Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Read a great article in the Toronto Star yesterday highlighting the (largely forgotten) history of the downtown Toronto neighbourhood once called "The Ward"-- home to thousands of immigrants who arrived in the city between the 1890s and 1920s. This neighbourhood, which my work happens to be right in the heart of, was home to Toronto's first Chinatown and was even earlier a bustling-- if utterly impoverished-- multicultural community. John Lorinc of the Star asks: "How should the present-day city excavate and commemorate the heritage of this ghost neighbourhood and its critical role in the shaping of modern Toronto?" An important and timely question as heritage buildings are jeopardized by the unprecedented amount of development happening in the downtown core right now. FYI: "The Ward" was demolished in the 1950s to make way for Nathan Phillips Square, New City Hall and hospital row on University Avenue.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
Wanted to plug my friend Kim's upcoming show at Gallery 1313 here. I wrote an exhibition text for the window box component of her show, that will be available on G1313's website after the show opens. Congrats, Kim!
May 15th - 26th 2013
Reception: Thursday May 16th, 7-10pm
Gallery 1313 is pleased to present a new installation exhibition by member Kim Stanford entitled Dirty.
Stanford's inspiration for this series of works developed through her frustration with picking up others' dirty socks multiple times a day, and continues her investigation into how a monumental repetition of tiny mundane moments informs relations with self and others. Through material exploration and repetition, Stanford mutates a small familiar object - used socks - into larger, absurd work that both attracts and repels, and opens a conversation about the universal dialectic between the taken-for-granted and a search for meaning.
Stanford studied visual art at the Toronto School of Art (TSA) and OCADU, as well as critical social theory in her graduate degree at the University of Toronto. This installation is generously supported by a Toronto Arts Council emerging artist grant. Writings by Stephanie D'Amico and Tara Bursey accompany the exhibit.
Advance press: http://tinyurl.com/c53qkzr and http://tinyurl.com/cgxzg89
For more information, visit: www.kimstanford.com
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
I've been too darn busy with graduation and work to post these photos of the She Said Boom Feminist Zine Symposium, that happened two weekends ago. The workshop on Saturday, April 27th was definitely a highlight-- an all-day collaborative zine-making session with several talented and brilliant women of all ages. I wanted to thank and acknowledge everyone who took part for their amazing contributions: Emily Cook, Sarah Snyder, Lia Frederiksen, Aviva Cohen, Andrea Manica, J.P. King (honorary woman for the day!), Samantha Miller, Marta Ryczko, Renee Saucier, Lydia Ogwang, Meredith Marty-Dugas and Robyn Marty-Dugas. And of course big ups to my fellow organizers Erin Oh, Shannon Gerard and Amy Egerdeen.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Okay, people-- let's get down to business. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have two first loves that are inextricably linked: zines and punk rock. It is a "chicken or egg" situation. I was inspired by early British and American punk zines when I was barely a teenager. I made my first punk fanzine on my dad's fax machine in Scarborough. My awkward earliest explorations of punk, politics and social justice were through writing in zines. While this blog more or less chronicles my "art life," and I can honestly say that I would not have an art life if it wasn't for zines and punk rock. Zines and punk are the heart and lungs of my life as an artist. (Whoa...did I just say that?)
I am in my early thirties and still involved in p-rock, but sometimes I wonder why I stick around. In contemporary punk and hardcore, zines and art are marginal activities at best. I have stood by local punk as it openly disparaged art. I have stood by punk even as it covertly disparaged women. I have stood by punk (reluctantly) as it reproduced many of the structures and conventions found in the "real world." Zines have recently made something of a comeback in the punk scene, but they draw from the conventions of Twitter and Vice Magazine. One-liners and pictures of people at parties. Punk rock by way of advertising and back again. But I digress...!
Thinking about this makes me want to revert back to a simpler time...a time when women like Caroline Azar and GB Jones were the gold-dust of my teenhood fantasies. When I was sixteen, I destroyed my bedroom floor with glue stick residue, utility knife slashes and metallic blue nail polish. By this time, I had made about fifteen zines, though many sat in my room assembled and saddle-stitched but not distributed. The postal service was still the zine-makers super (slow) highway. I dreamed of run down bachelor(ette) apartments in Kensington Market with back alley access, walls painted in red enamel, plastered with obscure tracts and littered with trinkets from Chinatown. The sound of static on the radio and red wine seven nights a week. A full moon framed by a windowsill rough with decades of paint layers peeling and chipping away; robins-egg blue, beige and salmon. Creativity as a transcendental force.
As nostalgic and somewhat jaded as I may sound here, I still believe in the power of self-publishing. And the above event happening next weekend (I am one of it's several organizers) combines all these "first loves" into a stew of zine, art, punk and lady goodness.
The She Said Boom Feminist Zine Making Symposium consists of three days of activities with a focus on zines, print culture and feminism from April 25-27. Heaps of inspiration will come by way of a screening of the documentary She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column, which features the story of the legendary Toronto band who were nothing if not totally dedicated to the blending of art, music, film and publishing. Art and rock heroes GB Jones and Caroline Azar of Fifth Column will give a talk about their work on the Friday night. The following day, several local printers and zine-makers will help facilitate a day-long collaborative zine making marathon, while giving guidance on Risograph, letterpress, hand and perfect binding and photocopying strategies. Selections of zines loaned from my old pals the Toronto Zine Library will be available for browsing over the course of the day. That night, the finished collaborative zine will be launched at a party at Gallerywest on Queen Street West. FYI: On Saturday afternoon, I will be running zine participants to Kinkos, where I will teach a clandestine workshop entitled "Photocopier Tips N' Tricks." Among the workshop facilitators and symposium organizers are local printers and zinesters Shannon Gerard, J.P. King/Paper Pusher Print Works, Erin Oh (a.k.a: symposium brainchild), Amy Egerdeen, Mary "Mack" Tremonte and myself.
For more info on this extravaganza or to register for your spot in the Saturday workshop, check out this and that link, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Finished school last week and I'm in a bit of a daze. My final project-- which I've decided to not post about here in detail because I'm a little sick of it-- culminated in the production of these two publications. One was a collaboration with my mother and one is a reprint of a zine I did in 2011 which contains a transcription of an interview I did with my father. I'll be posting them both on my Etsy shop for purchase real soon.
My brain is teeming with ideas for new zines. Thrilled to finally have the time to follow through with them!
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
An interview with me was just posted on the Italian online magazine Essen, which covers intersections of food, art and culture. Thanks Giulia for asking me to take part! Check it out for yourself here.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
I just got a new gig curating the Gallery 1313 Window Box Gallery. FYI: Past "emerging" artists are a-okay, too. Added bonus: I plan on doing a critical piece of writing/conducting an interview with all exhibitors, for publication on G1313's website in tandem with the exhibition. Interested in showing? Submit!
Gallery 1313 is looking for submissions of site-specific work from emerging artists for our Window Box Gallery.
The Window Box is a projectile-like space that facilitates the production of innovative work. It is located outside Gallery 1313’s main entrance in the courtyard of 1313 Queen Street West in Toronto. The Window Box is west-facing and receives direct sunlight. Because of this, the space cannot accommodate video work. Heat and light sensitivity should be considered. The space is 66.5 inches high by 25 inches wide by 22 inches deep. Shows generally run for one month.
While all submissions are welcome, work that considers the history and character of Parkdale are encouraged.
Submissions should include the following:
- 3 jpgs of recent or proposed work with image information (title, dimensions, date, media)
- A detailed description of the proposed work including hanging information (less than one page in length)
- An updated CV and Bio
Submission Deadline: April 26th, 2013
Please send all submissions to:
1313 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON. M6K 1L8