Dublin! Now!

amanda-cooganWhy such an unreasonable demand? Only the premiere of a four hour screening of performances of women “repeatedly submerging and scrubbing the fabric they wear…effusive liquid emerging between their legs…” Never mind, you are free to come and go throughout. Still not persuaded?

Well. Surely you can spare a click or two to at least contemplate Amanda Coogan’s impressive body of work. How We Live Now tells me Coogan is a national treasure on the isle, and the website makes it easy to believe.   Here, the Madonna performances, with the blunt offering of unglamorous breast. There, We Shall Glorify, Coogan lip synching while white powder is manually poured over her, eventually forming a conical pile on her head. Everywhere, shiny, colourful formalwear.

Coogan’s main thing is durational performance, brought nearly mainstream recently by Marina Abramovic. But she seems to believe that these performances can communicate after the fact, through pixels, as she’s invested her site with plentiful documentation: pictures, videos, writings.

I concur. We haven’t seen any of this live yet, and have juuuust missed the Yellow premiere. But I will be thinking about explaining the sea to an uneaten potatoe for a while (above, thanks kDamo).

Amanda Coogan – Performance artist – Home.

Decynicalize Here II

5947761953_d3e89af88e_oTwo is too few to call it a Canuck jag, so hold your horses.

Troy Lovegates/Other (Derek Mehaffey) belongs in here so much I can’t believe we haven’t posted him before. Lovegates does trains and he does galleries (despite finding indoors work “a bit pretentious and limited to an audience that is already interested in art hidden behind some walls out of reach.”) Also there is a book, thanks to what is surely the last era of the Canada Council funding this sort of thing for a while, until the electoral system is overhauled or more voters realize they care about this sort of thing or more of those who care about it start to vote dammit.

He’s been at it since 1988, in so many locations that he may not even count towards a Canuck jag (I joke). This “rainbow shoeshine box cover” is the only painting among Lovegates’ recent sales funding his travel from Europe to his first NYC opening this fall. It is painted on found wood. The rest of the marvelous offering comprised drawings and a limited edition linoleum print. He sold these direct out of his flickr without even a Tiny Showcase or 20×20 or Little Paper Planes, at prices nearly anyone could afford. In other words, one of life’s cynicism antidotes.

troy-lovegates on flickr

Decynicalize Here the original on EML

A Stillness

Shearer-Poem-for-VeniceShearer is representing Canada at the Venice Biennale. His portraits of rockers, displayed inside this pavilion, don’t move me (I am alone in this). But I sure as hell feel his megapoemliths. This flamboyant and masterful expression has a quiet and thoughtful corollary in Shearer’s commentary on his work. Painting characters with a balance of masculinity and femininity “creates a stillness”. Et cetera. Dude, you had me at Cornholination.

She Can Say What She Likes

Recently I lapsed into an old conversational tic I’d thought extinct in my language: emphatic declaration. Specifically, I declared as bullshit the declaring of Patti Smith’s work as bullshit. The irony pierced me instantly, and I retreated into bemused introspection for a couple of sips.

The experience improved my reading of this interview with Katharina Grosse. Whose work I deeply dig. (…could have selected an image featuring materials other than soil…could have left out “dig”……….)

Katharina Grosse.

Salad Days


Today I spent some time looking at this, and thinking about playing cards, and my parents, and patterns, and paranoia. My parents recently introduced me to a board game that involves playing cards, but not in the way I was used to.  Instead of trying to make patterns with the cards you are dealt, you try to make patterns on the board using the cards you are dealt. Believe it or not, this absence of any requirement to make patterns of the cards themselves struck me as daft at first.

~Hopefully I haven’t made you think of the phrase “outside the box”, like I just made myself think, and then made myself think of another phrase I instantly wished I hadn’t, the threadbare “throw up in my mouth a little”. ~

Anyway, I’d reminisced, during the game, about my childhood experience of “face” cards as quietly beguiling, with their intricate, colourful, expressive illustrations of archetypal characters. I encountered Fernando Chamarelli’s work in Flickr a few days after my playing card meditation, and I saw it as I’d seen face cards when I was a child.  This launched one of my loops of wondering about connection, pattern, significance, absurdity, insanity, vanity, haste, frivolity, reality and pointlessness.

Never mind all of that. Fernando Chamarelli! Young Brazilian painter, illustrator, and graphic designer, showing internationally and producing for names like Rolling Stone and Umbro. Still maintaining a Flickr account. Still unassuming in interviews.

Excellent Vortex

serveimageI love this project, in concept and in execution. I had been thinking that I could browse it endlessly, when a funny thing happened. My typically hyperbolic thought became reality, and the series went on without end. The device I first saw it on did not display a complete thumbnail gallery, so I had no idea how many photos were in the series. I just knew that I had been viewing them for some time, then I knew that I’d had that thought repeatedly, then I hypothesized that the website somehow triggers new photos (how it would locate such amazing events was obviously the x to solve for), then I considered throwing in the towel but was still too entertained to do so, then I became sleepy but aware that I could not stop viewing, then I thought of Bunuel’s Exterminating Angel, then I sought sanity and considered my unfortunate dance ignorance and determined to end that, then I found myself back at the beginning of the thought cycle (certainly not the photo cycle) realizing that I was again noticing how long I’d been viewing.

Dancers Amoung Us | Jordan Matter Photography – New York Headshot, Comp Card Fashion & Wedding Photographer.

Errant Poster Club

As we battle to post here (all manner of obstacles, thanks), tiny encouragements whisper and wave. Here’s one now. This online comic presented itself somewhere in our online browsing, and we were charmed. Then we noticed the frequency of her posts, and the charm was joined by a sense of camaraderie – we fancied an errant poster club for a moment.

The blog wields charms other than Anulan, including references to One Hundred Years of Solitude and Aguirre The Wrath of God. And goatwomen. Go see. I would tell you more about Carroll, but my searching turned up little more than Scott McCloud bemoaning a similarly fruitless search. Turning up in McCloud and Meathaus suggests that the searching will get easier, so watch for that…

And Is It The Very Horse?

torin-stephens“images found on the internet of people who have died…downloaded and projected into a space that was either important to that person in life or was the site of their death…”

I saw this on Wooster last week, and took the time to learn more. I was surprised by what I learned. There are few other words posted with this work on Stephens’ site. I found I didn’t care, and learned instead that some things are better experienced without knowing how it is to project onto a horse.

The Artwork of Torin Stephens.