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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By Mike Landry
An image from Daniel Barrow's "Every Time I See You Picture I Cry."

An image from Daniel Barrow's "Every Time I See You Picture I Cry."

Winnipegger Daniel Barrow‘s stories begin, simply enough, with a visual image. But, when that first idea is so odd it’s not long before he ends up with a film featuring a garbage man creating a phone book with personalized portraits and who is being stalked by a serial killer.

Such was the plot in his now finished and much acclaimed work, Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry. His latest work in progress is no different. I Have Never Felt Sexually Attracted to Anyone At All started with the image of someone reverse waxing themselves.

“I just had the image of a very slim nubile hairless body lathered with Vaseline grabbing a cat blanket from the backseat of a car and then burnishing their body and peeling it back to reveal hair,” says Barrow. “And I just developed this idea that this could be a way someone could commit suicide if they were allergic to cats.”

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They Are Making Art

October 9, 2008

By Mike Landry
Daniel Wong and Mary-Anne McTrowe are ready to make some art.

Daniel Wong and Mary-Anne McTrowe are ready to make some art.

In the song “East Coast West Coast” Mary-Anne McTrowe describes herself as “an East Coast artist. I like systematic stuff, but I’ve never rally made anything because the ideas are good enough.” Her band mate, Daniel Wong, then chimes in, “I’m a West Coast artist. I’m a touchy feely guy. I like to watch all the birds and clouds as they float across the sky.”

A true art band, The Cedar Tavern Singers AKA The Phonoréalistes is the brainchild of art history buffs McTrowe and Wong. Under the guise of a folk duo, the pair aim to free art history from its no-fun, stiff-collared academic existence.

“Our attitude towards it is more like those obsessed fans who draw pictures of their rock idols and know every detail about them,” says Wong. “It just happens that our rock idols are people like John Baldessari and Yves Klein.”

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