At present I am experimenting with solar developing, creating negatives then printing on various materials. It has been a lengthy learning curve and I have learned that more isn't better in terms of time in the developer, that our hard water makes it very difficult to wash out the undeveloped dye, and that Borax helps with that (thank you Sally). Also high contrast negatives are imperative.
I was introduced to the dyes through a studio visit to Cris Winter in Saranac Lake NY, where she was making botanical prints on fabric for her work. This process hasn't really taken off in Canada and so I have to bite the bullet and pay the exchange and shipping for what are actually low-priced materials -- if you live in California -
One lucky break was a store in North Vancouver selling them off and my Katie just happening to be travelling home to Ontario at the time. So my stockpile is OK for now.
My subject is an exploration of pre and early 20C family photographs that offer socio-historical windows into those times.
We are often made to feel guilty about reading various newspapers magazines and other print media on line for free rather than buying a copy or continuing home delivery, thereby contributing to the demise of print media.
In my community the main local paper is mostly an organ for advertising, and wholly a component of an enormous media empire, while the locally owned dailies are long gone. Loyalties aside, it has occurred to me that our very large internet and cable bills are actually how we purchase media these days.
So - shouldn't the cable companies pay royalties to those newspapers etc that one can access through their stream? And then reporters and journalists in print and other media can receive their fair share of revenue from their work from all of us by way of our internet providers.
The great linguistic professor Noam Chomsky reminds us that we replace awareness of larger societal issues with sports fandom to our detriment.
Quoting TV critic John Doyle in yesterday's Globe:
"A city gripped by a postseason run by its favourite team is a happier place and there’s a purity in the emotional attachment of the fans. It is a truly shared experience, something that is rare in a fragmented society, and only the dullest heart would be unmoved by it."
GO JAYS GO !!!
Unfamiliar with the concept I turn it on the first morning to a message that goes something like
"You f***ing bi*ch I'll kill you. How could you break up with me through a cab driver?
Shocked I immediately blocked the caller and deleted the offending screed.
To my regret.
In repeating the story I can only paraphrase what he or she wrote at 2:47 a.m., where if I had saved it there would be an additional ring of authenticity, and that it could also make an interesting beginning for a story or poem. So much better than what my memory throws up.
I could also have written back explaining that I am a 70 year old grandma and as far as I remember I wasn't out in a cab in the middle of the night but who knows? I don't think have taken up wandering --yet.(HUMOUR)
Or that I am so sorry that your girlfriend has deserted you.(EMPATHY)
Or a film noir screenplay where the message comes from a really bad guy who proceeded to kill the messenger, the girlfriend, and then come after me.
So in the end maybe I did the right thing.
*Organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Hamilton and The Robert
McLaughlin Gallery in collaboration with the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Windsor, The Collaborationists is curated by Linda Jansma and Melissa Bennett.
The collaborationists are Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins, and they are collaborating with the pantheon of modern artists, in a continuation of their cheeky innovative work that intersects modernist references with current technologies. Their interactive, kinetic installation Pavilion of the Blind has been travelling across Canada and is scheduled for the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMOCA) in May 2015.
Truly twenty-first century artists, they graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2001 and since then have had significant impact on Canadian art both at home and south of the border. Nuit Blanche darlings of 2007, their Event Horizon set extraterrestrial images from popular culture within religious symbolism, with ET and Yoda as centrepieces. Following this was a trajectory into a dynamic career, fueled through an ambitious production schedule that has seen them mounting installations at the National Gallery of Canada, Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, as well as venues in New York, Louisville, Miami, and Basel.
The current exhibition embodies both minimalist geometric abstraction and hilarious parody. Appealing to toddlers and sophisticates alike, the artists have created a cleverly esoteric crowd pleaser. The fun part is in the motion-sensitive installation that dominated The Robert McLaughlin Gallery's largest gallery space, so enormous that gallery staff had to walk the piece through the building since it was too large for their loading dock. Titled Pavilion of the Blind, it calls up the window blinds section in a big box store. As one approaches, the brightly coloured stripes lift and lower, reforming mechanically. Unbridled childish delight bubbles forth as the blinds go up and down as viewers move about, reconfiguring the colour sets to create seemingly endless arrays.
This central piece in the exhibit is accompanied by several fine paintings that recall the minimalist abstractions of high modernism by artists such as Guido Molinari or perhaps the colour studies of Josef Albers. Bands of colour not only connect to the present as bar codes and a much-advertised world of window fashions, but could stand alone as examples of high art from an earlier decade.
Carrying the trope of industry further, one can think about Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase, which was derogatorily called "explosion in a shingle factory" by its critics. In contrast, Pavilion of the Blind, in its reference to a ubiquitous material world, exhibits a deliberate and controlled restraint where hard edge paintings as well as mechanically derived ones do not invite a commensurate level of abandon. Control is on the agenda.
Within the context of kinetic work the installation resides in a more ambiguous dimension. The exhibition reads as both an homage and a playful satire that in a larger sense questions the nature and value of aesthetics. But beyond an esoteric discussion of formal issues lies a darker current. As blinds rise and fall the question of surveillance emerges, and while it is lightly touched upon by the artists, the suggestion of the gaze, of spying, of a continual sense of being watched, even if it's only by multi-national retailers, all comes to the forefront.
Admittedly, the exhibition has many layers and goes in many directions. Whether this creates a blurring of focus and intent, or interesting complexity, is for viewers to decide.
See This Show