12/20/2004 01:08:48 AM|||arts_guy|||
Boy Reporter will be returning to his 'hometown' of Vancouver for three weeks. Stay tuned for posts from the West Coast!
|||110351938833561396|||Boy Reporter in Vancouver12/19/2004 11:55:58 PM|||arts_guy|||
Last weekend I went to the Ken Lum retrospective at the Power Plant. Ken's works are deceptively simple. The bulk of the work in this show are large photos paired with large colourful descriptive text. Gallery-going habits what they are today, it's tragically too easy to gloss over Ken's work which means you're missing out on one of Canada's finest photo-artists.

The Ken Lum works at the Powerplant are full of contradictions, complications, subtlety, ambiguity and context. A work like "Mounties and Indians," with its smiling First Nations family flanked by two sentinel like Mounties in red serge tweak some very interesting cultural buttons. While the work is framed like a souvenir photo it's hard not to bring on Canada's colonial history into the mix.

Works like "Steve" and "Melly Shum Hates Her Job" brings the ordinary nature of these people into a direct clash with artistic practice. After all, both Steve and Melly are now shown in galleries all over the world, decades after these photos were both taken.

I would've liked to have seen some of Ken's other work. I remember a series of faux storefront signs that he showed at the CAG a couple of years ago that were also great, but then I guess you couldn't really call the show "Ken Lum Works with Photography."

|||110351927805373396|||Ken Lum works with photography12/18/2004 01:50:26 PM|||arts_guy|||
The saddest music in the world might just be Emily Haines, lead singer of Metric, on a piano. My favourite song on Metric's impressive and entertaining album, is Calculation Theme, arguably the most down-tempo, introspective and breath-stealing song on the album.

So needless to say that I was pretty happy to see Haines' solo show last night at the Church of the Redeemer on Bloor. Haines played a set of spare, moving and haunting pieces from, I presume, her upcoming solo album. Accompanied by blurry, out of focus, stills and scenes from the equally haunting Guy Maddin.

Haines' voice, that breathy, vulnerable voice that manages to evoke half-a-dozen emotions with each syllable gave each of these songs a sombre but rich emotional life. Couple this with the psychologically loaded blurry Guy Maddin clips and it's no wonder the audience sat in stunned emotional silence.

This seems like a radical departure for Haines. Someone in the audience was commenting that maybe Haines was pulling a Leslie Feist and giving up her rocker persona for a quieter more introspective sound. With Metric still touring and even recording a new album this probaly isn't true. But now we know what a post-Metric Haines would sound like. Perhaps not the saddest music in the world, but pretty close.
|||110339336636852579|||The Saddest Music in the World12/17/2004 01:52:27 PM|||arts_guy|||
In the old days journalists used to wonder the streets, assistants, camera boy, and secretary in tow. Nowadays, most of us are chained to our desks, taking sips from that flask of whisky, bourbon or scotch hidden in the bottom drawer. But nothing beats hitting the streets and burning some shoe leather.

Take for example, yesterday your intrepid boy reporter was on Queen Street reporting. Fine, I was shopping for xmas presents. I spotted a young gentleman in a vintage store wearing a Despistado shirt. Who quickly informed me that a) he was best friends with the band b) that the band had broken up.

The band are currently on their US tour and made quite a splash here at NXNE last year. Moral of this story? Don't get in a van with your best buddies and expect to make it out alive....
|||110331002794833562|||Despistado no more?12/14/2004 01:00:26 PM|||arts_guy|||
It's bad sex.

|||110304368629305528|||If there's one thing Britons know12/04/2004 09:45:39 PM|||arts_guy|||
Your very own Boy Reporter is on new-fangled blog Torontoist writing about the No Kimono show going on right this very instant at the Design Exchange.

Also, due to computer problems I might not be posting as regularly. Hopefully Benji will be back from the store very soon and good as new.
|||110221491918504096|||Boy Reporter on Torontoist12/04/2004 11:07 PM|||eviljelly|||Your computer's name is Benji?
(Mine's name is Kirkpatrick.) Save Template Changes.