Things of Desire Issue #10

October 23, 2008

Greetings Bloglings! The temperature may be dropping outdoors but here at ToD we bring the hottest shows to keep you toastier than your toes inside one of grandma’s extra-itchy wool socks. Also I have to give mad props to Halifax for holding, by all accounts, a killer Nocturne last week. Don’t forget to subscribe, if you haven’t already, by shooting an email to thingsofdesire@gmail.com. Snuggle in and enjoy!
-Mike Landry

Disco Sec

October 23, 2008

By Mike Landry
A shot of Christof Migone's laser-cut work, "Rimmed Record."

A shot of Christof Migone's laser-cut work, "Rimmed Record."

Invite Montreal-based multidisciplinary artist and writer Christof Migone to a party, and it’s a safe bet he’ll spend his time scoping out your books and record collections. It’s something he says is “a lot less daunting than talking to somebody,” and can tell you just as much about the person.

The phenomena is the subject of his latest exhibition Disco Sec. The show features six different works which draw from the artist’s record collection for material, and tying them together is one disco ball with its mirrors stripped off in a pile below the black orb.

“It bypasses those iconic images and associations we have with the word portraiture and reinvigorates the word,” says Migone. “Bypassing the psychology of a person ultimately gets you back to that. It becomes just as personal and intimate to know how many records a person has and what those records are than if they were to sing you a song.”

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Bee Kingdom

October 23, 2008

By Mike Landry
Ryan, Tim and Phillip (L to R) working in their "hive."

Ryan, Tim and Phillip (L to R) working in their "hive."

Ryan Marsh Fairweather, Phillip Bandura and Tim Belliveau haven’t yet come to blows or fallen apart like many communal households. For the past four years, like good worker bees, the three young men have  relied on good communication and dedication to make things work in their Calgary studio/home. And from Berlin to Tacoma, Washington people are talking notice.

Living and working communally, the trio of young glass artists started Bee Kingdom two years ago. Their studio was their kingdom, and the molten glass in their garage was their flowing honey.

“What’s worked is we all have a common understanding and a similar goal to where we want our glasswork to go. We all want this to work so we work together to make it happen,” says Fairweather.

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Orientalism and Ephemera

October 23, 2008

By Stacey Ho
Krista Buecking

Julie Sando photograph "Oriental Rose." photo: Krista Buecking

Jamelie Hassan has been in conversation with Edward Said for quite sometime. Said’s pivotal 1979 publication, Orientalism, examined and challenged inscribed Western notions of the exotic Far East. Thirty years later, though the standard is to claim an acceptance of all cultures, this East/West binary remains. One particularly relevant example in North America is how the Middle East still figures as a foreboding singular body, full of religious fanatics, terrorists.

“A lot of the stereotypes are operating in the present tense,” says Hassan. “They allow us to invade their countries and destroy every aspect of their culture. If we look at the history of Afghanistan, one needs to revisit [Orientalism], actually read the book and become familiar with the text from different vantage points and different bodies of knowledge. This has filtered in so many ways into our social context.”

However, despite Orientalism‘s wide social scope, Hassan’s relationship to the text is personal, having read the book early on. The exhibition Orientalism and Ephemera is an idiosyncratic acknowledgment of Said’s influence on Hassan’s thinking, one that expands and contracts according to the exhibition space and the developing dialog between artists, viewers and Hassan herself.

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By Mike Landry
Francis Arguin's body at work for his performance "Proposition pour quitter le sol"

Arguin's body at work for "Proposition pour quitter le sol," 2007.

This week Quebec City-based multidisciplinary artist Francis Arguin is opening two shows in two different cities, Rouyn-Noranda and Toronto, and in two different mediums, performance and sculpture. And whether he’s pouring sand over himself in his skivvies or installing large cardboard structures covered in crumpled paper his motivation is always the same: exploring the world of objects we surround ourselves with everyday.

It’s not uncommon for Arguin to work simultaneously with performance and in sculpture. He started performing during an installation while he was an art student. He wanted to do something special for the opening, so he made objects that were tools to be manipulated to transform the gallery space.

“My body becomes the territory of the action,” says Arguin. “Everything around us is disappearing. The only thing that exists for me is my body.”

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Making Of

October 23, 2008

By Mike Landry
Mathieu Lefevre wears his art on his sleeve, and on his hat.

Mathieu Lefevre wears his art on his sleeve, and on his hat.

A series of ass paintings, a large mound of papier-mâché, and a homage to Jackson Pollack in the form of a studying desk littered with gum on it’s underside—just three of Mathieu Lefevre‘s small sculpture works from his latest exhibition Making Of.

Each piece is made from a new process Lefevre has been toying with—making art by not trying to make art. Grouping his creations together the show becomes a statement about finding more meaningful and productive ways to waste time.

“Just sitting around thinking about stuff, twiddling thumbs, waiting for inspiration to hit—you’re not really making anything but you are at the same time,” says Lefevre. “So all the pieces are made through just sitting around thinking about other stuff besides what you’re doing, which in this case was making pieces for this show.”

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COM POSE

October 23, 2008

By Mike Landry
A participant using Ellen Moffat's "vBox."

A close up view of Ellen Moffat's "vBox."

During the last five years of his life, Saskatoon-based artist Ellen Moffat‘s dad suffered from dementia. His language deteriorated beyond the point of common understanding. However, Moffat found she was able to communicate on a different level. It struck a chord, and she realized how restricted we are using words to communicate.

Moffat’s idea of what she assumed to be language changed. She began to notice how the amount of media we’re inundated with daily removes meaning from the information. The cacophony blurs notions of left and right, and point of views become more like data than language.

Her coming exhibition, COM POSE, takes this shift in language as its subject. In one piece language is broken down to its vocal sound components (called phonemes), and in another text becomes a toy.

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