The fountain was made in the 1983 by an unknown company.
+This is the seventh in an occasional series of videos on the fountains of Montreal+
The fountain was made in the 1983 by an unknown company.
+This is the seventh in an occasional series of videos on the fountains of Montreal+
On Sunday I went to Patrick Blaizel‘s La Maison des Encans de Montréal to see his auction of Canadian Art (and other things as well). I was only able to stay for 127 lots. By my count only 11 lots didn’t sell, which is a very big difference from the results at Iegor – Hôtel des Encans, where they only sold 46% of the lots.
By my calculations they grossed about $175,000 on those 116 lots. (Once again, take any figures I give with a grain of salt, trying to juggle a video camera, pen, paper and keep track of what happens is fraught with the possibility of making mistakes.) – All prices noted here include the 15% buyers premium and all local sales taxes. All the lots and how much they sold for are here.
Some of the highlights were paintings by Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté
and A.Y. Jackson.
Which sold for $3,930.41 and $22,272.34 respectively.
Which sold for $2,358.25 and $6,812.72 respectively.
An oil painting on board by R.W. Pilot.
Which sold for $9,170.96
An oil painting on panel by Marc-Aurèle Fortin.
And an oil painting on panel by J.W. Beatty.
Which sold for $12,446.31 and $10,088.06 respectively.
The lowlight of the auction had to be this painting by André Bergeron, which even when the opening bid was lowered down to $50, did not get a single bid.
But besides the obvious differences between the auctions of M. Blaizel and M. de Saint Hippolyte, M. Blaizel sold real estate, furniture, collectibles and other things besides the art, the thing that fascinated me was the differences in their style of selling art. M. Blaizel clearly points towards the current high bidder, talks with the audience, offers certificates of authenticity, tells the audience when something doesn’t meet the reserve price and in general is much more transparent in how he does business.
And it appears I’m a YouTube superstar, I’m all over this video from Iegor – Hôtel des Encans, that’s me in the white t-shirt with the glasses on a string.
Last week I went to see the Armand Vaillancourt exhibit at the Galerie Lounge TD in the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan. Off the top; I think that M. Vaillancourt is the bomb. Kick-Ass. About as close to godlike status you can get when you’re agnostic, atheistic or just can’t be bothered. So as advance warning, it is not likely that I am going to be objective.
The first thing that surprised me was that I wasn’t the only person in the gallery. I had heard that there had been some sort of peinture-en-direct event the week previous and figured that the folks behind the Jazz Festival, the Francofolies, the Hydro-Quebec festival of electricity (now that I write that name in jest, why hasn’t any Jewish, Hindu or Persian organization raised a fuss about Spectra completely co-opting Hanukah, Diwali and Chaharshanbe Suri? – For the agnostics, atheists and folk who just can’t be bothered in the house, Hanukah, Diwali and Chaharshanbe Suri some fairly heavy duty religious holidays that are also known as Festival of Light. The Spectra folk do this thing called the “Festival en lumiere” in order to rationalize how much money Hydro-Quebec gives them, that happens in February. Not that I’m saying anything. But just saying…
But I digress. Apologies. As I was saying, I completely and utterly expected to be the only person in the room, seeing as there hadn’t been any advertising that I had seen talking about how this was your last chance to see the Armand Vaillancourt exhibit. You know, the kind we’re about to be bombarded with for the Jean-Paul Gaultier show at the MBAM… But I wasn’t. There was actually a healthy crowd. I would venture a guess of about two dozen folk wandered in and around me during the hour that I hung out there. But as long as I’m being the extreme cynic, I’m convinced that all of them, all two dozen were heathen tourists from beyond our borders who wouldn’t know kick-ass art if it hit them in the ass and just were mindlessly following some hack tourist guide book that had taken journalistic shortcuts by republishing press releases issued by Spectra. Or maybe Spectra has started publishing tour guide books. I don’t know, but it was very surprising.
What wasn’t surprising, was that most of the work being exhibited was for sale and at very healthy prices I might add. Unfortunately I didn’t see any red dots signifying works that had sold. But that just might mean that the Spectra folk who are responsible for the gallery don’t know about red dots and how they are used to signify that a particular piece of art has in fact been sold. Although when I inquired at the desk (which thankfully was not staffed by a 20 year-old woman in a black micro mini skirt and 12 inch heels) if there was a list of all the works in the show, I was told that all the information was on the wall tags. Which would lead me to believe that if I had indeed (or one of the tourists) wanted to purchase a piece I would have been given M. Vaillancourt’s telephone number and told to contact him myself. So my best guess would be that a) nothing sold and b) that the Spectra folk don’t know about red dots.
But enough about the organization of the show, what about the art? Well, it was mostly made up of painting and prints. There were a couple of sculptures scattered about the room along with a couple of political pieces as well. The paintings and prints expressing quite clearly that M. Vaillancourt is an amazing sculptor. The political pieces show he has a great sense of humor but is better served earning his living as a sculptor than as a stand up comedian.
There’s not much that can be said about the colorful abstract paintings. Well actually there is an awful lot that can be said about them. Things like the colors, the method of application to the canvas, the density, the patterns that they create and lots more. So if I were to be more precise, there’s not an awful lot that I want to say about the colorful abstract paintings. And even less about the monochromatic abstract prints. They are perfectly suited for hotels, large corporations and benefit auctions, all places where people like having “serious” art but really don’t spend all that much time looking at it and where the name “Armand Vaillancourt” will elicit sage head nodding and depending on what benefit auction or large corporation certain feelings of Quebecois pride.
One look at the political pieces and you get the point. They’re the proverbial one-trick pony. Which depending on your point of view is either exactly how they are supposed to work; get the point across quickly, easily and forcefully. Or their downfall; simplistic, lacking any depth and cartoonish. I tend to think of them as both. Sort of like a three-dimensional editorial cartoon designed to bring attention to some cause through the use of M. Vaillancourt’s name. It would be nice to have shown some of the more obscure causes that M. Vaillancourt supports instead of going for well-known and easy ones. But no one asked me.
Which pretty much leaves us the maquettes or sculptures. There were four of them. If I remember correctly, they were called something like “Place Publique” or something else equally memorable (as an aside I made the complete and utter faux-pas of neither taking notes, nor taking pictures of the wall tags. I was totally unprofessional. Does anybody have a wet noodle handy? And sorry, I promise it won’t happen again.
But now that I have that out of the way, I gotta say that despite the silly cutouts of people from magazines, that they were drop-dead gorgeous and amazing. I, honest to god, caught myself on a couple of times doing one of those reverse whistle intakes of breath and even once letting out a long low whistle. If they hadn’t been playing so much music from the 1980s in the place where I’ve been writing this, I might have even gone so far as to quote the band Berlin.
All but one were on stainless steel bases and used (what I presume) were recycled bits of metal to create forms based on symmetry and repetition. They kind of prove (to me at least) that M. Vaillancourt is a master of the form (or should I write that Master of the Form?) At some point I’m going to have to ask him how he came up with the ideas for them and how difficult it was to make them. From the monochromatic prints it is possible to see how they would lead to the maquettes. And I truly hope that they are indeed maquettes and not fully realized sculptures, because they would be breathtaking if blown up to monument size.
Unfortunately my snapshots don’t do them the justice that they deserve. Some of them were placed directly in front of windows and I haven’t quite figured out what buttons I need to push on my camera when objects that I want to photograph are back lit and I also am not in the habit of carrying around a set of lights with me. Next time, I promise.
Beyond that, there wasn’t much. It kind of left me torn, one one side I really really liked the maquettes or sculptures. On the other side everything else kind of seemed “meh.” And while “I think that M. Vaillancourt is the bomb. Kick-Ass. About as close to godlike status you can get when you’re agnostic, atheistic or just can’t be bothered.” This show did nothing really to support my belief. I dunno, maybe the out and out commercialism in the “Galerie Lounge TD” or the way that everything was set up more as if it was a store than an art gallery had a stronger influence than I would like to admit.
The fountain was made in the 1982 by an unknown company.
+This is the sixth in an occasional series of videos on the fountains of Montreal+
Earlier this month I was out and about on Île Sainte-Hélène (hence the video of the fountain at the Biosphere…) and while I was there I snapped some shots of some of the non-Calder public art that was there.
If you want to see what it originally looked like, try this.
My new nominee for most obscure piece of public art in Montreal. Not only is it on a part of Île Sainte-Hélène where no one goes, it is half obscured by a bush! Took me over half an hour to find it. Robert Roussil‘s website is here.
Initially I was extremely disappointed. I was thinking it would be some grandiose fountain spewing and spouting water all over the place. Then to only find a trickle… But there is this extremely informative article on wikipedia explaining all about Wallace Fountains and their purpose. Charles-Auguste Lebourg’s wikipedia page is here.
Sadly, when I was there, Obélisque oblique by Henri-Georges Adam was not viewable due to construction. I couldn’t find Migration by Robert Roussil. The Moai Head was being restored. And Oh Homme by Yvette Bisson was marked on the map, but was nowhere to be found, and does not appear on the website.
I’ve written to the Bureau d’art public asking about the three and as soon as I have any news, I’ll let you know.
Update, September 28: Oh Homme, Obélisque oblique and the Moai Head are all currently being restored. Obélisque oblique will be returned in 2013, the Moai Head within the next year, and it isn’t known when or where Oh Homme will be returned.
The fountain was made in 1967 by Cambridge Seven Associates.
+This is the fifth in an occasional series of videos on the fountains of Montreal+
This time on de L’Esplanade going south from Bernard.
Back on Thursday I went to see Out of White by Jane Mappin and Je Parle and À tout prendre by Francoise Sullivan as part of the Quartiers Danses festival at the McCord Museum. As you might have suspected, the crowds was sparse.
I presume that the idea of having a dance in a museum was part of the dance in unusual places shtick. Unfortunately outside of the museum and in the museum lobby, atrium and auditorium aren’t all that unusual. It would have been nice to see some of the dances take place in some of the galleries, now that would have been unusual. But obviously there were some logistical challenges that were insurmountable, pity.
The short synopsis of the evening. Out of White is an ensemble piece that started outside the museum with a dozen dancers improvising slow movements, in a parade. Kind of like a warm up as they lead the viewers into the museum. There’s a short pause and then it starts up again. This time choreographed in (if I remember correctly) three basic parts. One is the group moving and marching around the space (in this case the very small atrium at the McCord museum) then, Jane Mappin shows up and dances a solo, then Francine Liboiron comes on a saves the day. Then there’s a whole second part that also is saved by Ms. Liboiron.
Je Parle is a short piece where Ginette Boutin spins around in a canvas smock while reciting something. À tout prendre is Daniel Soulières and Ms. Boutin traipsing around picking up pieces of junk and clipping them onto each others’ overcoats while Rober Racine bangs on a variety of metal objects. Overall, it was a successful evening’s worth of performance. But if that was all you wanted to hear about it, it is unlikely you would be reading this…
According to the program notes, Ms. Mappin was inspired by some paintings by William Perehudoff (no, I have no idea how to pronounce it either) and somehow wanted to make something where the dancers and the audience worked together to make some sort of living gallery.
La représentation se dessine comme un galerie vivante dans laquelle les spectateurs s’intègrent pleinement à l’expérience visuelle de la mise en scène.
Ummm. It didn’t work out that way at all. and it wasn’t only because the McCord Museum is a history museum and not an art museum.
First off, I had some time to kill so I swung by early to pick up my tickets, and was told that the performance started outside around 7:45 pm. I found it odd, that all the information about the performance stated that things started at 8:00 pm. I didn’t quite understand why someone would start a performance early (I don’t like it when things start late, but in advance just doesn’t make sense to me).
Then when I arrived, Deborah VanSlet was videotaping things, there also were about three other professional looking photographers. All of which combined to make for a definite barrier between performers, documenters and audience. Then as the performers’ led the audience parade-like into the museum there was no interaction between any groups. Finally, when the performance restarted in the atrium, the audience was instructed to take seats in the space as if they were in a regular theatre.
As for the performance itself; it was a bunch of dance students moving in space, along with a man (Barry Meyer) who looked to be about twice the age of the other dancers. I never could quite figure out why he was there. Although now in retrospect, it might have been to highlight the difference between dance students and people who have been dancing for their entire life.
After a bit, Jane Mappin (or a person who I assume was Jane Mappin) took the stage and moved around as well. Nothing terrible spectacular, but nothing too horrible either. The rest of the dancers came back on the stage and then Francine Liboiron shows up and really makes it obvious how much experience matters in dance. At the end there was polite applause and at was over.
Things quickly got better after that. Ginette Boutin came on stage in her smock and started reciting and spinning. I became pretty transfixed by Je Parle mostly due to watching the hem of her smock as it rippled in the air. I’m not certain if this was an intended effect or something unintentional. But either way it was riveting. I’m certain that a deeper understanding of the piece could be had by knowing what was said (especially since it’s called “I speak.”) But that’s obviously going to have to wait for another time.
We were then asked to wait a little before entering the auditorium for À tout prendre (I’m not certain logistics are a Quartiers Danses specialty). After about five minutes we were allowed in and discovered that the stage was strewn with a bunch of garbage. I don’t think that there is any real story to À tout prendre, but it’s fun enough and silly enough and short enough that watching it is not a bore. Again, according to the program notes, it’s supposed to be some sort of reflection on “our times and our society” (Une réflexion encore très actuelle sur notre temps et notre société.) I also found it strange that it used the same title as an award winning film Claude Jutra. Not having seen the film (which someone on wikipedia considers the first modern Quebecois film) I have no idea if there is any connection or if it was purely happenstance. But the upshot of all of this being, I think I’m going to have to go and see more dances by Francoise Sullivan.
And then the tour-de-force. The beginning of part 2 of Out of White. It was the same as what I had seen on Monday and written that it was “Francine Liboiron lying on her back making her legs act like hand puppets.” Which is completely and utterly, 100% wrong. On Monday, the theatre seats weren’t raked, and there were a bunch of heads obscuring Ms. Liboiron’s body. So all I could see was a little bit of her calfs, and her feet. Which from that perspective did look like hand puppets. But that was the wrong perspective to be seeing it from.
At the McCord, the seats are raked (and there weren’t too many people, either) so it was quite easy to a) see all of Ms. Liboiron and to see her from a very good perspective. Instead of moving her legs like hand puppets, imagine some sort of hybrid combination of a swan’s neck, really thick syrup being poured and something else that has those similar liquid, yet gracefully properties, like the veil on The Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino in the Cappella Sansevero.
Basically she moves her legs in an incredibly fluid and graceful manner while lying on her back with her legs extended 90 degrees into the air (picture her body in an “L” shape). Every now and again she would raise her arms, and get all four appendages moving like each one was a separate dancer while still moving in unison (I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time and as a consequence was left completely slack-jawed at what Ms. Liboiron was able to do). Honest to god, it was drop-dead gorgeous.
Beyond that, there was some video and I’m fairly certain that there was some music as well, but I can’t remember it for the life of me, so it obviously wasn’t that memorable. However, I will for a very long time remember Ms. Liboiron movements.
+This is the fourth in an occasional series of videos on the fountains of Montreal+
Kitchenette‘s Chicken Fried Chili Cheeseburger with roasted peppers.
Le Boucan‘s jalapeño smoked burger. A Stuffed smoked jalapeño wrapped in bacon and served in a bun with homemade condiments.
Le Jolifou‘s smoked apple wood salmon with sweet cherry bomb pepper crystals and an aioli chipotle sauce.
Chez l’Épicier‘s double burger of seasoned duck and foie gras with figs.
Pintxo‘s foie gras burger.
Le St-Urbain‘s osso bucco burger. A braised veal shank burger on a smoked duck fat and pecorino bun.
Le Grain de Sel‘s mini boudin burger with banana chutney, aioli, chocolate and ancho chiles.
Barroco‘s pork and truffle burger. Braised pork served on a homemade bun, topped with peppercorn pecorino cheese and a truffle and cauliflower remoulade.
Bice‘s Angus beef and mozzarella burger.
Café Ferreira‘s spicy three meat burger with Serra cheese on a Portuguese bun.
Me looking pregnant with the other judges and MC after eating all ten “burgers.” From left-to-right; Jean-Philippe Tastet, Ryk “E Coli” Edelstein, yours truly with the eight month-old belly, Lesley Chesterman (looking lovely as usual) and Anne-Marie Withenshaw.
And there are tons more here.