February 17th, 2011 | Glenda Rissman
I was at a dinner party recently and shared an art experience I had in 1980. I was 19 years old, it was late summer and I was ending a 2 month, budget trip in London. I had very little money so I walked a lot and spent what little I had on subways and museums. I went to the Tate Modern and found myself in a room that housed 3 huge Rothko paintings. There was no one else in the room so I sat down on the bench and allowed myself to take in the glorious reds and maroons of these exquisite canvases. Seeing them in books just didn’t do them justice. I sat there for twenty minutes and it was unforgettable.
Could that happen today? Would it be possible for me to have the same kind of experience if I were 19 today? Do we take the time to truly experience any more?
Museums are so crowded all the time now. It has become very difficult to take the time to reflect in these places without having someone jostle you or step in front of your line of sight. It has become all about recording – and then posting it to Facebook! An afternoon at the MOMA demonstrated that art is now viewed with a cell phone or camera between the viewer and the art. Why would you want to look at a poorly lit reproduction later when you can experience the real thing in all it’s glory now. I don’t need an image of the Rothkos as evidence that I was there – they are permanently etched in my mind, accurate or not. It’s when the digital camera’s battery dies or I’ve left the cell phone in another pocket that I allow myself to live in the now and truly take in what is around me and then I realize what I have been missing.
At that very dinner party, where I shared my Rothko moment, was an illustrator that I had worked with 18 years ago and had not reconnected with until that night. She looked at me in amazement as I told my story because she too had a revelatory Rothko moment at the Tate when she was a teen. It was something we could share and experience again together… and then I tweeted about it.
April 20th, 2009 | Janice Carter
While on holiday, I found myself standing in front of The Power Plant and realized that it had been years since I visited this gallery. I walked in not knowing anything about the current exhibit and was immediately reminded of the exceptional work that this gallery continues to bring to the public.
The current exhibits are Lawrence Weiner’s The Other Side of a Cul-De-Sac and Carey Young’s Counter Offer. These are shows well worth the price of admission, especially Young’s.
Carey Young, through humour and wit, investigates the language of the corporate and legal world. The works are multi-disciplinary and audience participation is required for some of the pieces.
February 11th, 2009 | Darrell Corriveau
Held at the Gladstone Hotel from February 5 to 8, Come Up to My Room is an exhibition showcasing compelling alternative design from Canada and around the world. Many of the rooms, usually reserved for paying customers, are converted to design and art installations.
Standouts included a room designed and constructed by Studio Junction Inc. that featured a drop ceiling and a room-length, floor-to-ceiling bench all constructed with narrow slats of wood in varying hues. Strategically placed backlighting gave the room a warm glow that evoked a calming Nordic sauna.
The Inside Out House was a project by Laura McKibbon and Jasna Sokolovic. A bathroom transformed into a postmodern fairytale with trees, grass and moss overflowing the sink, toilet and bathtub, amongst which sat a variety of red ceramic birds. Glittering plastic stars dangling from the ceiling added to the surreal effect.
Perhaps my favorite (pictured above) was a simple concept by duo Matt Carr – who is Director of Design at Umbra – and Joyce Lo that used common rope lights from Home Depot to spell “cant get enough” on the walls. Attached to strings dangling from the ceiling were a series of small metal-rimmed ‘peepholes’ that when spied through, rendered the points of light as small glowing hearts – cleverly completing the phrase.
December 24th, 2008 | Darrell Corriveau
For many, Polaroid images are nostalgic artifacts of childhood birthdays and trips to Florida with the family. But for others, Polaroid film – and the process of taking pictures with it – offers something more. They embrace the imperfections and the happy accidents that can occur. With the potential for unreal colour and unpredictable lighting effects, even mundane subjects can magically transform into little works of art. Have a look at these amazing images taken by friend Alison Garnett.
For more Polaroid-related stories and links to contributor collections, please visit the folks at savepolaroid.com.
November 21st, 2008 | Darrell Corriveau
Exactitudes: a contraction of exact and attitude is an ongoing work by Rotterdam-based photographer Ari Versluis and profiler Ellie Uyttenbroek. Equal parts art and scientific survey, it’s an interesting comment on our collective need to express individuality, and conversely, to associate ourselves with tribes of like-minded people.