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Vanessa Brown

December 20, 2017

Vanessa Brown works in sculpture, painting, and photography. She is based in Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish Territories. She graduated with a BFA from Emily Carr University in 2013 and was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award. She has exhibited in Canada, Germany, the USA, and Mexico, notably with solo and two-person exhibitions at Wil Aballe Art Projects in Vancouver, Erin Stump Projects in Toronto, and group exhibitions at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, and King Street Station in Seattle. She has an upcoming solo exhibition at the Esker Foundation in the spring of 2018 and is currently in the group exhibition Some Spontaneous Particulars at Access Gallery.


Rei Kawakubo in Antifashion

M2M stands for Made to Measure and it is a website that acts as an online fashion channel where you can find runway shows as they are released each season along with interviews and documentaries. I recommend the film Antifashion, which looks at the turn in mood of fashion design that took place in the 1990s and includes interviews with Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, and Ann Demeulemeester. Or try any documentary by Loic Prigent, who spends as much or more time focusing on the talent of the individuals who labour under the name of a fashion house as he does with its principle designer. Signe Chanel, for example.

2. Chu Hua Catherine Dong

Chun Hua Catherine Dong, I have been there – Paris, 2017 (photo: Ian Fenelon)

Although I have been following her practice, I haven’t seen a live performance by Chun Hua Catherine Dong since we were in art school together. While so many of us were carefully planting obscure art historical references in our abstract paintings and provisional sculptures, Dong’s brazen performances were radical, gutsy, and sincere. Her approach was virtually peerless at the time. You can only imagine how excited I am to continue to see her work unfold.

3. Planet Money: The Holiday Industrial Complex

#NationalCaramelDay. AJ Mast/Invision for Werther's Original via AP

I listened to this episode in the summer and I’m still thinking about it. Wine Day is May 25th, National Cheese Day is June 4th, and National Splurge Day (can you believe it??) is June 18th. It seems like just about any day is a national holiday urging us to open our wallets and spend, spend, spend. What is powering this holiday-making machine? This podcast looks at the origins of this phenomenon and presents something I found so unexpected, generous, and caring that I cried. (PS I find this podcast fascinating, so it makes it hard to pick just one episode.)

4. Concerning the Bodyguard

A story by Donald Barthelme told almost entirely as a series of questions. Not only is the narrative expertly derived from this format, but the technique of using questions as a form of narrative places the reader in a position of constant uncertainty, mimicking that of a bodyguard whose professional success is ever dependent on the non-event. Concerning the Bodyguard also relates to a larger concern I have around working in various fields: When it comes to getting a job done, whose body is on the line? There is a link to the story here. Salman Rushdie reads it beautifully and discusses it with New Yorker’s fiction editor Deborah Treisman in a podcast here.

5. Kim's Convenience

I just love this show. I went stomping around Toronto trying to find the storefront location when I was in town for a few days only to be told by locals that it didn’t exist. Of course, as soon as I left town I found out that it did exist after all. Anyway, I haven’t seen the play, but the TV show is so cozy and warm, and I look forward to it every week. It is hilarious and occasionally a bit of a tearjerker. Plus, they have the best fan engagement on Facebook. You can watch it here.



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