Thursday, January 29, 2009

Craig Leonard and the mystery surrounding Grapefruit

As part of Craig Leonard's excellent show at Mercer - which will be up until February 21st - he has produced a poster project give away about the band DNA. The project is specifically concerned with their song "Grapefruit", which, evidently, was "recorded at an unknown studio in Canada, date unknown".

So Leonard is taking it upon himself to solve this mystery. From his poster we can learn that he has so far found out that "Robin Crutchfield says this was Toronto around 1980...Ikue Mori says she can't remember at all. Tim Wright can't be located. John Hamilton from The Diodes thinks the studio could've been either Queen Street's Cottingham Sound or Accusonic. Freddy at Accudub (formerly Accusonic) has no memory of the band. Tommy Atom might've engineered the track at Cottingham Sound, but he hasn't been found yet...."

Leonard's poster serves as both a history of this mystery, and also a request for help in solving it, as it concludes "LET'S FIGURE THIS OUT! WRITE ME: C.L., 5383 WAVERLY TERR., HALIFAX, B3H 1J1"

I think there are still posters available in the gallery to be taken away, (they were on a plinth in a pile under a grapefruit last time I checked), but if you can't make it to the show and know anything about any of this, please do get in touch with Craig at the above address.

And there is a nice piece about this project here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Inaugural Poem Remix

I didn't watch the inauguration, but from what I gather it sounds like Aretha Franklin's hat was a hit, and Elizabeth Alexander's Inaugural Poem really wasn't.

So last week on Kenny G's radio show he challenged his listeners to "Take her poem. Remix it, shred it, speed it up, slow it down, reconstruct it, deconstruct it, warp it, bend it, twist it, scream it, rock it, set it to noise, obliterate it." With the added note: "sincere recitations will be discarded."

The results of this challenge are all up now on the WFMU blog, and you can hear Kenny play them live today on his radio show from noon-3 pm.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What It Really Is

Opening tonight at Redbull 381 Projects is What It Really Is, a group show of sculptural works by Kristan Horton, Liz Magor,Kristi Malakoff , Jennifer Rose Schiarrino, and me. (Apologies for the blatant self-promotion, but I think you should come.)

The opening is from 6-9pm at 381 Queen West, which is above a shop in between Spadina and Peter. And yes, I believe there will be some free Redbull at the event.

More details here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Way I Are

Robert Fones, Leviathan #5, 2008, colour photograph laminated on aluminum

Opening this upcoming Wednesday at the Blackwood Gallery is THE WAY I ARE:

"In which slang is proposed as a means through which to consider elaborations and modulations of visual imagery and formal methods within various art practices."

January 21-March 1, 2009
curated by none other than Mercer's dear friend Katie Bethune-Leamen

The artists in this group exhibition are: Valerie Blass, Anthony Burnham, Robert Fones, Martin Golland, Jen Hutton, Kelly Jazvac, John Massey, Elizabeth McIntosh, Planningtorock and Tony Romano.

Opening Reception: Wednesday January 21, 6 - 9 pm. Artists in attendance.

I'm pretty excited to see how this show connects all these rad peeps with this.

Oh, and there is a free bus leaving the Gladstone Hotel at 6 pm, returning at 9 pm.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some belated holiday news, etc:

Back in October I posted about an ad campaign by The Bay that seemed to be directly referencing, though not acknowledging, a project by my friend Biliana Velkova. Though The Bay seems to have remained silent about this, Biliana did a window installation in Vancouver over the Christmas holidays that referenced The Bay:

A Breathless Christmas, window installation at Jeffrey Boone Gallery,1 East Cordova Street unit 140, Vancouver, BC
December 4-January 7

A Breathless Christmas is a project loosely based on the Hudson Bay's Christmas campaign. Typical holiday advertising creates the perfect illusion, whether is spending time with family, acquiring desired goods or achieving social expectation of what the holidays should be. A Breathless Christmas takes this concept and applies to a non-existent storefront, in a closed gallery. While the posters promise "the perfect gift" and "free delivery" they are just a fa├žade, there is nothing behind the advertisement and behind the glass. The project is a continuation of the artist's research of marketing, appropriation and authorship issues. As advertising campaigns are borrowing from art concepts more frequently, the line between them becomes blurred.

I think that's a good response by Biliana to that situation, not to mention a lovely photo of her with snowflakes.

And in semi-related news - also relating to issues of appropriation and originality - the Kenneth Goldsmith and Craig Leonard shows opened at Mercer last night and are really excellent. The Goldsmith talk (and his incredibly dapper suit) drew a big crowd, and both artists were there for the opening, which was one of those rare events where people were actually talking about the much to read/explore/think about, in both galleries, and a great free poster project/give-away by Leonard by the front desk. So don't miss it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Very exciting news:

This Friday night two new shows open at Mercer:

KENNETH GOLDSMITH, STREET POETS & VISIONARIES: SELECTIONS FROM THE UBUWEB COLLECTION - an exhibition of posters and ephemeral writings from the streets of New York City.

And CRAIG LEONARD: AMUSICOLOGY - A series of mini-installations, charting art/rock coincidences and convergences through mixed dosages of sculptural inquiry, archival impulse and audio experiment.

I am so looking forward to these shows, which run from January 09, 2009 - February 14, 2009. But even though the show will be up for a month, you should definitely try to make the opening because there will be a talk by UbuWeb founder Kenneth Goldsmith at 7PM preceding the opening reception at 8PM.

Just in case you haven't already heard of UbuWeb, it is a truly amazing on-line resource/treasure that you should check out immediately here.

And there is a pretty great interview with Goldsmith here.
(I so badly wish I could take his Un-Creative Writing class, where students are penalized for showing any signs of creativity or originality.)

More information about the show here.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy Holidays and all of that....

Okay, so this has nothing to do with anything, really, but if you haven't already seen Arianna dancing to Beyonce, please watch.