Posts Tagged ‘video’

This is a story about an exhibit that is showing at the Art Gallery of Ontario at the moment, “A Story of Negotiation” by Francis Alys.  The exhibit is a look at three of Alys’s large projects.  For each project there were many studies, notes, and sketches.  Drawings and paintings dot the walls and cover many tables.  There are three large videos to watch (not the ones shown below).  It is a fairly complex installation and only a small part of it is included here.

two women looking over a table with art displays on it , in an art gallery

below: In 2006 Alys tried to organize two lines of fishing boats, one from Florida and one from Cuba, that would form a bridge between the United States and Florida.  It was unsuccessful.  He repeated the project in 2008, this time between Spain and Morocco.

a young man is looking at two video screens that are mounted on the wall

a line of little sailboats on the floor, all parallel to each other, the base of the boat (hull) is a flip flop or sandal.

below: More on borders, pairs of words that depend on which side you’re on.
Words such as leave/return and us/them.

4 small green and yellow pictures on a pink wall

Alys also spent time embedded with British forces in Afghanistan.

a display of pictures, paintings, drawings, sketches, and notes as part of an art exhibit

below: Alys made a videos on kids flying kites in Afghanistan.  There was also a video of kids rolling a large reel of film through the streets and alleys in an Afghan city.

3 wood benches in front of a table mounted to a wall, art on the table, a video screen on the wall with a movie about kids in Afghanistan flying kites, some people in the background

below: Weapons made of found objects

in a yellow room with two small pictures hanging crookedly on the wall. A table in the middle of the room, glass covering artwork on the table. Sitting on the table is an automatic rifle (artwork) made of found objects

below: Instead of a round of ammunition, there is a reel of film. This is true in all of Alys’s ‘automatic rifles’ that are displayed here

close up of a sculpture of an automatic rifle where the round of ammo is replaced by a reel of film

a circle of art weapons, automatic rifles, made of found objects, with barrels all pointed inwards,

The exhibit continues at the AGO until April 2nd.

a little wooden human figure is doing the front crawl, one arm outstretched, on a bubble of clear plastic on a table top

As you may know, every few months I wander down Rush Lane and all the other lanes that make up Graffiti Alley on the south side of Queen West.  There is usually something new on the walls and hydro poles and there are often people watching opportunities as well.   Wednesday’s walk did not disappoint.   Here is the photographic evidence – some street art that I saw for the first time and some worth a second look… and even a person or two.

mural of a large face with paint brush by the mouth, wearing glasses, mural seems to be looking at a car that is parked in front of it, with reflections of the mural in the car window

below: Taking selfies is an artform in itself.

two young women pose in front of a colourful mural in an alley, while around the corner of the building a young man is looking at his phone,

below: Making a video in one of the side alleys.

making a music video in front of the street art in an alley, a young man in white t shirt is dancing to the music (and lip synching too I think) while another man, bald, is filming him and recording him.

below:  A home for hundreds of stickers, all nicely frames together

The words noo ideal painted above a window in an alley. The window is covered with a metal grille as well as hundreds of stickers

below: This poser bunny takes the spotlight.

a poser bunny painted on the side of a building, spotlighted by the afternoon sun, the wall behind him is in shadow

below: A new piece, with some older poser bunnies in the background.

street art on a wall in an alley, text starting with G, two yellow eyes as well

below: When I first saw this piece (by elicser?) I thought that he had his heart in his hands.  As I look at it more, I’m not so sure.   Any ideas?  Also, “How long do we have?”  An open question, an incomplete question, a mysterious question, or a question of philosophy.  You see, one question leads to another.

street art and graffiti in an alley, on a wall and in a doorway. On the wall is a headless man holding a pink blob in his hands, on the doorway is a lot of graffiti and tags along with the words, How long do we have?

below: This one isn’t new and isn’t particularly outstanding, but the way the sun was shining on it caught my eye.  A bit of a silly comment – I’ll assume that W C doesn’t stand for water closet!

wood double garage door, center opening, with a large street art W and C painted on it.

a large orange text graffiti across a large door and on the wall on both sides, all in orange, with three orange traffic cones in front of it.

below: Donald Trump and the lovebot share a pole.  Poor lovebot  😦

two stickers on a pole. The top one is a lovebot sticker and the bottom one is Donald Trump's head on a naked man's body.

below: Street art by gems

text graffiti by street artist gems, words spells gems in oranges and blues.

below: One more new street art piece

street art text painting in blue

below: Talking trash says “She’s bound to put a blanket on my bed”.

trash bins outside a restaurant. One of them has had words written on it,

below: A small blue airplane and another little blue thing, all that remains of a larger mural painted long ago.

very small street art painting of a blue airplane amongst tags

below: Apparently he doesn’t miss us?

small line drawing graffiti of a person with a word bubble that says I don't miss you

below: Oh no! Stikman is behind bars and lovebot’s been restrained.

a stikman is on a wall behind a metal grille and lovebot is on a metal pole to which a metal strap has been placed, over top of lovebot

below: A seat and a smoke at break time. Maybe he’s texting his girlfriend about the weirdos he sees in the alley. Or maybe he took my picture and he’s adding it to his instagram collection of strangers in the lane! 🙂

a man is sitting on a small orange plastic stool in an alley. He has a yellow apron on. He has a cell phone and a cigarette in his hands.

below: A protest piece.  A play on the national anthem. Oh Canada our home on native land.

street art on a wall in an alley, Canadian flag with background colours changed to Native flag colours, and words that say Oh Canada Our Home On Native Land. Honour our treaties.

 

below: One word of warning if you plan to walk this alley in the late afternoon, you may be dodging cars that are trying to avoid Queen Street traffic.

close up of the side of a car as it drives past in an alley

below: But you’ll also be entertained by those who get stuck.  It’s especially amusing when it’s the more aggressive drivers who are thwarted.   It is a working alley, not a street, after all.

cars trying to go in two different directions as they pass a truck parked in an alley

 Food is an important part of our lives and there is a lot that we take for granted about the food we eat. Food, and all that accompanies it, is the theme of a collection of art exhibits at Harbourfront’s Artport.   On display is work by a number of artists who have been examining different food related issues.   How we see food, it’s role in our lives, how healthy is it,  it’s production, and how we obtain it, are just a few of the questions that are explored.   We eat food but what about the parts we usually waste?

Below is a sample of what is on offer.

below: ‘Wearable Food – Hat’, 2014, by Sooyeong Lee, part of a series of photographs that displays food in atypical and unexpected ways.   An acorn squash fascinator is precariously perched on her head.

A picture of a photo of an Asian woman with her hair in a braid, a stern expression on her face, and the top of an acorn squash on her head in place of a hat

below: ‘Frugivore Project’, 2011-ongoing, by Amanda White, an attempt to communicate biologically with tomato plants.  White bought tomatoes from the grocery store and ate them.   She harvested the seeds after they had passed through her digestive system and then planted them.  After the plants bear fruit, it is eaten and the cycle continues.

Two pictures of one art installation. On a small door is a picture of a woman eating a tomato and with a pile of tomatos in front of her. Open the door and it reveals a small space with a tomato plant growing there.

 

below: ‘Foraged Palette’, 2015, Thea Haines, made with wool, silk, linen, hemp and cotton with natural dyes.   The dyes are made from food waste such as carrot peels, onion skins, pomegranate skins and avocado pits.

A pattern of hand dyed, hand cut leaves in varying shades of yellows oranges and browns is displayed on a wall

close up of A pattern of hand dyed, hand cut leaves in varying shades of yellows oranges and browns is displayed on a wall

below:‘Strain to Absorb, 2015, by Lisa Myers, three digital files running simultaneously. Blueberries contain the pigment anthocyanin which the artist produces from strained fruit.

Three video screens displayed horizontally on a wall.

below:‘Accidental Hunter’, 2014, by Erin Riley, hunting with a rifle received as a gift from her father and taking pictures of the event.

A picture of a large photograph of people in orange vests and hats as they set out with their rifles on a hunting trip. To the right is part of a picture of dead geese but only part of it is visible

below: ‘Delicate merchandise!”, 2014, by Lynn Price, oil on paper.  The title comes from a poem called ‘Ode to a Lemon’ by Pablo Neruda (see bottom of post)

A grid of 16 black and white paintings of three lemons in a bowl , on an art gallery wall

below:Functional Ceramic Tableware, 2005-2015, by Bruce Cochrane

Two intricately designed ceramic containers on a table in front of a series of pictures of lemons in a bowl

Two artistic ceramic pieces by Bruce Cochrane on a small shalef

below: Trading Places, Victoria Piersig.  A series of photographs from a journey spent onboard a ship transporting wheat from Thunder Bay to Montreal.

close up of part of a very large black and white photograph of a man standing on the deck of a lake freighter at night in the winter

Two photographs of parts of a ship mounted on a wall that is covered with a large black and white photo

below: cookie cutter rings and brooches, by Andree Wejsmann

six little rings and broaches made to look like cookie cutters, a shovel, a squirrel, a rabbit, a heart, a duck and a snail.

below: Teerex and Triceratops Corn Cob holders, 2012, by Lana Filippone

sculptures of cobs of corn, three, each with dinosaur corn cob holders.

***

‘Ode to a Lemon’ by Pablo Neruda

Out of lemon flowers
loosed
on the moonlight, love’s
lashed and insatiable
essences,
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree’s yellow
emerges,
the lemons
move down
from the tree’s planetarium
Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it –
bazaars
for the light and the
barbarous gold.

An art exhibit in the Great Hall at Union Station, January 16 to January 23

I’m going to out on a limb a bit here and say like most contemporary or modern art, this exhibit was combination of  some shoddily thrown together nonsense and some well executed and interesting pieces.
One of the things that caught my attention was how people reacted and/or interacted with the different parts of the exhibit.  Union Station is not an art destination.  It’s a space that people walk through on their way to somewhere else.

A view of the Great Hall of Union Station with the provincial flags along one wall, the archway over the window at the end of the room, and an art exhibit in the main part of the hall.  Two woman are looking at sculptures on one side.  A video screen is showing a video about the exhibit - a man sitting in a chair is what is seen in this picture.

In the above photo, the women are using a computer monitor to learn about The Legacy of Joseph Wagenbach, an installation by Iris Haussler.  In 2006 she turned a house on Robinson St. in Toronto into a ‘discovered’ home of a reclusive older man who had filled his house with over 100 sculptures that he had made.  At that time there was some controversy when people learned that there was no real Joseph Wagenbach, that his story was fiction.   There is a  Joseph Wagenbach Foundation with its own website.

A colletion of small sculptures of life like figures in grey and black.

Some of the Joseph Wagenbach sculptures.

A relief sculpture of a woman's head, on the ground.  In the background are people and some of the booths of Union Station.

 ***

A corner of a dimly lit white walled room. In the

‘Marbled Meanings’ by Navid Nuur. 
top right: ‘Broken Diamond’  made of neon, broken glass, argon neon blue light. 
center: ‘Threshold’ made of green florist foam blocks

With the above collection, I found that the light and shadows were more interesting than the green column.  I don’t know whether or not this was an intentional part of the exhibit.

Neon art piece on a wall.  It is shaped like a V, it's turquoise blue in colour and it is a bit bigger than the size of a hand.  It is mounted on a wall with the electrical wires visible.  It is shadow.

close up of ‘Broken Diamond’

 ***

part of a piece of art that is a pillar like structure cover with bits of colourful paper.  There is also a child's drawing in pencil on an 8 by 11 piece of paper.  Also a sign in blue letters that says .  In the background there are a couple of people walking past.

“I’m going to use the two hundred dollar artist fee from this project to pay my phone bill and with the money left over I’ll probably buy a pack of smokes and maybe order some Chinese food.” 
Is this a statement about the value of art?  Is this a f*ck you statement – if you, or society, don’t value art why should I (as the artist) care about my work?

 

A large translucent rectangular piece of fabric hangs from the ceiling.  It sort of has a face on it, yellow eyes and a small slit mouth.

Floating overhead and watching us with yellow eyes.

 

This photo was taken looking into a mirror.  A man in a long black winter coat and red scarf is taking a photo of some art on a wall.

reflections

 

Four people, two are standing together while one texts, and two others are walking past.  Four large square paintings (or photos?) are behind them on a white wall.

I know that art is subjective but I fail to see the appeal in large monochromatic pictures in an ugly shade of green.  They aren’t profound; they’re not making a statement; they elicit no emotion.

 

The projector is playing a loop of blank screen to a garbled soundtrack.

The projector is playing a loop of blank screen to a garbled soundtrack.

 

An art piece, a shiny silver coloured porta potty stands in the middle of the floor.  A trash container (real) is behind it.

I couldn’t help but chuckle at the juxtaposition of the arty porta-potty and the real trash container behind it.  Someone tried to open the door of the potty but it was either locked or not real.  Note to artist: Why?

video art installations at an art exhibit.  The large clock and departures board of the train station are seen over the top of the temporary walls of the exhibit.