Monday, April 16, 2012
Went to Harbourfront's York Quay Centre on Saturday to check out this season's exhibitions before they closed on Sunday night. While I went expecting to get a bang out of the craft department's biennial, LOOK Out (and don't get me wrong, I did...), I was completely blown away by Scott Carruthers' drawing installation, Parallax Scroll. An immersive barrage of image and text reminiscent of R. Crumb or Lee's Palace muralist Al Runt, Carruthers' intense drawings reminded me of amazing punk album art. It also made me think of the internet...except more honest.
Favourite exhibition visited in a very long time. Thanks, Scott!
Thursday, April 12, 2012
I'm working on my second-to-last assignment for school right now on Busby Berkeley's choreography for depression-era musicals, for a seminar class on the topic of Beauty. The choreography really is a feast for the eyes, which involved not so much dancing as it did posing and the movements of chorus girls in unison and shot from above to create some pretty dazzling living patterns.
In a 1998 documentary called “Going Through The Roof,” Busby Berkeley’s dance routines were described as the “Epitome of Broadway Modernity." Best known for his choreography in depression-era “talkies” such as Footlight Parade, 42nd Street, Dames and Gold Diggers of 1933, Berkeley’s elaborate routines involving the synchronized movements of chorus girls and revolving stages were crowd-pleasing, ground breaking and highly influential-- echoes of them can be seen in everything from advertising to music videos of the late 20th Century.
Providing some of the context that surrounded Berkeley’s choreography is important to a reading of his work. Berkeley’s signature work can be seen in films made between the two world wars during the years of the Great Depression, and he was at his most prolific in 1933-- widely believed to be the worst economic year in US history. Interestingly, despite the depression movie attendance was at a high, and depression-era audiences were most attracted to feel-good, codified genres. On a related note, central to the character of Berkeley’s choreography are synchronized, machine-like series of movements that feel rooted in Taylorist and Fordist principles of standardization and assembly line production such as harmony, anonymity and perfection. A veteran of World War One, many of Berkeley’s ideas also came from military drill formations.
Above: "We're In The Money" from Gold Diggers of 1933, featuring Ginger Rogers.
Monday, April 09, 2012
Tara has been DJ-ing around town for 7 years, and has done numerous guest sets on radio. Past monthly nights included Out of Vogue (2005-06) and Girls Go Crazy! (2010-11) and her new monthly night Strange Notes will begin at the Embassy in Kensington Market in March of 2012, and will continue on the first Wednesday of every month. For City of Craft's spring show, Tara will be ringing in the sunshine with some sweet pop, rock, bubblegum and psychedelia from the 1960s. There will be three live sets over the course of the day on glorious vinyl! Think Beach Boys, Girl Groups, fun pop hits that you know and cool lost nuggets that you don't know! Rave on!
Needless to say there will be a ton of fantastic vendors of craft and rummage at this show-- among them my pals Sweetie Pie Press, Old Weston, Krystal Speck and tons more. Don't miss it.
City of Craft Spring
Trinity St. Paul Church
427 Bloor St. West
April 21st, 2012
11am - 6pm
Friday, April 06, 2012
I am proud to announce that the Textile Museum of Canada has invited me be their host for Slow Art Day 2012. Haven't heard of Slow Art Day? Don't worry, I hadn't either until they asked me to help them out with it...
Slow Art Day is a worldwide event that will take place around lunchtime on April 28th. Guests are invited to pay admission to their local participating museum and take their time looking at four or five pre-selected objects from the museum's current exhibitions. After an hour or so, guests will then gather somewhere for lunch and casually discuss their thoughts about the work. The point is to take some time to unplug, relax, enjoy yourself, and appreciate some glorious examples of art, craft and creative genius from around the world. The point is also to gather and talk about art-- no experience required!
On the 28th, we will be viewing objects from the TMC's current exhibitions: Portable Mosques: The Sacred Space of the Prayer Rug and Perpetual Motion: Material Reuse in the Spirit of Thrift, Utility and Beauty. For more information on these exhibitions, check out the Textile Museum's website. Objects will be announced to registrants within the next week or so.
After viewing the objects, guests will meet on the TMC Mezzanine for lunch and discussion. I was thinking in addition to bringing your own lunch, it would be nice if everyone could bring something edible to share with the group potluck-style, if possible. Also, feel free to bring along any textiles or objects you own that employ reused materials in an interesting way for discussion and admiration.
Preregistration is required-- you can do this here:
Hope to see some of you there! Also, please spread the word!
Image: Indigo Robe from Nigeria (detail), 20th Century