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Cliff Eyland
Winnipeg
April 01, 2010

First a little New York report…

As you probably have heard, Marina AbramovIc is currently using young apprentices to recreate her life’s work at the Museum of Modern Art. A recent New Yorker profile highlights her fierce commitment and admirable endurance: this we know. She is also depicted as a person who can’t put together a simple dinner party without subjecting guests to an irritating art experience. Recent University of Manitoba art school graduate Michael Dudeck is one of Abramovic’s lucky young protégés, and it is worth emphasizing that Dudeck is a young artist to watch.

Meanwhile, Sarah Anne Johnson is in a major group show that just opened uptown at the Guggenheim Museum entitled Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance.

Back home, it’s fun month in Winnipeg!



Sandee Moore’s coffee machine

Sandee Moore is giving Exchange District pedestrians free coffee from four stories up. Press a button on her curbside construction, wait a little, and coffee will – eventually – fall through a hose that snakes up, up, up into Moore’s Bate Building studio. A barista who dispenses coffee at terminal velocity can be challenging for consumers, so I recommend dressing down for your coffee break.



Nathalie Daoust, Punishment, Switzerland, 2007, hand-coloured black and white pinhole photograph

Over at aceartinc., in honour of the upcoming World Pinhole Photography Day, photographer Nathalie Daoust is showing delightful pictures of herself and her female friends goofing around in the Swiss mountains. A video of the artist on the gallery website shows her doing the Charleston while installing: a clue to her fun sensibility. She’s like a young Nancy Davenport, who, you’ll remember, made a famous photographic series called Accident Prone in the 1990s.

Daoust shows legs sticking out of a well, a panty-clad girl hanging over a cliff, and a set of women, one hand-standing, casually posing outside in their undergarments. Granted, the impulse may not always be to laugh: these pictures are, as pictures are, ambiguous. One shows a woman stuck in a corner, for example, and in another pic a girl gestures at a large crucifix. Even if the overall sense is that she had a fun time hanging out in yodel country, Daoust’s work is puzzling enough that its jokes – if they really are jokes – will likely endure.



Robert Pasternak, Pollicks

Robert Pasternak is a Winnipeg artist who has turned his considerable graphic and design skills to a set of jokes in posters, booklets, gumballs, and even jigsaw puzzles at the Martha Street Studio. This show is packed with things, some of which, like his Pollicks and his used artist’s palettes, satirize the art world.

I think of Pasternak as a kind of vernacular artist, someone who maintains a distance from the neo-avant-garde art world. But since nowadays all margins ceaselessly spiral toward all centres, I’d like to hear convincing arguments for why we put an artist like Pasternak at the edges of the discourse. Of course, denying centres and margins might also take the edge off of Pasternak’s art world mockery, something he would likely not want.



Susy Oliveira

Susy Oliveira’s work is a set of little technical thrills that prompt a “why didn’t I think of that?” reaction. The work immediately brought to mind my current reading in pop physics and the holographic principle, which holds that information in three dimensions can be adequately contained in two. Oliveira extrudes three-dimensional objects out of 2D photographs by pasting photographic pieces onto foamcore to make 3D pop-ups. Don’t forget to read the beautifully written exhibition essay by Tricia Wasney that cites Capability Brown, Central Park, and Jean Genet in its argument for Oliveira as a gardener.

As we celebrate April Fool’s Day, Blair Martin will open a show called Good Looking Bad Jokes at Golden City Fine Art. Martin has been studying art jokes for years, and I’ll be anxious to see his latest discoveries…



Christabel Lindner, Waipoura Forest, New Zealand, oil on canvas, 2008

Also opening today, new artists Stephanie Graham, Chantel Mierau, Echo Xie, Kara Passey, Cullen Bingeman, Joan Larson, Christabel Lindner, Willy Carlton, and Emilie St. Hillaire will be showing their painting and drawing in These Theses at the Outworks Gallery.


Cliff Eyland is Director of Gallery One One One, where a show by senior Winnipeg artist Frank Mikuska and friends is currently on view.


aceartinc.: http://www.aceart.org/
Nathalie Daoust: Frozen In Time, Switzerland continues until1 May.

Martha Street Studio: http://www.printmakers.mb.ca/
Robert Pasternak: Visual Chew continues until April 23.

Platform Centre for Photographic + Digital Arts: http://www.platformgallery.org/
Susy Oliveira: Your face, like a lone nocturnal garden in Worlds where Suns spin round! continues until April 24.

Golden City Fine Art: http://goldencityfineart.blogspot.com
Blair Martin: Good Looking Bad Jokes continues until May 1.

Outworks Gallery: http://www.outworksgallery.com/
These Theses continues until April 6.

 

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