Monday, December 20, 2004
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Ken Lum works with photography
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."
Saturday, December 18, 2004
The Saddest Music in the World
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.
Friday, December 17, 2004
Despistado no more?
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....