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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sight and Sound art - the next 14 days

It's a lively week two weeks ahead. Time left to choose, but still busy!

Monday Nov. 1 -Real Resident Reading Series, Grad Club. 7:30; Writers Martha Baillie/Trevor Strong

Tues Nov. 2 7 -9 Reception for The Annual Tone Deaf Festival at Modern Fuel, which runs until Nov.6 Also, 7-10 Poetry Night at the Artel
Thurs. Nov. 4 - 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Free day at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, opening day of the Seasonal Showcase in the Atrium, featuring 60 regional/regionally connected artists (come and visit me.) Street parking free, eves.

Sat. Nov. 6, 2-4 Meet and Greet the artists, Seasonal Showcase
7:30 p.m., Hear in the Dark (just what it says)from Tone Deaf Festival at the Vogt studio, Carruthers Hall on campus

Sun. Nov. 7 - 2 pm Free film, Winds of Heaven, about Emily Carr, with talk by director Michael Ostroff, Etherington Hall
Evening, Sydenham United: Measha Bruggersgosman Queen's Performing Arts.

Tues. Nov. 9- Face Off, 7 pm. Confederation Place Hotel, Arts & Letters, the highs and lows of amateur/community arts and professional. Is there elistism? Should there be?

Thurs Nov. 11 - Opening night of Theatre Kingston's The Attic The Pearls and Three Fine Girls, Baby Grand Theatre

Sat. Nov. 13 Choice between Royal Wood and Hannah Georgas (Grad Club) and opening reception for of Reconaissance, an intriguing art show about views of war, Modern Fuel and Scott Wallis in the State of Flux.

Also check out Maker's Hand, the artisan's fair in Picton (Nov 6/7) and the Studio Tour featuring JT Winik, Barb Carr, Lee-Ann Taras, Nov. 13.14

Friday, October 29, 2010

Norman didn't entirely conquer...but glad it came!

This was a week for edgy Canadian film - starting with the big ticket, much anticipated and somewhat disappointing Norman, by 4-D Art, at the Grand Theatre and winding up with intimate free Canadian art films at the Agnes.

4-D Art’s Norman is a fascinating choice to launch the edgier new Grand Theatre Series, and it’s safe to say you’ve never seen anything so visually powerful on the Grand’s Stage before. Co-created by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon and performed by dancer Peter Trosztmer about the extraordinary late Canadian (NFB) filmmaker Norman McLaren, Norman featured hypnotic and gigantic film clips from McLaren’s truly avant-garde films that were talked at, talked about, danced to, and danced about…with superimposed interviews (mostly in French, with surtitles) to help provide background on his uniqueness. Particularly brilliant were the dance between Trosztmer and McLaren in Chairy Tale; his playing with the Merles song (in which various bird parts come together and come apart) and a piece called Mosaic, where Trosztmer danced between the already-dancing dots of McLaren’s film. The show was a theatrical “McLaren 101”, a great introduction to the filmmaker – who more than deserves resurrecting and re-examining. My quibble, however, the script was weak (a throwback to the 50’s documentaries McLaren himself would have mocked) and more performers and varied choreography (with no - or far less -dialogue) would have made it a much stronger piece, and one befitting its subject.

At the Agnes Etherington, a devoted little group gathered for the second part of a free series put together by Frances Leeming. The theme of Thursday's (Oct. 28th)was Persistence or Vision, and each of the films certainly demonstrated persistence/endurance of both subject and viewer. My fave was Daniel Cockburn's 2002 Metronome, a brilliant "heart tapping" piece, as well as Our Marilyn, which genuinely immersed you into the world of swimmer Marilyn Bell.
Keep your eye out for more films and talks, Oh, and there were at least 5 available parking spots right across the the gallery is free on Thursdays. What more do people want? Dunno.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sitting and The Arts--- A Balancing Act

October. This year I'm trying to get smarter: "acquire more knowledge while taking advantage of Kingston's primary asset (Queen's)." So far it's meant a fair amount of sitting...and a wee bit of foot jiggling and hand-pinching to stay awake,but there has been an overall decent balance between obtaining some valuable knowledge and the having the odd giggle afterwards.

Oct. 2 we rushed back from the curious experience of Nuit Blanche General Idea film from the Art Docs series at the Agnes E. (It was both hilarious and moving, bringing back the good old days of the 70's and yet the terrible loss of two of the three group members to AIDS. The brilliantly executed and powerful deathbed portrait of one of them in the Agnes' New Canadiana exhibit is a must-see.)

But the pleasure was short-lived. 2 days later I could only take an hour of suffering through the generally ill-prepared and art-naive ramblings at the All Candidates' Focus on the Arts meeting (where only two candidates seem to have done their homework). I greatly appreciated Vicki Schmolka's speaking about what experiencing the arts as a spectator actually does to her, and extrapolating that to how they can then transform a community. It was a huge relief to rush off to the Arts and Letters Club afterwards and be with real artists! Writer-in-Residence Stuart Ross was outrageously hilarious, in a poem rant about a boring play...and Trevor Strong is a truly bright light.

Still, we figured that a Queen's film dep't/Reelout presentation (connected to the much-anticipated 4D- Art Norman that visits the Baby Grand Oct. 27) would have to be better than that. The talk was almost the antithesis of animator McLaren's fluid style, but my favourite takeaway was watching the audience pretend not to notice the flickers of fairly hardcore porn inside part of the animation clips brought in by ReelOut.

It was hilarious watching the Grand Theatre employee contingent trying to act nonplussed about it all... and I immediately fantasized about the (uninformed/innocuous/evil) candidates from the previous evening sitting down for an evening of that sort of thing. Oh, they could probably endure the porn but I'm sure that mixing it into "art" would be far more than most of them could handle.

But one shouldn't tar all politicians with the same brush. I have to hand it to Bill Glover, who came out for all three hours of the very comprehensive Revealing Art seminar by Kamille Parkinson at the closing-soon Wellington Street Gallery. That's walking the walk. Or it makes you want to, afterwards. Happy Sitting...