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En Masse Salon Masse

Your favourite art collective and mine, En Masse, presented individual works at the show Salon Masse at Galerie Pangée.  It was a great opportunity to see the different styles, approaches and techniques of the artists, but I think I got there before the tags went up and wasn't able to identify most of the art.  Below are some images from the opening night and some of my favourite pieces from the show.

 Signage and vernissage detritus.

A canvas by (?) in the black and white En Masse styleeeeze.

I love this piece! The portrayal of the classic casse-croute/snack bar/fast food joint signage says: 'dead meat.'  The paint/collage on wood panel was pretty awesome too! Feel free to clue me in, if you know who are the artists.  *update: casse-croute=earthcrusher, rad*

I would like this on my wall please.  I can sense a return visit to the gallery...

In the category of: 'I wish I had an empty corner in my flat to put a giant can of maple syrup' is this amazing piece by whatisadam
I wish, I wish, I wish...

A view of the salon hanging of the works on the wall.


Movie Rental Madness

Yes, I still rent movies.
I like browsing the racks. I was saddened to learn that my video store will not survive past the summer.  Bummer.
So I'm renting like crazy before I migrate to HD downloads or another video store.

The above still is from Sleeping Beauty (2011), an Australian film with erotic intrigued that left me with mixed feelings.  The premise goes like this: Lucy holds multiple part-time jobs and supplements her wages with blow-jobs in bar bathrooms.  An Eyes Wide Shut-ish waitress job attracts her and leads to high-end prostitution job to be an unconscious 'sleeping beauty' to wealthy older men.  All is well up until here for me, but the overwhelming ambiguity of it all, particularly the arm's length the viewer is kept from understanding Lucy, her motivations or back-story, leaves me a bit cold.  Does cold equal lack of empathy/engagement with our character?  Yes? No?! 
Michael Haneke comes to mind here...
See it for yourself and please tell me what you think.

Ok, time to stop scrunching your eyebrows.  Next up is from Being Elmo: A Pupeteer's Journey (2011); this is an easy one to digest.  The film follows the well-documented life of Kevin Clash, who, as a young boy watched Sesame Street when it first went of the air and dreamed of being a pupeteer on that very show.  After years of building his own puppets and developing his skills, Clash meets Muppet builder Kermit Love and the rest is Jim Henson history.

There are many heartwarming moments, of course, but one that stood out for me was Clash at the Muppet workshop (present day) meeting a young girl whose dream was to one day become a puppeteer.  After giving her some helpful tips, they view a large photographic mural featuring the original Sesame Street puppeteers.   The young girl then proceeds to correctly identify the rarely seen performers.  Yup, I was impressed.

As someone who loves the behind the scenes/making of aspect of almost anything related to the arts (yes, even how to crate and transport sculptures interests me), this film was a guaranteed thumbs up for me, pulling  the camera back onto lots of childhood memories.  

From Muppets to...euhhh fun fur?
Bad segue? Ok let's move on.
At some point in my CEGEP years (late 90s-early 00s) my fascination with Peter Gatien was hatched.  An Ontarian with an eye patch due to a hockey accident (!) became New York City's club king overseeing Limelight, Palladium, Tunnel and Club USA in the 80s and 90s.  While I had obviously missed the boat, I read up on whatever I could from the Gatien drug charges to the entwined Micheal Alig murder in clubland.  I thought to myself: "I wish I could make a documentary out of this!"  Well, that never happened, but Gatien's daughter has produced a feature doc chronicling the rise and fall of her father's reign in NYC.

Limelight (2011) is chock full with kitschy filmmaking, amazing stock VHS (?!) footage of inside the clubs, and telling interviews from Gatien himself (with an Anthony Bourdain timbre), Alig (from jail), police commissioners, a private investigator, Moby, and informants among other colourful characters! Get your BPM on!

Oh man, if there's one movie I saw recently that lives up to all the hype, accolades, love, awards, and Oscar nomination, it's Monsieur Lazar (2011).  Based on a one man play by Évelyne de la Chenelière, Monsieur Lazar was written and directed with great restraint by Philippe Falardeau.  Never maudlin, or overly sentimental, the film hits amazing notes on life, death, interpersonal relationships, and education; all set within the walls of the portrayed school.
As a bonus, the DVD has a really great 'making of' dialog with Falardeau and de la Chenelière.  They provide insight to the creation of the play, the adaptation to the screen, the shooting on location and other moments of refinement.  Waaaaay better than a lot of talking heads that exist in most 'making ofs.'  Go see now!

Last one: Melancholia (2011) Lars von Trier.
This is the second time I'm seeing this movie. I still love it. While I usually find von Trier's films painful and manipulative, this one sat very well with me.  The two hour long film deals with reoccurring von Trier themes of depression, miserable women (is that von Trier's empathy or misogyny- you decide) and the end of the world.  Have I enticed you yet? Does it help if I say the film is visually stunning?


Scotch & Soda

I got to take a look at the Dutch brands Scotch & Soda/Maison Scotch's fall winter 2012 collection the other day at the always delicious Lawrence, who dished out some appetizers.  In the foreground is an absolutely awesome braised beef with gnocchi-I could have eaten the whole table, but had a beef tartare instead.  Simmer down...
Behind the gnocchi, for those wondering, is a smoked mackarel, celeriac, apple and bacon.  I ate it with my eyes...

Ok, back to the clothes.
There's a laid back vintage feel to the brand that is underlined with bow ties, suspenders, blanket-style layers and heritage checks.  The colours were super rich, warm and cozy, and if I may get all poetic on you: like fall leaves and a setting sun (and denim blue thrown in for good measure!)

Take a look at the details:

 Are you feeling the vintage vibe yet?

The changing colours of fall leaves are seen in these cottony pants-even when the leaves fall on the ground and turn into a pile of dark mush.

Did I mention I love menswear?  I could live in the casual/coolness of it all... the preworn look of this sweater reminds me of working on film shoots armed with sandpaper and a dremmel. 

A last look: accessories!


Dimension Y

Not too long ago I ventured into Dimension Y: Espace Choréographique at the SAT.  Described as a workshop of visuals, contemporary dance and music, all in an immersive environment, I sat back on my giant bolster to take in the show.

Already a fan of the visual potential in the Satosphere, I was happy to just watch the images of giant knit textures go by as nightlife staple DJ Mini (of the notorious Thursday nights at Parking and raver days gone by) introduced the various segments.

Stills from one of the dance pieces: finding the balance between performer and the visual.

While I can go on and on about the potential for this space, what always challenges any creative director, whether the space is the most bare bones of space up to the most sophisticated of settings, is the exploration of the balance of elements; that is a tricky beast.  

empty space, giant bolsters


Fellini and Mastroianni and Vanity Fair

I thought today would be a fine day to share a quote.
This is from the March issue of Vanity Fair, from the article "My Dinners with Federico and Michelangelo" by Charlotte Chandler

Fellini, who frequently visualized his characters in cartoons before casting actors, told me he had wanted Mastroianni for La Dolce Vita from the start. “But Marcello wanted a script. I gave him a thick manuscript, every page blank except the first. On it was a picture I had drawn, showing his character as I saw him. Mastroianni was alone in a little boat in the middle of the ocean with a prick that reached all the way down to the bottom of the ocean, and there were beautiful lady sea sirens swimming all around it. Marcello looked at the picture and said, ‘It’s an interesting part. I’ll do it.’ ”

I had no luck finding an image of above mentioned cartoon.  Instead I leave you with one of my favourite images of Fellini (which i found here), I believe from the set of 8 1/2.  There is a giant reproduction of this shot that hangs on the walls of Euro-Deli- so next time you're jonesing for some pasta take a peek.


Easter Weekend

Can someone please tell me why food is associated with Easter weekend?
While my mother has given up on hiding chocolate eggs, she did kindly offer that I "come by and pick up some Lindt chocolate, if you want."  I declined.  If only to compensate for the amount of eating I did this weekend.

For someone who doesn't really drink coffee- I am a very dedicated tea drinker, coffee makes me wonky sometimes, (but it magically didn't bother me when I worked at a Starbucks...) I managed to knock back three lattés this weekend.  And I was as happy as a clam.  Latté number one: Sardine, situated in the space that once housed the old Bouchonée/Montée de Lait café.  The coffee was delicious and their donuts tempted me...

Baked eggs and oyster mushrooms at Lawrence.  While I try to avoid white bread in general, whatever they do to their bread and wherever it's from, I want to EAT IT ALL.

The very next day I had another brunch with my mom of crepes and fruit.  My meal wasn't very photogenic, so here is a beautiful montage I put together using fruits designed by this guy, thanks creative commons!

The food didn't stop there, today's afternoon snack (before dinner snack?) of a Toblerone cheesecake along with latté number three:

That's it! I'm done! The rest of the week's meals are going to consist of green smoothies, lentils and bran flakes. Enjoy the pictures while you can!

In the meanwhile if you haven't already seen this video, it just reminded me to stop posting images with food...


Kevin Ledo

That's it, I've been immortalized! Forever young (ish)!

Kevin Ledo is a friend and artist whom I've had the pleasure of exhibiting with in several group shows has painted a small series of portraits of yours truly.

So that's me in paint!
Kevin Ledo is a Montreal based artist whose work focuses on beauty and religious iconography and  has been exhibited and featured in a whole slew of places and spaces, from Belgium to Ucluelet, from Juxtapoz Magazine to Cool Hunting and is part of my favourite collective En Masse

For those of you who will be in Vancouver, BC during the month of April, Ledo will be showing new works at the Ayden Gallery.  Get your art on!