Wednesday, April 30, 2008

WWW now, ah, less world-wide?

Starting today, when I log on to Yahoo.com or Google.com, I am redirected to Canadian versions of these pages. I did some brief web searches (holding my breath while googling 'google') and could not find an explanation. If anyone has any ideas, or better yet, how to bypass it, please leave info under comments. Thanks.

Quentin Crisp

The Guardian reported yesterday that actor John Hurt has signed on to appear in a sequel to The Naked Civil Servant. He will reprise the role of Quentin Crisp, a part that made both he and Crisp instant celebrities when the TV movie aired in 1975. Quentin Crisp was a gay icon, writer, flamboyant eccentric, occasional actor (he played Queen Elizabeth I in the film Orlando), lecturer, artist model and, according to his business card, "retired waif". He died in 1999, shortly before his 90th birthday. He had often remarked that he would live to the age of one hundred, with ten years off for good behaviour.

Frequently compared to Oscar Wilde, Crisp is best known for his aphoristic witticisms, such as:

"Never keep up with the Joneses; drag them down to your level. It's cheaper."

"Sexual intercourse is a poor substitute for masturbation."

"I never understood music. It seemed to me to be the maximum amount of noise conveying the minimum amount of information."

"Health consists of having the same diseases as one’s neighbours."

"When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, "Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestant in whom you don't believe?"

"A lifetime of listening to disco music is a high price to pay for one's sexual preference."

"If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style."

"Teaching is for teachers, not students... and if you'd known that when you were at school, all of your suffering would have been at least explicable."

"When asked, "Should I tell my mother I'm gay?" I answer, "Never tell your mother anything.""

"Film is preferable to real life because it's so much larger than life. And so much shorter." (I'm paraphrasing this last one, can't find the original source)


John Hurt called it "a real thrill to reprise such an iconic role". The sequel will be called An Englishman in New York, which is also the title of a Crisp documentary, biography and a and a not-entirely intolerable song by Sting.

The Naked Civil Servant was recently released on DVD.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Candice Breitz Talk

Candice Breitz is speaking as part of the Power Plant's International lecture series next Thursday, in the Studio Theatre at the Harbourfront Centre. She spoke at Mercer Union two years ago - we were exhibiting her work Soliloquy (Clint) - and it was one of the best talks we've hosted at the gallery, despite the fact that she had spent three days in transit due to a snowstorm and the airline had lost her luggage and she was wearing borrowed clothes. She's one of my faves. This is not to be missed. Press release below.

Thursday, 1 May, 7 PM, FREE to Members, $10 Non-Members
Candice Breitz is a Berlin-based South African artist who works in photography, video and other media, using popular imagery to expose the absurdity of how we construct meaning through stereotypes. Through darkly humorous and subversive tactics, Breitz scavenges and then synthesizes the overwhelming remains of vernacular media, striking out at visual and narrative conventions to reveal our fascination with celebrity culture. Borrowing from films such as Basic Instinct, The Witches of Eastwick, Dirty Harry, Kramer vs Kramer, and Postcards from the Edge, and investigating the fan subcultures of musicians including Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Bob Marley, Breitz takes a metaphorical scalpel to contemporary culture, revealing levels of intellectual, technical, and aesthetic sophistication.

Born in 1972 in Johannesburg, Breitz has participated in many major exhibitions including the Johannesburg, São Paulo, Istanbul, Kwangju, Taipei and Venice Biennales. She has had solo exhibitions at De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam (2001), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2004), Modern Art Oxford (2003), Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2005), and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005).

ADVANCE TICKETS:
Call Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416.973.4000.

Ballet to the Pixies' Where is My Mind


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQr82kJrWTQ

Expelled

Last week the Huffington Post took Yoko Ono to task for licensing John Lennon's song Imagine to the wretched Ben Stein documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. The film, with a current Rotten Tomatoes rating of 9 (not out of ten, that's per cent), is apparently mere creationist propaganda marketed to the same millions who flocked to see Gibson's Passion of the Christ. Ono was accused of hypocrisy (the song opens with the line "imagine there's no heaven") and "selling out". But it turns out the song was not licensed and Ono and Lennon's sons Sean and Julian have jointly filed a case against the filmmakers, seeking to stop them and their distributors from continuing to use the song in the film.

Another song, All These Things That I've Done by the Killers, was reportedly used with permission.

Toxic Titties

I missed Pietra Brettkelly's film about Vanessa Beecroft, which played last night as part of the Hot Docs film festival, but a cover story in this week's NOW magazine makes it seem pretty riveting. Brettkelly and crew followed Beecroft to Sudan, to document the creation of her work for last year's Venice Biennale, which involved 30 Sudanese women lie face down on a white canvas on the ground to represent the genocide in Darfur. The filmmaker likely got more than she bargained for as the film, titled Art Star, ultimately became about Beecroft's attempt to adopt a pair of Sudanese twins. She met the motherless babies at an orphanage, and still lactating from the recent birth of her own child, proceeded to breastfeed them. This led to an overwhelming desire to adopt the children and take them home to NYC with her.

According to the review, the film presents Beecroft as a complex character, with a genuine desire to help. Brettkelly herself is less certain about the ethics of an affluent New Yorker taking children away from their village (and father!). “Whether I agreed with what Vanessa was doing or how she was acting, I had to appreciate the strong passion within her," she says.

Presumably the film also touches on the potential exploitation of the models in Beecroft's work. I met the artist Heather Cassils a few years ago and she told a few stories about participating in one of Beecroft's performances. Her involvement led her to her own project, with the group Toxic Titties, which she describes here:

I was hired, with Toxic Titties collaborator Clover Leary, to perform in Vanessa Beecroft's VB46 at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. In our parasitical performance Beecroft Intervention, we hijacked Beecroft's work and subverted her vision by influencing other performers, engaging them in a critical dialogue, and by unionising them, which forced up the cost of their labor. We have authored a critical essay that was published in Signs Magazine in 2006. It is an insider account that assess and rejects the dominant claims surrounding Beecroft's work. Our reformulation of this work reads VB46 against the grain by reasserting the subjectivity of the models, who have been homogenised and objectified, and by revealing the troubling mechanisms of production.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Congrats

The New York Post reported yesterday that Laurie Anderson has married long-time partner Lou Reed, earlier this month. Wikipedia lists the date for the private ceremony (attended by Julian Schnabel, producer Hal Wilner and that guy from Law & Order) as taking place on the 12th of this month. The pair have been together for more than thirteen years and often contribute to each other's albums: Reed played guitar and sang on In Our Sleep, from the 1994 Brian Eno produced recording Bright Red, and Anderson played violin on Reed's albums Ecstasy, Set the Twilight Reeling and the Raven.

Yet Another File Sharing Service, RIP


....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In C for Free

Amazon is offering downloads of Terry Riley's classic In C for the price of a single song (despite the fact that it's over an hour long). Even better, Last FM has it here, for free.

It's not my fave minimalist 'classic' by a long shot, but....

Elephant artists




Here's video of an amazing Burmese elephant painting his own self-portrait, and some photographs taken by Indian elephants with cameras affixed to their tusks.

Virtual Jihadi

Wafaa Bilal is an Iraqi-born performance artist who moved to the US in 1992, in his mid-twenties. He was arrested in Iraq for creating art critical of Saddam Hussein and had refused to serve in the Iraqi Army during the invasion of Kuwait. He spent two years in a Saudi Arabian prison camp before relocating to the US to study at the University of New Mexico and the Art Institute of Chicago.

He is once again facing censorship, this time from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, who have “suspended” his most recent work, Virtual Jihadi, after protests mounted by the College Republican club and a local commissioner. Many of the protestors admitted that they had not seen the work, which is a hacked video game in which the artist inserts a fictional version of himself as a suicide bomber. They claim the video serves as an incitement to terrorism. RPI officials did not intervene on Bilal's behalf, despite having invited him as an artist-in-residence. Instead they claimed that the FBI had contacted the school, which the FBI denies.

“This artwork is meant to bring attention to the vulnerability of Iraqi civilians, to the travesties of the current war, and to expose racist generalizations and profiling,” Bilal writes on his website. “Similar games such as ‘Quest for Saddam’ or ‘America’s Army’ promote stereotypical, singular perspectives. My artwork inverts these assumptions, and ultimately demonstrates the vulnerability to recruitment by violent groups like Al Qaeda because of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.”

Somewhat ironically, it appears an even more contentious work from last year was mostly met with bemusement by the press, and no protests. For Domestic Tension at Flatfile Gallery in Chicago, Bilal spent a month confined to a room which was outfitted with a paintball gun that could be fired remotely by viewers over the Internet. According to Newsweek, he was fired at 40,000 times in the first few days.

An interview with the artist appears here.

Discovered: Oil Painting did not originate in Europe

Yesterday the Associated Press ran several stories regarding the recent discovery of cave paintings in the Afghan region of Bamiyan. Ironically, the works were discovered behind the site where the Taliban destroyed two ancient Buddha statues (built in 507 AD and 554 AD) in 2001. Scientists in Japan have confirmed that the paintings were made with oil, and that they predate European oil paintings by hundreds of years.

Read the full story here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Charges dismissed against Critical Art Ensemble artist

A Buffalo judge today dismissed charges against Steven Kurtz, who was accused of illegally obtaining biological materials for an art exhibit protesting U.S. government food policies. U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara ruled that a mail and wire fraud indictment brought nearly four years ago against Kurtz, who is also a University of Buffalo professor, was "insufficient on its face."

For those not following the story (posted about here, here, here and here), Kurtz woke up in May 2004 to discover that his wife had died in her sleep of a heart attack. He called 911 and the response unit that came discovered in their home two kinds of bacteria and equipment they deemed suspicious. Kurtz was brought in for questioning and spent his first night as a widower behind bars.

Investigators determined that the lab equipment used for DNA extraction and amplification equipment was part of his artwork and that Hope Kurtz died naturally. Perhaps to save face (after cordoning off the block and sending in a swat team) Kurtz was indicted on mail and wire fraud charges that carried a maximum of 20 years in prison.

The 2007 film Strange Culture documents the case with both interviews and reenactments.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Record Store Day today

To celebrate International Record Store Day, here are three stores that still sell vinyl, all walking distance from Mercer Union:

Neurotica (642 Queen West) - Not as good since my friend Jim left, but still a good place to look for rare vinyl. They also carry CDs, DVDs and a small selection of music books.

Rotate This (620 Queen Street West) - Always in competition with Soundscapes for best indie-rock store in the city, Rotate often loses for the supposed rudeness of the staff. I've never personally encountered any animosity and Kevin is actually the cheeriest record store employee I've ever met (despite his brilliant Myspace page name - Kevin Knows I'm Miserable Now). Plus they have a large selection of new vinyl.

Babel Books and Music (123 Ossington Avenue) - As the name suggests, Babel sells vinyl, CDs, literature, art books, music books, poetry, etc. The owner is knowledgeable and has impeccable taste. The store is two doors down from MKG127 (Roula Partheniou's 100 Variations opens today from 1 - 5 pm) and a block north of TPW, who are showing two great videos by Artur Zmijewski.

Go buy some records and maybe bring a bouquet of flowers.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Brian Eno, David Byrne

David Byrne announced recently that that the long-rumoured return to the studio with Brian Eno will result in a new album by years end, followed by a live tour. Their previous collaboration led to a trilogy of early Talking Heads records and the 1981 classic My Life in The Bush of Ghosts. This will be the first Eno/Byrne collaboration in over twenty years. Disputes over songwriting credits and the general feeling from the rest of the band that the pair were too close led to end of the Talking Heads/Eno collaboration. Bassist Tina Weymouth said "they were like 14 year old boys making an impression on each other".

Brian Eno rarely performs live and I can't recall the last time he toured. According to the booking agent, the set list will consist of at least 40% Talking Heads material.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Vancouver Award Recipients

Congrats to Kevin Schmidt and Tim Lee, who were both named recipients of the VIVA Award, a $12 000 prize granted by the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation to artists in mid-career. Jeff Wall also won the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement, the province's biggest annual award for the visual arts. The Audain Foundation has helped the VAG become one of the largest public holders of Wall's work in North America and this year they raised the value of the Lifetime Achievement award from $5,000 to $30,000.

Pictured: Kevin Schmidt's exhibition "Fog" at Mercer Union, 2005.

Performance for Peace ends in rape, murder

The New York Times reports today that an Italian Performance Artist who was hitchhiking through Turkey in a wedding dress was raped and strangled to death by a driver who picked her up. Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo was hitchhiking as part of an international performance work to promote peace. Her naked body was found by police in a bush 70 miles southeast of Istanbul. The police swiftly located her killer after he used his victim's mobile phone.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

BGL and No.9

Mercer faves BGL are presenting new work for Project 9, an environmental curatorial agency ran by Andrew Davies and Catherine Dean, which is being launced this Saturday. Here's the press release:


BGL: Project for the Don River
April 22 - June 29
The Lower Don River, between Queen and Lakeshore.

The lower Don River will be the location and inspiration for No.9's inaugural installation, a new work by Jasmin Bilodeau, Sebastien Giguere and Nicolas Laverdiere, otherwise known by the acronym BGL. The trio has become known for work that looks slyly but with affection at the commercialism and consumerism that so often define our culture. As a counterpoint, the natural world plays a big role, and the collision between the two is often their subject.

Their collaboration with No.9 marks the creation of their most significant public work outside of Quebec, and expands on their themes of nature and consumption by taking as its starting point the site of the Lower Don River.

BGL's installation consists of a shrunken cruise ship - christened the Nowhere II - 30 feet long, completely blackened and anchored on the turgid waters of the Lower Don. It is faced by a giant life buoy, totally out of proportion to the ship. With these absurd shifts in scale the function of these objects is brought into question. In case of emergency, is the buoy intended to save the entire ship, or is it meant for the river itself? If the ship is seen as full size, then what monstrous waterway is the Don? And what tourists have chosen its charms as the backdrop for buffets and shuffleboard?

The Nowhere II and its life buoy is an emblem par excellence of luxury, idleness and materialism, representing a leisure activity gone slightly wrong. They points to the possibility of being in a place without really seeing it, like tourists taking pictures from the deck but never going ashore. The life buoy introduces an element of anxiety, but also BGL's trademark humour. With their belief in the capacity of art to elucidate the consciousness of an era, BGL are reflecting back to us the conditions of our time, while subtly bringing attention to the ecological issues of the site.

BGL (Jasmin Bilodeau (1973), Sebastien Giguere (1972) and Nicolas Laverdiere (1972)) have been making exhibitions in galleries, museums and public spaces throughout Quebec, Canada and abroad for over ten years, including the The 1er Bienal del fin del mundo, Ushuaia, Argentina; the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal; Musée d'art moderne Lille Métropole, France; Mercer Union, Toronto; The Havana Biennale, Cuba; and The Montreal Biennale. In 2006 they were short-listed for the Sobey Prize, and in 2007 were winners of the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award from the Canada Council for outstanding work in the visual arts.

BGL are represented by Diaz Contemporary, Toronto and Parisian Laundry, Montreal.

The National Post

The National Post's Marni Soupcoff took a moment away from bashing environmentalists and questioning global warming to call for an end to the country's funding of the arts (which is, apparently, Canada's BIGGEST mistake, ever). The reason? To stick it to all those white, rich art lovers, who should have to pay for their culture. Good to see the National Post sticking up for the lower income taxpayers again.

Read the full article here, followed by a series of comments so hateful your blood will boil.

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/04/14/marni-soupcoff-on-canada-s-biggest-mistake-the-7-5-billion-that-canadian-governments-lavish-on-the-arts-every-year.aspx

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Free CD singles

The Portland indie label Dark Beloved Cloud has just announced a pretty irresistible offer for their new singles subscription program. In order to get 6 monthly 3" CDs in the mail, you have to create 6 hand-made covers (3" x 3") and send them with your name and address to


Dark Beloved Cloud
P.O. Box 6371
Portland, OR 97228-6371

Your artwork becomes the cover graphic for another subscriber's discs, and yours will be delivered adorned with something crafted by a previous participant. I want the one that just reads 'William Shatner.'

The songs are exclusive to the singles and the first in the series consists of two Devo covers - one by Fat Day, and the other by Melt Banana. The label has also put out work by Jad Fair, Barbara Manning (who sings the amazing San Diego Zoo on the 6ths debut), Fly Ashtray and others.

For more information, click here.

100 Variations

For her first solo exhibition at MKG127 Roula Partheniou presents 100 Variations, a work that explores possibility and form using gray-scaled rubik's cubes. The show opens this Saturday, April 19th, from 1 to 5 pm, and continues May 17th. For more information visit www.roulapartheniou.com or www.mkg127.com.

Record Store Day

This Saturday April 19th has been designated Record Store Day (recognized, even by the Scottish Parliament, as of a few hours ago). Intended to celebrate the now quaint experience of bricks and mortar music shopping, the notion has caught on with fairly big acts such as Built to Spill, R.E.M., Death Cab for Cutie, Vampire Weekend, Stephen Malkmus, and the Black Keys, who are all issuing special vinyl releases that day.

Other involvement includes Jello Biafra swiping your debit card for an hour a San Fransisco store, Metallica hosting in-store signings and Bjork producing 10 000 3D glasses for distribution in 300 indie stores so that fans can view a new version of her video "Wanderlust".

For more information, visit www.recordstoreday.com.

Cocksucker Blues

Yesterday came confirmation of a new entry in the long list of notoriously unreleased films such as Werner Herzog's "Game in the Sand", the 1994 "Fantastic Four," Jerry Lewis' holocaust comedy "The Day The Clown Cried" and Robert Frank's Rolling Stones documentary "Cocksucker Blues".

1950's footage of actress Marilyn Monroe has just sold for 1.5 million dollars, with the new owner determined to protect the actress and adamant that no one else see the film. The 15 minute black and white footage shows Monroe fellating an unidentified man. The Indian news report where I first read the story called it "doing lovemaking act" in the headline.

The film came to light thru published FBI reports that mention them having a copy. Apparently J Edgar Hoover was the Ken Starr of his day, obsessed with proving that the penis in question belonged to JFK.

Installation removed

Art Daily reports that Doris Salcedo's installation at the Tate Modern Turbine Hall is being filled in due to many injuries. The commissioned work was unveiled only 6 months ago. Titled "Salcedo", the work was the first to intervene with the fabric of the building. The piece begins as a hairline crack at the west entrance and gradually widens, running 167 metres long.

The Daily mail recently reported that these incidents:

"One onlooker said: 'We saw the first victim, a young woman who went into it with both feet up to just below her knees. She had to be dragged out by her friends.'

“As we watched to see whether she was okay, an older woman deliberately stepped on it, lurched forward and landed on the ground. She told us she thought the crack was painted on the floor.”

Monday, April 14, 2008

Art Book Swap

Copyleft today reports on a project Regency Arts Press is facilitating in NYC and LA, which I would love to see happen in Toronto. Called Art Book Swap, the premise is simple: visitors bring art books and swap them for other books which have been donated from a wide variety of sources, on a one-for-one basis. Remaining books are given to charity (in New York, it's the Prisoner's Reading Encouragement Project). For more information, visit http://www.regencyartspress.org/pages/artbookswap.html.

Opening Friday

This Friday, April 18th, Mercer Union opens two new exhibitions - "Cabin Fever" by Justin Stephens and "Techno Deluge" by Liz Miller. A conversation between Mercer Union's Bill Clarke and artist Liz Miller takes place at the gallery at 7pm on Friday, followed by the opening proper at 8pm. The show continues until May 24th.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Jesus, Scarlett O'Hara, Frodo Baggins

A new Harris Poll of 2,500 readers shows that the Bible is overwhelmingly the favorite book in America, with "The Lord of the Rings" and "Gone With the Wind" coming in second or third, depending on the gender of those surveyed. Also in the top ten: the Harry Potter series, Stephen King's "The Stand", "To Kill a Mockingbird", "Atlas Shrugged", "Catcher in the Rye"and two books by Dan Brown ("Angels and Demons" and "The Da Vinci Code") round out the top ten. The full story is here.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Daniel Birnbaum to Curate next Venice Biennale

The Board of Directors of the Venice Biennale met today and announced their nomination of curator and Artforum contributor Daniel Birnbaum as curator of the 53rd Venice Biennale. Birnbaum is rector of the Städelschule Art Academy and director of Portikus, both in Frankfurt am Main. He served as a committee member of the International Foundation Manifesta in 2002, and as co-curator of the 1st Moscow biennial of contemporary art.

For more information, please visit the official site.

As we did in 2005, Mercer Union will be hosting a trip to Venice next year. Please contact elaine@mercerunion.org if you are interested in attending.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Adrienne Spier interview

Tomorrow is the final day of Adrienne Spier’s Mercer Union exhibition Three Bedroom Flat. Toronto-based artist and Mercer Union intern Laura Wickett recently interviewed Adrienne about her work, in which she has deconstructed wooden furniture and turned the remnants into a series of densely layered wooden cubes.


Laura Wickett: Previous projects of yours such as Unwanted, Broken and Useless and Waiting Room have featured interactive components in which the viewer participates in the physical transformation of discarded furniture, often with humorous results. Three Bedroom Flat is more static, and has a quietness that makes me feel as though I am looking at furniture tombstones. What was your aim in creating a work that is literally “heavier” than other ones?

Adrienne Spier: Three Bedroom Flat has implied movement and to me it also has humour. To condense all these valuable, big, sturdy objects into simple boxes that can easily be toppled is satisfying. Part of my aim was to clean up my studio. I will now be able to store the pieces without taking up so much space.

LW: The violent act of cutting apart pieces of domestic furniture which we interact with so intimately, and the reference to suburban-style consumption calls to mind Gordon Matta-Clark’s Splitting. The dense layering of materials in Three Bedroom Flat and the spatial organization of the cubes in the gallery evoke Matta-Clark’s Four Corners, which configures the cut-away rooftop corners of a house on the gallery floor so that the viewer can stand inside them. Both of you seem to be assisting the natural entropic process. Are you concerned with the idea of cultural entropy as well?

AS: I like the idea of helping destruction along (it is so close to creation). Sometimes I think my work is an exaggeration of destruction. A ridiculous, dramatic, farcical display of destruction. In terms of cultural entropy, I do think about how our culture can’t maintain its current state (consumption, global warming etc…) and how powerless I feel about that.

LW: By re-configuring furniture that has been abandoned based on its obsolete design but that would otherwise serve a functional purpose, are you suggesting that style is now an arbiter of functionality? In 2008, does form follow function or vice versa?

AS: I do think the rate at which objects like furniture and appliances are tossed out is ridiculous and almost farcical. You could say that the ideal of the Bauhaus to create good design for the masses has been reached by Ikea. This “good design” is often so inexpensive and cheaply made that it is replaced quickly. I am addicted to the Craigslist furniture section (artistic research) and I am in Berlin at the moment. Craigslist furniture postings here are almost exclusively Ikea items posted by foreigners who are moving away (again). If people are always moving or expecting to move they will not invest in long-lasting items. One of my favourite visual spaces is other people’s homes. When you see a person’s home it is a marvel of cultural and personal history. What happens when all personal affects come from Ikea no matter where you are in the world? Perhaps this is related to cultural entropy?

LW: In what direction are you taking your practice of “furniture archaeology” as it represents our patterns of taste and consumption? Are you considering pushing the relevance these concerns have on a more global level?

AS: I don’t believe artwork is powerful when it is about a specific political idea or agenda. I am not sure what direction I will be going in next. The garbage will tell me. I have thought of making a found-food banquet. The taboo around finding food in the garbage interests me. I love the documentary “The Gleaners and I” by Agnès Varda. It is about people who find food.

LW: What’s the best abandoned furniture find you’ve made?

AS: I can only narrow this down to my best two finds (see below). A piano bench and an antique dresser. I found both of these pieces on the same day when I was visiting my old neighbourhood in Toronto (I also have found a cedar chest, two different sets of dining room chairs, a box full of knick-knacks with $10 in change, and a handmade rug on that same street). Montreal, where I now live, is not so generous. I almost never find good street refuse because people are so quick to take it.

LW: When you hit a dumpster jackpot, is it thrilling or heartbreaking to see so much needless waste?

AS: It is thrilling. I know I live in a paradox where I am thrilled to find and use the refuse of a society whose wasteful ways I disapprove of. Perhaps I would not be an artist if our society was not so wasteful.

LW: And finally, do you ever shop or make art at IKEA?

AS: I have a love-hate relationship with Ikea. When I go I almost feel sick because I am so overwhelmed with the desire to buy and at the same time repelled by the conspicuous consumption (I do have the catalogue in my bathroom). I have never made Ikea Art but have always admired the ikea coffin called DIY that was made by Joe Scanlan.



Thursday, April 3, 2008

Day in Court

I'll try to have the full story posted by tomorrow, but here are some photos of our victorious day in court, defending the right to drive Michel de Broin's Shared Propulsion Car.







Flash Art interviews

FlashArt Online has a new series of artist interviews posted on the site, including Fischli & Weiss interviewed by Claire Bishop and Mark Godfrey, and Seth Price speaking with Maurizio Cattelan.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Frieze


The new issue of Frieze is online, including a review of the Marcel Dzama exhibition at David Zwirner, a look back at Robert Rauschenberg's Talking Heads album cover and a review of Noise: Quiet Please I’m Listening, an exhibition of discreet soundworks curated by Conor Kelly, who exhibited at Mercer Union in January '05.

Day in Court

Please join us tomorrow, Thursday April 3rd at 3:00pm, at the courthouse at Old City Hall, in Courtroom R as we defend the right to drive Michel de Broin's Shared Propulsion Car.

Klaus Dinger, RIP

Though not reported until today, Klaus Dinger, a founding father of 'krautrock' died last week, four days before what would have been his 62nd birthday. Dinger was a member of both Kraftwerk and Neu!, and was the inventor of the Motorik or "Apache beat". Of the latter, Brian Eno once remarked "there were three great beats in the 70s. Fela Kuti's Afrobeat, James Brown's funk, and Klaus Dinger's Neu! beat."

The cause of death has been reported as heart failure.

vvork

www.vvork.com marks its second anniversary today. It remains one of the best sites to discover new work, with daily updates of work by artists at all levels of their careers, often grouped thematically. Recent highlights include work by Pierre Bismuth and Cory Archangel, both of whom are contributing tracks to a forthcoming Mercer Union audio CD.