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.

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A New Citycrush?

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I’ve long had a romantic notion of Copenhagen, dating to my discovery of Karen Blixen. But what I’m feeling now, thanks to Danish Royal Library’s Prevent Movement is less romance and more twitchy crush. It’s been a while since we posted any Dutch love, too, and I’m wondering if perhaps that crush has simply run its course, and whether this post will launch a new series of fawning love letters, from our legendariness to sweet Copenhagen…

All of our weaknesses are here:

  • shiny colourfulness, see above
  • sound art, see below
  • performance inspired by concrete poetry

Wait – performance inspired by concrete poetry is not a weakness of ours. Yet. We were feelin the poetry inspiration, however: Dane Vagn Steen.

Astrid Lomholt – Love In Arabic
(not the actual sound of Prevent Movement, but rather another piece by the same artist)

See you there. If you can’t make it, meditate on that image while playing the sound file. For those with longer than average attention spans, more may be learned at the links above and below:

Prevent Movement

Tom Fruin

Astrid Lomholt

On the Beaver

Castor Castoreum

Frank Shebageget is an Anishnabe (Ojibwa) installation artist from Northwestern Ontario, now based in Ottawa. His work is at once familiar and strange – familiar materials and iconography, presented in surprising forms. And once you’re contemplating that mashup, you are likely to go on to contemplate his themes of consumption and colonialism. My corvid taste and monkey mind are normally drawn to flashier, more complicated installation. Note that the photo I chose does not support my description of the work. But feeling the clean simplicity of this work, I wonder if there is hope for me yet. Shebageget has brand new work at the Carleton gallery right now until August 22. If you won’t be able to visit, you’ll have to settle for pictures on a website.

Frank Shebageget.

The Sweet Spirit

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Acknowledging that there is very little new under the internet sun, we do still avoid insta-reblog, particularly from heavy traffic sites like Wooster. Unless forced. And forced we are, by the captivating garden installations of Julio Costa. Feel the delight! Then visit his Flickr, which contains much much more, like painting with light, just plain painting, toy art, straight up graffiti, and social work. While you are visiting there, we will be hatching a plan to visit his gardens…

Flickr: julio costa graffitis Photostream.

Air Out The Moat

The card on the wall says “2 channel video, miniature model, mirrors, glass, black light, ghost video, cut-out projection, audio, false walls”. Makes you instantly dig for the price of admission, doesn’t it? Hoffos has said in interviews that he feels artists should give themselves a second childhood. Entering a carnivalesque installation like Scenes From The House Dream feels like joining him there. Learning the grownup thinking behind this atmospheric trip (Jung, bla bla, house as self, bla bla) does not break the spell – it only adds the sensation of the top of the head raising like a drawbridge, giving your moat some air. The work is currently touring out of the National Gallery of Canada.

David Hoffos.

For The Manifesto Alone

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How I am enjoying the revelation that is recognizing the influence Instant Coffee has had on Even More Legendary. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The first revelation – the impetus to post – was that Instant Coffee is more than its email list. Not to get too windy, but…I was reading about Micah Lexier’s multiples book I’m Thinking Of A Number on the Art Metropole site, and just below its listing was one for an Instant Coffee poster. As a longtime fancier of the seemingly arbitrary IC email subject lines (the only one still in my inbox serves just fine as an example: “peak everything!”), this made instant sense (no matter that the actual posters may not be, in fact, what I’d imagined in that instant).

Subsequent clicks revealed the secret life of IC as an artist collective. This also made instant sense, although I would not want to have to explain that to anyone. The Coffees make things and happenings, like Light Bar, pictured above, and Make Out Parties (and their documentation, Year of Love).

The Coffee spirit enjoyed by email subscribers across this fair land is evident in their manifesto, and forgive me for reproducing that entirely here, I know how you like your internet bite-sized, but then if you come here you would probably reject an apology for including the full manifesto. It’s only short anyhow.

With wavering clarity we understand that what we do is confined to the limitations of representation and we’re okay with that. As a product and service Instant Coffee is an effective substitute: It mimics the real thing without the pretense of being better. It isn’t that much easier to make, which is reason enough to justify it. Taste is a factor, taste being an important way to designate quality and define preference. But quality is too particular and preferences change. They are superfluous really, misnomers that distract from the basic reasons for ingesting either the real thing or its substitute. Value is in their effect. In its taste, Instant Coffee barely resembles the real thing, but its effect is the same. Regardless of taste, it still works. Quality is beside the point. In this disregard Instant Coffee becomes a medium to be used. This is Instant Coffee.


instantcoffee.org : Instant Coffee : no better than you.

Melted Candy Parachute

For the time being, Diane Landry is the only artist I need. I will not attempt to estimate the duration of this “time being”. Accordion playing umbrellas, haunted hospital beds and kaleidoscopic laundry bins are, in and of themselves, almost all I need. But when they are performed? The only thing more wondrous than motion-triggered kinetic sculpture, I say, is performer-triggered kinetic sculpture. Or DJing with plastic rats and kettles instead of vinyl discs. Or transforming the everyday into, well, a different everyday. The closest I’ve seen words come to putting her work across: “turn something boring into candy that melts in the mind and becomes a parachute jump.” Those are Landry’s own words. You can read more of them here, and see video of more of her performances here .