Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Canadian Writers Read: Video Archive

Just got an email from a.rawlings pointing out this incredible site that Emily Carr School of Art & Design, in Vancouver, is compiling. What a great resource. Hear Gail Scott read from My Paris, but also hear Margaret Christakos, Rita Wong, Larissa Lai, Marie Annharte Baker, Wayde Compton and others…

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Musings on Beckett

Friends and fans muse on Beckett and his impact...and since there is never enough Beckett, or about or by Beckett, I include said link here for your perusal.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Tony Oursler @ Metro Pictures

Wow. Great idea. I've seen variations on this theme before: images projected onto strange objects. In this case however, both the images and objects were more pleasing than usual. There was a strand of Lori Anderson here, in the voice over text, and in the layers of moving images. One projector hitting a corner of the gallery wall with the universe, while a globular, Jeff Koons like amoebic structure floated in the middle of the room, mercury-like images of orifices and eyes appearing to lick the sculptural surface. People seemed to love it. Quirky and provacative without being disturbing, I liked thinking about the "everywhereness" of our bodies, and our spirits. Possibly this is a reflection of processing my own recent losses, but there was something sublimely spirtiual about the show.
The picture above, taken from Metro Pictures site, doesn't actually do Oursler's work justice, so don't take that as any indication of the power. And like I said, in this case the voice over was actually quite compelling. So often in these kind of installations it's more of an irritation than anything else.
I haven't been in Chelsea for a few weeks and it was a great afternoon: the sun even came out. More later on the outer reaches of 25th Street, which I ventured up to this afternoon. It's not so bad. Just one block up!

Friday, February 17, 2006

France Queyras 1956-2006


With great sadness we announce the passing of “France”, Francoise Marie Therese Oline Queyras on February 14th. Born in Vancouver on October 1st, 1956, France battled cancer for over 20 years. Her strength, independence and tenacity were admired by all.

Acclaimed videographer, France’s work was shown at Film and Video Festivals around the world. *Body Burden* was based on the personal experience of her exposure to DDT and living with metastatic breast cancer, as well as a critical look at the tightly intertwined connection between the pharmaceutical and chemical industries and their impact on the global environment.

France was a fiercely loyal friend, demanding, caring and loving. A tireless environmentalist, she fought for the underdog, and dogged the fat cats. Until the end, she refused to be pandered to because of her illness. Her formidable character was marked by this summer, although almost completely house-bound, she ventured out with a friend and went white water rafting.

She is predeceased by her father Guy, and brother Jody; she is survived by sisters Cecile Page and Sina, brothers Oli and Guy, mother Elin Gudrun (nee Lingholt), nieces Angela and Danielle, nephews Guy, Eric, and Tristan, great nephew Nathan, and great nieces Cassidy and Maddox, as well as many relatives in Canada and in France. Many loving friends, including Ellen Aubrey, Nicola, Susan, Janice, Corrine, Barbara, Luce, Theresa, Mary, Jane, Kate, Chris, Sherri, Gite, Mark and God-daughter Maxine, also survive her.

France: Director, Producer, Writer, Cinematographer, Sound/Picture Editor, Great Friend, Advocate, and, until recently Cancer Survivor.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Guardian chats with DBC Pierre

His is a story I tend to stay clear of. He has the kind of past that can turn him into a James Frey character. And yet, I found it hard to put down Vernon God Little, and like the author of this interview/feature, found Pierre incredibly compelling. The narrator is just spot on, and I love how it gets at the fascination with violent fame in such a fresh way. Gus Van Zant's disappointing swipe at it in Elephant, being one end of the "bad" spectrum possible here. Van Zant is a great filmmaker, but Elephant is not a great film. Minimal in scope and often beautiful--especially the young boys, which is after all, Van Zant's specialty--the film, to my mind, unravels without purpose. I've become deeply suspicious of projects such as this that prod without suggesting something beyond the darkness unearthed. I'm willing to be suspended in a moment, and I'm willing, more than willing, I love to let go of narrative and all its flotation devices, but I insist on something in return. Some insight, some satisfying movement, something other. Elephant offered nothing. Not even the hard reality of no-hope, which would have at least given me something to work with.
DBC Pierre's VGL is a whole other project of course--a farce, a kind of Rushmore like romp through a Columbine-like scenario. Compelling. Not sure if I'll be able to trust him a second time...but I'll sniff around.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Go Sweden, Go British Columbia

A heartening week for environmental news. Sweden vowing to be oil-free in 15 years has got to have major implications, no? You have to think of it as a tipping point, and nice to have it prior to that moment when we hit the acme of oil production and see that it's all downhill from there...especially given that it has taken us a 100 years to use up so much of the world's supply and will likely take a quarter of that time to deplete the rest.
From The Guardian:
Sweden is to take the biggest energy step of any advanced western economy by trying to wean itself off oil completely within 15 years - without building a new generation of nuclear power stations.
The attempt by the country of 9 million people to become the world's first practically oil-free economy is being planned by a committee of industrialists, academics, farmers, car makers, civil servants and others, who will report to parliament in several months.
Meanwhile the not-so-fabulous Premier of BC announced today that much of the coastal rainforest--from Alaska to Washington--will be protected. From the CBC:
Premier Gordon Campbell announced the new protected areas on the B.C. coast on Tuesday. They cover 1.2 million hectares, where habitat conservation, maintaining biodiversity, and the preservation of special landscape, recreation and cultural heritage features are a priority. That brings the total protected to 1.8 million hectares.
So you see, there is hope.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Inflatable Museum

What doesn't Kiss Machine get up to? Swashbuckling girl pirates and general mayhem seem the order of the day. And who doesn't love a girl pirate? What the Hound needs right about now is a good sword to cut through the snare of deadlines she is entangled in. Every day she is thinking, any day now, but she is wrong...there is always more. So, the bits to post continue to back up, and some have just slipped through my fingers.
Meanwhile, check out the inflatable museum thanks to Emily and Kiss Machine.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Carla Harryman & Heather Fuller


This was a great reading. The first time I've had the pleasure of hearing Carla Harryman after all these years of reading her. And worth the wait. She read from Baby, among other things. What fabulous word pairings. Surprising conjunctions and energy, full on, chiseled energy and lines like: "an open box invites the shadow to turn around in it...". Loved that line. So many of her lines.
I was wondering, as I listened to Fuller read, how one writes politically without it becoming dogmatic. Harryman answered my question indirectly, by example of course. So many poets turn tail and run in the face of such questions and though I enjoyed the Fuller reading, it struck me, it struck me on the head too, a kind of "thou shalt think about this". And in a room full of poets who are perhaps already thinking about this a little too much...
So, yes, Harryman who creates gaps wide enough for whole armies of poets to trot down, squirt guns in hand, shows us with lines such as: "between a word and a thing lives a little dummy hired to make sense of people...". I kept thinking of Erin Moure, and how great it would be to hear these two read in tandum. Here is a fresh way of embolding language, here, the gesture as person, the idea as brush stroke, a series of wonderous leaps upon the stage. Dynamic, yes, with room for everyone to climb on board.
That's a wonderful kind of poetic, is it not?

Life in the village

New slideshow in the works...