Tag Archives: The Work Ahead of Us

Nelson Henricks, 2287 Hz


Using physics for kicks to make contemporary art
When done badly it can break your heart.
Thankfully Nelson Henricks is almost as smart as Descartes.
If he wrestled, he would have beat Bret “The Hitman” Hart.

Twenty-Two eighty-seven hertz is a sound made by machine.
If you click here, you can hear what I mean.
Go to double high C, find D sharp continue to D you’ll find it half way in between.
As far as tones go, it’s fairly routine.

Mr. Henricks uses things like three video screens a turntable and an oscilloscope
To point out some facts, tell a story using a visual trope.
It really is quite good, I saw it early on and it gave me great hope
That viewing the Triennale would be easy and I wouldn’t become a misanthrope.

Sadly this wasn’t the case.
In a deck of cards, not every one can be an ace.
Looking for great Quebecois art will always be a chase
More a matter of the right time, than the right place.

Massimo Guerrera, La Réunion des Pratiques


Where do I start?
If I was smart,
I would toe the party line and call it art.
But me and Massimo are world’s apart,
On what we think is visual art.

He sticks a bunch of objects in a space
(Personally I think it’s a disgrace)
And leaves a schedule of when he’ll be there.
Not nice and completely unfair,
To lead workshops and talks
I think Massimo is completely self-absorbed.

It’s one thing to show off a collection
But I can I raise an objection,
To insist that it only can be understood
In his presence.
Since I’m not Massimo I could
Talk about its irrelevance.

But that would require another stanza,
I don’t think I can be that extravaganza,
Even if my ex father-in-law came from Panza
As he would say, “enough’s enough” (really “Basta!”)

Claudie Gagnon, Tableaux


Claudie Gagnon makes videos of paintings
But unless you really know your art history all you’re doing is feigning
“That one is like Munch’s The Scream
Some others are vaguely familiar, like in a dream.

Did Ms. Gagnon see them live or just in a book?
If live, I wonder how long it took?
One thing I find most out of place
In (To Beauty) the drummer is wearing black-face

I wonder if I made a tableaux vivant of Pastourelle à Vallangoujard that was kétaine
If they would put it in a museum or call me a bad comedian
Perhaps if I were to take a deep breath and count to ten
And close my eyes it won’t happen again.

But I really should give Ms. Gagnon props
According to the public she’s the tops.
She won the Coup de coeur du public Loto-Québec
I imagine she really liked the $10,000 check.

Julie Favreau, Ernest Ferdik


Who the fuck is Ernest Ferdik?
Julie Favreau’s installation pours it on thick.
Some hipster dude hanging out in the cold,
I’m not certain if my opinion I can withhold.

There are some logs, some plaster.
I would stop short of calling this a disaster.
The video doesn’t make any sense.
The longer I stick around the less I am on the fence.

This truly was the last piece we saw.
And there was no way I can hem or haw,
Ended up leaving on a downer
Although for the most part the Triennale Quebecoise was a good encounter.

Grier Edmundson’s work in the Quebec Triennial


The museum got the name of the show from Grier
As it references “work,” my initial thoughts were dire
But I figured what the heck and took a flyer
After going through it all and thinking about it lots, I’d like to say it is something I admire.
Unfortunately I can’t, although there are some individual pieces I’d like to acquire.
Given the state of contemporary Quebecois art, if some ads are c******, I might actually be able to become a buyer

Being forced to slog through so much mediocre art
At times made me want to depart
I would have liked to have written “be still my heart.”
Instead of feeling like I was wandering through Walmart
Where everything isn’t chosen because it is good, but sometimes because of a prompt.
In three years if it isn’t better, I’m going to try and again upset the applecart.

Mr. Edmundson’s mirror cube is kinda of nice, but it ain’t no Anish Kapor
The paintings of birds and sleeping children on a Ronald Reagan wallpaper
Are fine and dandy, but once I leave the installation, my memory of them dissipates like vapor
Trying to understand the Quebec Triennial is like some mystery caper
Do you think that there’s any connection to Mad Men and/or Dan Draper?
As for rhymes it’s obvious I need my barrel bottom scraper.

Jacynthe Carrier, Rites


A 12 minute three channel video of what I don’t know
Which is 11 minutes and two chanels de trop.
But it must be great it’s on the cover
Of the catalogue. I want to know who is her lover?

I saw the part with a bunch of ribbons
Then stopped watching after the fourth of my yawns.

I‘m certain it’s great art and deserves some respect
But I wonder how much is due to it being owned by Hydro-Quebec?
They gave the musee d’art contemporain a half a million bucks
My guess is that now, people say their collection no longer sucks.

Jessica Eaton, Photographs


This is where things can get sort of embarrassing
Sadly of Ms. Eaton’s work I cannot remember a thing.
I know I saw it, her name is there in my notes
I even wrote “nice prints” as one of my quotes.

But that doesn’t really help when I’m trying to describe
What her work looked like or if it gave off any sort of vibe.
So I plead mea culpa
Look straight at the camera and take a big gulpa

I obviously didn’t have an emotional connection
To Ms. Eatons’ work, and after some reflection
And seeing copies of her work on the internet
I’m not certain if it is something I regret.

Alexandre David, Une ou deux places


[M.] David appears to love plywood
A common form of building material frequently misunderstood.
Unvarnished and unpainted
It’s a type of wood to which everyone is acquainted.

Using it to make false floors and fake walls
M. David succeeds in transforming one the the museum’s halls
From something clean and pristine
To something rough and less clean.

Depending on where you started, this might be the last piece of art you see in the show,
And right after it there’s a collection of catalogues to look at which is kind of apropos,
Unlike other museums when the show is finished there is no store.
It is one of the things about the Musée d’art contemporain that I adore.

Marie-Andrée Cormier, Paysage Humain II


Moving luggage one at a time in a choreographed human chain
Surprisingly this two channel video, my attention it did sustain.
Two screens at a right angle, the videos are each a long static shot
Other than moving the boxes, there’s nothing really that can be called “plot.”

One by one they come in, one by one they leave
They pile the gear up, they break the gear down, it’s kind of naive.
But nonetheless we stuck around to the bitter end
Sometimes surreal stuff can be hard to hard to comprehend.

Olivia Boudreau, L’Étuve


A video of some women hanging around in a steam bath
After one glance I look at the wall tag and do some math
If I hang around for the twenty-minutes to watch the entire thing
I’ll get angry, stomp out and end up missing
Most of the rest of the exhibition

Which would put me in an awkward position
Of having to be rhymey
About things I had not seen, which is kind of slimy.
So I only watched five minutes, which was more than enough
To give me this material in case anyone calls my bluff.

Olivia Boudreau, Excerpt from L'Étuve