I went and checked out part of the Oh Canada exhibition at the Esker Foundation Gallery and it was mostly totally good. The show is spread out across a few spaces and it made me wish I had more time so I could see it all.
With no hesitation, the standouts were the Brendan Fernandes' neon masks (which are done no justice in this photo, they are so rad). I went back and stared at these three masks, about five times. They flash on and off and they are huge and frightening and gorgeous. They feel like a party that you totally have no business being at. I was crazy about them. Brendan Fernandes. Check him out. http://www.brendanfernandes.ca/from_hiz_hands.php
And this crazy-ass Marcel Dzama film. A Game of Chess. It is a pretty funny coincidence (to no one else but me) that I saw this after just posting about Bauhaus Ballet a couple of days ago. The similarities are pretty striking. I wonder if he saw Bauhaus Ballet and was like 'meh, fuck it, most people won't have seen this', or if the build-up of influences in his life just led him to making this weird thing that echoes an already existing other weird thing. I had a long conversation over lunch today about whether or not it should be assumed that it was an accident or if everyone just steals everything now. There is so much information bouncing around all the time that it really could be either, and my opinion changes depending on how cynical I am feeling at any particular moment. The Dzama film is here: https://vimeo.com/35884866 Compare it with the video in my last post (The End of the World) and tell me what you think?
It seems like there is a lot of idea borrowing around. I am certainly guilty of it here and there, although in my defense I honestly never notice until I have made something and worked on it for ages and then I step back and get my head out of it for a second and realize that it is totally referencing something that I obviously really like. Guess how many times I have accidentally tried to write this song:
The answer is lot of times. It is kind of my most and least favourite song.
(Note to self: Immediately incorporate choreographed moves to all Lad Mags activities from now on. And dig those turtlenecks! Daaaannngg ladies...)
There were some really meh pieces in the part of the Oh Canada show that I saw as well, which was kind of a bummer. It was curated by MoCA in Boston and I guess an outside perspective can't help but feel a bit weird to people who are not outside, but there were a couple of disappointing choices. Just a couple of old boys club winkwink pieces that didn't have much going for them aside from the guy who made them has probably been buddies with the curator since 1986. But I guess that is how anything happens, if I think about it. Buddy connections. And after all, what the fuck do I know? I can think of 25 contemporary Canadian artists off the top of my head who do better work, but then that is just my opinion and I am not much of a curator so my opinion is not worth much.
Here is info on the show from MoCA's site if you are interested. If you can get to Calgary I highly recommend you put your eyes on this show. It's wonderful, and the Esker gallery is a really nice space.
Later, we went to this really cute store in Inglewood that mostly sold terrariums and preposterously priced candles, and another store that I think just sold beard oil and fancy pocket knives. Oh Calgary. The things you get away with. (It smelled AMAZING in there, though. Like, what you wish every dude smelled like. Like clean laundry, vetiver, bourbon, outdoors, and money. Swoooooonnnnn.) Not very many dudes in Edmonton smell like that. It is something to aim for.
There was another funny story about what happened when we went for Mexican food, but maybe that is not super appropriate for a public blog post. I believe I have had the last Bulldog of my lifetime though. We'll leave it there.
|WORST IDEA EVER.|
Oh, this is funny. I visited my favorite bookstore ever, which is called Shelf Life Books, and Twyla found this book for me called Paris, I love you But You're Bringing Me Down by Rosencrans Baldwin.
You guys, this book is ruining my life. It is great. It is totally funny, witty and observant and the author can write really great prose. He is easy to relate to and doesn't seem like a bad guy... but the book is an account of him and his wife moving to Paris (arriving as total Francophiles) and just having all of their dreamy expectations ground into the dirt. Language barriers. Paperwork. Asshole expats. Winter. French politics. Restaurant disappointments. Groan. WHAT IF THIS IS THE WORST THING EVER AND WE JUST END UP LAYING ON THE FLOOR SIGHING AND LISTENING TO THE SMITHS EXCEPT IN PARIS?
I guess it is good to have some cold slimy realism fish-smacked across your face every now and then when you get too starry-eyed, and ultimately this guy loves Paris again by the end (mostly), but man. My anxiety about this potentially totally terrible decision has increased by about 500%. I was having a talk about this with my friend in Belgium recently, and I think what I have decided is that if we go over there to build a thing together, we are going to be aces. If we go over there and sign up for a grind job and try to eke out a grey little life there we are doomed. It is reinvent or die, I think. No Paris office jobs for me, monsieur. Non, merci. Although in all honesty, sighing and laying on the floor in Paris beats sighing and laying on the floor in Edmonton any day.
Also, Rosencrans. His name is Rosencrans.
Hey, check out these weird psychedelic grotesques from the 19th century. These weird little proto-animations are called Phenakistascopes. I am totally in love with them.
This one is from 1833 and it looks like the inside of my brain when I have too much shit to do, the moment before I make 200 lists on post-it notes and return to the world of sane people. (Sorry everyone that I talked to in the last 2 weeks!!)
It seems like you should definitely listen to this song while you are looking at those things. Slouchy psych dirges forever and ever please. This song is the perfect soundtrack for my day today. Sooooo whateverrrrrr. Give them your money here. Do it. Being in a band is expensive.
Oh! This is really rad... New Acquisition Announcement! I have wanted one of these forever and ever and D came home with one the other day as a Congratulations on Selling Your Condo present:
Speaking of hot guitar sounds... Boogarins - Deliver me from this dense mid-week, mid-February cocoon of blehhhhh. Boys and fuzz and Brazilian sunshine. I'm cured. I love this band. Give them your money here. Do it. Being in a band is expensive.
I think I accidentally dug myself into a stress-cave because I can't actually remember the last time I went out and saw anyone socially. Is anyone there? Can we have a winter cocktail party? Ok. Here we go. A nod to the old days with this dumb blog. Recipe time.
When it is dark for this many hours a day, all I want is dense, herbal, strong drinks. I suggest that we have a Black Manhattan party very very soon. This is a drink that I first had in Calgary with Twyla. I think it was at Model Milk, but I can't tooootally remember because that is how things used to go with me and Twyla in Calgary. Anyway.
Black Manhattans are assembled kind of like a standard Manhattan, except in place of sweet vermouth, you use Averna, which is a type of amaro. It has a really strong citrus peel and licorice taste that is soooo niiiice with Bourbon.
|So bitter. So fancy. JUST LIKE ME.|
Ok, here we go.
You will need:
- 2 ounces of bourbon
- 1 ounce of Averna*
- 1 dash of Angosturra bitters
- a couple of brandied cherries.
(One recipe called for maraschino cherries, but I think maraschino cherries are fucking disguuuuuuustiiiiiiiing, so if you want to come to my cocktail party we are going to use brandied cherries or we are going to call the whole thing off.)
Stir these ingredients with ice until chilled and then strain into an appropriately beautiful glass for such a concoction. Sip slowly and reflect on the fact that eventually it is not going to be fucking winter anymore and someday we will forget about all of this.
*One recipe warns that Averna is not to everyone's liking and that if you are new to this flavour you may want to start with a 4:1 bourbon to amaro ratio. This is also a good idea if you want to reduce the sweetness of this cocktail.
|Le China in Paris. When I am a ghost I will haunt this place for all eternity. <3|
This is a place that I have had cocktails in Paris and it is absolutely fucking perfect for delicious cocktails that cost as much as rent and for having serious film noir feelings. (I mean, look at it.) When I move away, if you ever wonder what I am doing at 4:00 PM your time, I will be here, trying to convince some handsome and pissed off bartender that he should let me order off-menu while I shout this recipe at him in broken french over that glossy beautiful bar. Heavenly.
Ok, there you are.