she didn’t end up letting me know. (Perhaps it was a silly inquiry? Most likely.)

Therese Mastroiacovo's work was shown April - May 2007 in Mercer's front gallery.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Theremin

In anticipation of the Dorit Chrysler Theremin performance and workshop at Mercer on July 29th, here's a clip of The Aether and Ether Experiment's Randy George covering Gnarls Barkley's song "Crazy".


image: Dorit Chrysler