Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Last back-dated Update

I'm abandoning my efforts to catch up with sequential posts. Too laborious. So here's the fast rundown of the missing time:

After Calgary I returned to Toronto for a week, in order to present my curatorial projects at the Nuit Blanche press conference. In my half-zone, I will be showing work by Jacob Dahlgren, Jon Sasaki, Yoko Ono, Michel de Broin and Matt Suib. The open call projects I selected are by Bruno Billio, Brian Joseph Davis and the Custodians of Destruction. The press conference went well and the coverage was good after the fact. Though CBC misquoted me extensively.

I wasn't homesick in Scotland, but was in Calgary, despite having friends and family and a somewhat familiar arts community there. I realized that I'm never homesick in solitude, only with other people. Hmmm. But either way, it was great to be back in my bed for a few days, and to see Roula, who won't be out to visit me here for another month.

While in town I saw Aileen Burns' curatorial debut, as it was being installed (it opened the day I left). Titled Stories, In Pieces, it also includes Jon Sasaki, as well as Geoffrey Farmer, Curtis Grahauer & Kara Uzelman, Liz Knox, and Myfanwy MacLeod. Liz Knox is presenting an updated version of a great piece that she first showed at Mercer Union last year, and Myfanwy is showing work she made her at the Glenfiddich Residency. The show is top rate, and a stunning debut for AB. Also went to her nice picnic and got to catch up with some people I was missing.

Saw Lee 'Scratch' Perry at the Harbourfront, which was great, though the show was fairly mediocre. I think the first four songs all included the phrase "rub a dub dub" and Perry's name. Other than the incense burning atop his head, there was none of the crazy Scratch Perry behaviour we've all heard about (such as whipping out his cock and proclaiming himself the lord, which he did at a press conference a few years ago). Somehow it was still amazing to be outside in the sun eating fresh coconut and listening to free music, by a living legend. Got to see our friends Paul and Wendy, too, which was nice.

Earlier that night Roula and I went to the cinema, something I've been missing here (that, and the ability to order a pizza). We saw Son of Rambow, which had been well reviewed, and I was hoping was going to be like Be Kind Rewind, except good. But it wasn't. It couldn't decide on a tone and didn't know if it wanted to be a kids film or for adults (both would have been excellent, but it ended up as neither). It seems the 'Youtube genre' of cinema is still in its infancy.

The only other social thing was a nice rooftop party at Micah Lexier's house, with Michael Klein, Jeannie Thib and Bruce, Luis Jacob, etc. etc.

Trip back to Scotland was less fun than the first time, and flying into Glasgow vs Aberdeen was a bit of a false economy. Once I added up the costs of a bus, train and cab to get from Glasgow to Dufftown, (to say nothing of my time) it no longer felt like such a substantial savings.

Yesterday I had a photoshoot for the Glenfiddich website, which was actually my fourth in three months (and I think the last time before that when I was professionally photographed would've been sitting on Santa's knee). In Toronto last week the National Post sent a photographer who had just come from shooting Kid Rock. He is best known for the paparazzi shot of Conrad Black heading off to jail (oh the Schadenfreude on that day). He shot me in the narrow alley between my house and my neighbour's. Similarly, Glenfiddich photographer John Paul shot me through a long line of whiskey barrels. I don't know what this says about me as a subject.

The problem with getting your photograph taken is that you usually have to turn yourself towards the light source (natural or otherwise) and look up. I have a huge fear of looking pensive. I don't think pensive is a good look. It makes me think of the Faith + 1 episode of South Park, where Cartman forms a christian rock band and takes them out to the beach for a photoshoot, demanding that they all look off into the distance. He shouts at them "You're supposed to be standing around in random places, looking like you don't care. "

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