31 Oct 2013, 11:09am
Arts Ottawa
1 comment

Art Now: Michèle Provost

Michèle giving her talk
Michèle Provost gave her artist talk last night for for her ART NOW! It is an assortment of recontextualized images, objects, and quotes taken from Taschen’s Art Now!. The volumes list the most popular contemporary artists of the last 50 years or so to present.

visitors reading

among the quotes

She’s taken all the pull out quotes of artist statements from the 3 volumes and hung them from the idea of film canisters. Something I admire, of the much I admire of her, is her mix of open-mindedness and critical thought. She said she took each piece regardless of her feeling about the artist or art.

The tributes are done whether she loves the original piece or had contempt for it. She said, when you get a book like this that catalogues so much the temptation is to look only at what you like, but you learn far more from what you don’t like or don’t get. It is more interesting that way.

All 350 quotes are tagged with a page number referencing the books in the gallery. Even the ones who didn’t have an artist sound bite. That half dozen are represented as blank slips. To not speak also signifies.

a tagged quote


This one in the gallery, where’s that?

an artist statement matched to book
And who said that?

artist source of quote


embroidered artist faces

She also took from the books the artist photos and embroidered them on familiar circles, onto a soup can lid, tomato paste, CD (and onto a 4th household shape which I will remember presently). Each of these also have numbers stitched in as well so it may cross-reference with the quote, and the other two sections. Most of the artists, although recognized as top of the field, do not have face recognition.

She brings forward the question of the role of marketing. Is marketing facilitating the exchange between the public and the artist or impeding it? What does the language do to bring the public and ideas of art together? Or is it separating?

By the act of making a sort of Vogue magazine for the art world of creating hot (and by implication not) lists, then breaking the arbitrarily made patterns by the maker itself, who is served? Is it the artist or the structures around them? Is anything but the art between the artist and the potential market?

strips of paintings like panetone strips
She’s taken details from art that has been canonized by Taschen and repainted portions on strips like interior designer’s pantone colour strips. Like the quotes, each is decontextualized. What was part of a story is now decorative, stripped of meaning. Something is still conveyed but something undeniably lost.

Is it misrepresenting to reproduce in acrylic like this? Everything that is not seeing the art directly in person is not the art. If you see an illustration of art, you may think you are familiar with the piece, but a representation is not the thing. It is a representation.

If you see a still of a temporal art piece, you don’t get a sense of the film. If you see an image of Rodin’s sculpture, you miss the dimensions of being with it in person. A photograph of textile art misses the texture. A reproduction of oil painting can’t convey that extra transcendence of in person. Something is lost necessarily in translations through media. To reference is to not create the original.

A 4th part of the exhibit was taking the images reflected in the art pieces and restoring them to 3D. For example, a performance artist who drizzled himself in chocolate and stuck a mouth full of twizzlers and recorded that to flat 2D is brought back to object by making art the original twizzlers.

A display case of objects that were pictured in the art brought back as art in reference to Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain of 1917. What is art and who curates it? What is it to signify to whom?

among the quotes

The exhibition continues until Nov 2.

It includes works that are embroidered, painted, and printed, as well as found objects. It questions the subjective process employed by art-world publications of selecting, defining, categorizing, and evaluating art, all while inviting the viewer to participate and discover the artworks and artists being referenced.

It’s out by South Keys at Patrick Mikhail Gallery, 2401 Bank Street, Ottawa.

among the quotes

30 Oct 2013, 11:44am

Hallowe’en, Let the Gourd Times Roll

A few new faces in the neighbourhood.

A diehard Bruin’s fan.

A pair of country pumpkins for WW.

psychic projections
Hallowe’en colors from a tshirt of the Mansfield book, Complete Surprising Fragments of Improbable Books, [video clip of 2 Brockwell poems here.]

4 teen girl slam poets on sexualization of female costumes.

All this and what’s more, a goat riding a horse. No where near here of course.

Quote: “When you get an idea, it’s not going to be a great idea until you push it,” she says. “You’ve got to push it until it’s uncomfortable. And then you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘Does my project say to my audience what I want it to say?’”
~ Neko Case

28 Oct 2013, 1:21pm
Cats Photos
1 comment

Worth 3000 Words

blogger impulse, early on
The archivist/blogger impulse came early. Nothing to say, but an exact context recorded for not saying it.

Happy almost Halloween. It’ll be November momentarily.

So much to say and such a fast rush of time.

When I gather up all the books that have scattered around the rooms, I have nearly 4 dozen not on shelves, having bought over a dozen over the last week, half a dozen library books to boot, ad the small press fair bootie still not alphabetized. What an appetite. What to prioritize when there is else in life too. I want to make a post about writers fest. In the name of moderation and life balance I didn’t do it in the heat of moments but judging from history, that’s the only time that such things get done.

I’m judging two poetry contests this fall and that will all start rolling in soon. Much I wish to slow down long enough to say but then there’s this guy smiling at me and the sharp edges are taken off the dice of a day’s crapshoot, fixing me up for luck,


Quote: ““If you want people to to think, give them intent, not instruction.”
- David Marquet [via]

22 Oct 2013, 12:54pm
Cats Photos Poets

Possession is 9/10th

possession is 9/10th
Holly’s backback.

It’s only slightly less large, proportional to her, than some of those backpacks on kindergarteners.

Writers Fest Poetry starts today with the Archibald Lampman Award out in Orleans at the Shenkman Centre.

Competing in the timeslot is the Tree Press Chapbook Award and launch of Mary Lee Bragg’s collection. That is after a Tree Seed Workshop by Claudia Coutu Radmore on link and shift, something of a basic move for poetry generally and especially useful for renga and ghazals. That’s at SAW Gallery at 6:45.

The rest of the week will likely be the madness which is the love story of Apostrophe for Semicolon, a 108 (or maybe 110) sonnet run. I do a few in parallel. I’m done 38. They need some more polishing but they seem roughly right. 3 more are partly done. It is taking shape like a novel in sonnets. The most fun I’ve had writing poems since the train series. I’m all about the slime moulds. And gender flipping. And linotype. It all fits.

Friday is the big day , a triple header of must-see poetry at Writers Fest:

6:30pm • Knox Presbyterian Church • 120 Lisgar Street (at Elgin)
A Pretty Sight with David O’Meara

8:00pm • Knox Presbyterian Church • 120 Lisgar Street (at Elgin)
Complete Surprising Fragments of Improbable Books with Stephen Brockwell

9:00pm • Knox Presbyterian Church • 120 Lisgar Street (at Elgin)
The Bywords, John Newlove Poetry Award

I wouldn’t miss those. They’ll be great readings. Two books to buy. I have enjoyed every previous book of both. And I think I’ve only ever missed one or two Newlove Awards.

On Saturday is the other poetry event:

5:00pm • Manx Pub • 370 Elgin St.
Plan 99: BookThug Launch with
Michael Blouin, Sandra Ridley and André Alexis

All launching new books I’m curious to see the final product of. They all give excellent readings.

Our World Tuesday

Quote: “Whereas good poetry has easily recognizable truth and beauty, great poetry strains at the limits of both thought and expression — it doesn’t stop at the usual safe terminals” ~ Cal Bedient, in Poet Quote Unquote, ed. by Dennis O’Driscoll

15 Oct 2013, 9:34pm
Farming Photos

Old Barns

stool for trimming hooves
stool for trimming hooves, and halters.

shank hung up

bale worn smooth by necks of decades of herefords.

harness in the salt sink.

porcupines chewing where the salt bag sat
where the salt bag sat, chewed by porcupines.

The manger generations of kittens were born under.

window in the manger.

horse blanket, empty stall.

Our World Tuesday/Wordless Wednesday.

Quote: “A jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build one.” ~ Sam Rayburn

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