What with the Photopolis Festival, a month-long celebration of photography, and Nocturne, a one-night (the 15th) stand when the city itself becomes a gallery, October is a prime time for art in Halifax.
Kyle Cunjack, Popeye
Photographers Kyle Cunjack and Aaron McKenzie Fraser's split exhibition Carny/Sappy at 1313 Hollis explores the relationship between carnival workers and Sackville's big-heart/little-music festival SappyFest. Cunjack's portraits come from far and wide. He traveled throughout Atlantic Canada, America, Mexico and Vietnam over the past five years, intrigued by the stories and wild tales carnivals conjure, exploring aspects of estrangement, freak shows, and fascination with the bizarre in his pictures. Sherry is almost childlike, portraying a carnival worker who appears both cheeky and pensive surrounded by stuffed tigers. Honest and rugged Popeye is famous among festivalgoers in Fredericton. Both ethereal and dreamlike, Unknown from 2009 stands out among the portraits. The unidentified subject, a grinning fairy-like woman, soars through the sky, suspended by rope.
Aaron McKenzie Fraser, Jim Bryson
McKenzie Fraser's small-scale portraits of musicians, writers, and music fans make up a yearbook of Atlantic Canada's arts community. Over the years he has photographed many Canadian musicians editorial-style, but he rekindled a love for street portraiture these past two summers visiting Sappyfest. Whether it's musician Jim Bryson looking directly into the lens or Halifax's poet laureate Tanya Davis taking a pensive moment leaning over a picnic bench, McKenzie Fraser captures the moment. A close up of Dog Day's Seth Smith offers a rare intimacy. A barefoot Rich Aucoin takes a quiet moment the morning after his explosive festival performance. There is even a look at those who work behind the scenes like Telegraph Journal arts editor Mike Landry, ball cap stuffed into his pocket, as he takes in the sweetness of Sappy. “These guys are kind of like carnival workers, many travel a lot,” says McKenzie Fraser.
Nocturne celebrates a different sort of traveling. Instead of venturing to far away towns, one can travel Halifax's historic buildings and tree-lined streets, taking in art from all angles. “Nocturne removes the physical barriers through taking art to the streets and throwing open the doors of art institutions people often feel exist around art,” says Nocturne chair Rose Zack. “Nocturne has helped to create a critical mass where people from all walks of life and points of view can plan or just find themselves participating in this ephemeral arts-based experience.“
Julie Louise Bacon, Double Fountain
With exhibitions happening all over the city, it's impossible to take everything in. Thankfully, some exhibits have a longer shelf life. Eyelevel Gallery/Centre For Art Tapes' 3X3X3, curated by directing manager of France’s videospread Céline Jouenne, is a month-long program, uniting three curators, three artists, and three public sites. Artists Julie Louise Bacon, David Frankovich, and Michel Klöfkorn explore degradation, juxtaposition, and technical implications of the moving image in relation to a still photograph. The first projection was October 1, while the second projection lights up Nocturne at 6pm, and the last projection occurs October 27 at 7pm.
Larry Glawson, November 30 1989, sheet 4 #14, sheet 1 # 17 [Paired Portraits], 1989, chromogenic prints
Opening during Nocturne, Saint Mary's University Art Gallery's 27 X Doug: Portraits of Larry Glawson, curated by J.J. Kegan McFadden, explores a thirty year retrospective of Glawson's career through portraits of his lover, Doug Melnyk. These photographic and video works by the Manitoba-based artist, known for documenting what is referred to as a “queer revisionist history” through series such as Family Album, The Anonymous Gay and Lesbian Portrait Project, and home bodies, map the passage of time on a single individual who initially captures the moment through changing hairstyles and dress before falling prey to the effects of age and gravity.
Stacy Lundeen's Left Wing Tics at The Khyber will also open during Nocturne. In this new series she explores the more progressive end of political and personal ideology by playing with notions of the body and the corresponding body part – the left wing. “I liked the idea of an ideology being reflection not just through social and personal performance but as an act of the body,” says Lundeen in an interview on the gallery’s website. “It seems that our ideals are deeply embedded within our person and when they are as important as actions they find a way of expressing themselves through emotion, empathy and perhaps even in bodily revolt, as in a tic. It seemed natural to equate bodily sensations and actions with social actions.” The resulting work will include photographs of limbs rendered in unconventional and un-idealized materials like cellophane, tin foil, caulking, and spray foam.
Shannon Webb-Campbell is an arts journalist, writer, and photographer published throughout Canada. Currently she's working on a collection of short stories. This is her first time reporting on the Halifax art scene for Akimblog.
1313 Hollis: http://www.photopolis.ca/venues.html
Carny/Sappy continues until October 31.
Eyelevel Gallery: http://www.eyelevelgallery.ca/
3X3X3 continues until October 30.
Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery: http://www.smu.ca/administration/externalaffairs/artgallery/ex.html
27 x Doug: Portraits of Larry Glawson opens on October 15 and continues until November 27.
The Khyber Centre for the Arts: http://www.khyber.ca/
Stacy Lundeen: Left Wing Tics opens on October 15 and continues until November 25.
Comments (newest first) +click to add comment
Posted by Stacy Lundeen, on 2011-10-19 11:08:21Ah , thanks Jimbo. This happens all the time. I keep receiving Madame Stacy Lundeen's rejection letters in the mail. If someone talks to her would they please ask her to forward all my acceptance letters to my home adress.