Thursday, October 31, 2013

For Lou Reed

For Lou Reed

October 31, 2013 - 2:15pm

To our neighbors:

What a beautiful fall! Everything shimmering and golden and all that incredible soft light. Water surrounding us.

Lou and I have spent a lot of time here in the past few years, and even though we’re city people this is our spiritual home.

Last week I promised Lou to get him out of the hospital and come home to Springs. And we made it!

Lou was a tai chi master and spent his last days here being happy and dazzled by the beauty and power and softness of nature. He died on Sunday morning looking at the trees and doing the famous 21 form of tai chi with just his musician hands moving through the air.

Lou was a prince and a fighter and I know his songs of the pain and beauty in the world will fill many people with the incredible joy he felt for life. Long live the beauty that comes down and through and onto all of us.

— Laurie Anderson
his loving wife and eternal friend

(from the East Hampton Star today)

Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kay Rosen at the Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver

Accompanying the first institutional solo exhibition of Kay Rosen's work in Canada (!?!), tonight the CAG in Vancouver presents Kathy Slade on Kay Rosen as part of the gallery's Feedback Series.

Slade will discuss her own work and that of other artists who use text in work produced for the public realm. The event begins tonight at 7pm. The other exhibitions at the gallery (Mike Nelson and Mungo Thomson) I suspect are also worth a look.

Visit the gallery site, here, for details.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lou Reed | Parkett Insert

From issue number 65 of Parkett magazine (2002), the artist's insert by Lou Reed:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lou Reed, RIP

There's a bit of magic in everything
and then some loss 
to even things out
some loss to even things out

Update: Twitter tributes:

"He was a master" - David Bowie

"I met Lou Reed and told him he gave me tinnitus at a concert in 1989 that never went away and it was worth it. Dirty Blvd. Love to Lou." — Judd Apatow.

"The great & amazing Lou Reed has died my condolences 2 his wife Laurie Anderson.Lou was1of a kind & this colored girl still says dededede..." — Whoopi Goldberg.

"One of the greatest artists of our time." — Ricky Gervais.

"New York lost one of our greatest gifts today." —Russell Simmons.

"My friend Lou Reed came to the end of his song. So very sad.But hey, Lou, you'll always take a walk on the wild side. Always a perfect day." - Salman Rushdie

"We are all timebound, but today, with the loss of liberating Lou, life is a pigsty." - Morrissey

"The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet…I’ve lost my ‘school-yard buddy’." - John Cale

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jeannie Thib, RIP

Toronto-based artist Jeannie Thib (born in North Bay, Ontario in 1955) died today at 10am.


Blouin Artinfo obituary:

Derek Sullivan | Four Notable Booksellers

Derek Sullivan's solo exhibition Four Notable Booksellers opens tonight from 7 to 10 pm, at Jessica Bradley Gallery. The show continues until November 23.

"Long interested in the book as both concept and form, in this exhibition Sullivan explores the material and imaginary lure of books and bookshops. Four Notable Booksellers comprises four handmade sculptural units, reminiscent of the second-hand booksellers’ (bouquinistes) cabinets seen along the walls of the Seine in Paris."

For more information visit the gallery site, here, and the artist's site, here.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dick Higgins

Today marks the fifteenth anniversary of the death of composer, poet, publisher and Fluxus artist Dick Higgins. He died of a heart attack at age sixty, while attending an event in Quebec, and is survived by his wife, artist Alison Knowles. Their daughter Hannah Higgins is the author of Fluxus Experience.

Higgins' contribution to artists' books and multiples is immeasurable, but he wrote and edited forty seven books and founded three publishing companies: Unpublished Editions, Printed Editions and the hugely important Something Else Press.

Two brief interviews on Youtube:

On Fluxus:

On the Something Else Press:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Conor Fagan | Leaders of Governments Recognized by the United Nations Arranged Alphabetically by Country With Their Eyes Closed

Conor Fagan
Leaders of Governments Recognized by the United Nations Arranged Alphabetically by Country With Their Eyes Closed
Halifax, Canada: Self-published, 2013
[28] pp., 14 x 11 cm., staple-bound
Edition 50 signed and numbered copies

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mark Clintberg | Not The One But There Is No One Else

Mark Clintberg's Sobey exhibition at the AGNS included this takeaway poster, presented on the floor as a stack, in the manner of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Clintberg contributed to the book on Artists' Multiples that I co-edited last year, and his essay refers to Gonzalez-Torres giveaways, which he calls 'abducted multiples':

"The question of destinations is at the core of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ poster works and piles of candies. His posters are printed with text, photographs, or fields of colour, stacked to resemble minimalist blocks. His candy spills are hundreds of pounds of individually wrapped sweets. Both exist in a theoretically infinite edition. They are presented as gifts to viewers. The problem of scarcity rarely seems a practical issue with Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ multiples since institutions are contractually obliged to reproduce the posters or sweets into perpetuity. Because of this, one frame of interpretation that has frequently fueled an understanding of Gonzalez-Torres’ work involves the artist’s “generosity,” particularly since a second component of many of the artist’s works permits curators or collectors to alter the installation parameters of the work according to whim or necessity. Due to these characteristics, his artworks are often regarded as benevolent, harmonious gestures, as elastic and suggestible as the parameters of their installation.  The success of this practice relies on the understanding that giving transcends boundaries of race, class, and sexuality as an ameliorative gesture.  Without the preconception that giving is inherently good, Gonzalez-Torres’ multiples might not survive the institution. His work provides a conduit by which institutions can express their involvement with communities, and gesture thanks to stakeholders through the sheer limitlessness of the multiples’ supply. "

Previously he had written his thesis on the subject, which can be read here, and a short video of the artist (filmed at what looks to be at the Banff Centre) discussing Torres in Venice is here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Timeline, Postscript

Pics of Postscript, projected onto an exterior brick wall, and Timeline, presented in a large vacant building, alongside Isabelle Hayeur's Innerland.

A few last Nocturne photos

Eleanor King's seven "Anchor" projects for Halifax' Nocturne event on Saturday included Kelly Mark's Everything and Nothing (see earlier post), Ears Under the Atlantic by Chris Myhr (top photo, link here), Arrivals/Departures by Michael Fernandez (centre photos, link here), Lucy Pullen's Interval for Halifax (see prior post), Innerland by Isabelle Hayeur (bottom photo, link here), Julian Higuerey Núñez and Henry Adam Svec's Nocturne Survey and Critical Race. We didn't stumble upon the latter, though based on their CBC interview earlier in the day, I suspect it was great. Link here. Pics of my own two videos to follow.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Lucy Pullen | Interval for Halifax

There were many highlights of the Nocturne festival in Halifax last weekend, but one of my favorites was Lucy Pullen's Interval for Halifax, which managed to be both discreet and a crowd-pleaser. A series of seven children's swings were installed throughout the city, hanging from trees and posts and appearing as rudimentary play things. But they were sheathed in reflective Scotchlite, so when the inevitable photo-documentation occurred (as culture is increasingly reduced to background imagery for Facebook and Instagram selfies) the flash illuminates the swing. The effect is not noticeable in person, but when reviewing the photographs the swings appear ghostly and glowing, as if an aura had been captured.

Above: an audience member tries it out as her friends take pictures, and Nocturne curator Eleanor King swings.

For more information, visit the Nocturne site, here.

The somewhat tenuous link to artists' books and multiples, is that Pullen used the same material about a decade ago for a Bookcover published by Art Metropole. The buyer sent in the dimensions of a favorite book and Pullen produced a dustjacket made of the reflective material, which would sit dormant on your bookshelf, activated only by a flash photograph.

For more information, visit Art Metropole, here.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

NSCAD Letterpress Archives

Yesterday we were walking through downtown Halifax, visiting the Khyber, the AGNS, etc., and I couldn't quite recall the address of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Mapquest led us to a building that was neither of the university's two campuses, so we asked a random stranger on the street if they happened to know the location of the school. With true Halifax hospitality, he did more than point the way, he took us there, got us in past security and took us on an hour long tour of the place. Turns out he was artist Dylan Fish, a recent grad who seemed to know everyone in the building by name, and could get us into otherwise locked rooms.

He and Joe Landry, NSCAD prof and Letterpress Gang founder, took us into the basement letterpress archives, which were pretty incredible, housing hundreds of typefaces, including the apparently unique Acadian font, above, and possibly the world's largest collection of lobster themed printing blocks.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Kelly Mark | Everything and Nothing

At Nocturne tonight, Kelly Mark debuts a new spoken word performance that features a male and female performer in dialogue about everything and nothing. A call and response begins with a woman reciting a common phrase beginning with the word everything, answered by a man with a similar phrase beginning with the word nothing. For example:

Woman: everything a hero is not

Man: nothing a drink can’t fix

Woman: everything a woman needs

Man: nothing a man won’t do

Woman: everything a man likes to hear

Man: nothing like a woman scorned

Woman: everything bad that can happen will happen

Man: nothing is ever so bad that it can’t get worse 

It takes place in the the Roy Building at 1652 Granville St. from 6 pm to midnight. The performances last 15 minutes each and continue throughout the night. For more information visit the Nocturne sight, here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Saturday night I'm participating in Nocturne, alongside Isabelle Hayeur, Kelly Mark, Lucy Pullen and many others. Curated this year by Eleanor King, Nocturne is an annual free fall festival, not dissimilar to Toronto's Nuit Blanche. Galleries stay open until midnight and new commissioned installations and performances are presented throughout the city. For more information about the event, visit the Nocturne site, here.

I'm presenting two video projections, Postcript and Timeline. The latter is a 60 minute video consisting of over 500 establishing shots from cinema and television, arranged chronologically by diegetic, or dramatic time, rather than by production date. The piece begins in 17,000 BC and works its way up to the present (every year of the 19th and 20th century are accounted for) and then moves away from historical dramas to science fiction, continuing a few thousand years into the future.

The excerpted images above represent every film from the work about an artist, musician, composer or author.