Return to Toronto
On February 28 I head out again, this time to Toronto. It feels like a return; during my years in Rochester, NY, I have given the Northrop Frye Lecture series there, which later turned up as Reading “Rembrandt” During those long-weekend visits I made many friends, and I have gone back to Toronto many times later. During one of those visits I met Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak, award-winning video artists and initiators of the artists-driven collective Video Archive and Distributors VTape, of which I am a proud member. Lisa organised this visit. This photo is a screen shot of their 2001 video work We’re Getting Younger All the Time from a trilogy in the making, Before I Wake.
During my week-long visit, many activities have been scheduled. First, on Wednesday February 29, at 7 pm, I will give a lecture on the work of Stan Douglas, the prominent artist from Vancouver on whose work I have written before. My lecture will be the first in an annual series “Artist2” where an artist speaks about the work of another artist. Stan has a photography exhibition at the Power Plant, titled Entertainment: a Selection from Midcentury Studio. With the keen sense of history, both social and visual, that characterizes his work, he has made a series of photographs attributed to a fictional mid-20th century photographer. I cannot give away too much… Just consult the website to get a taste. And here is just a detail of one of the photos I will comment on rather extensively.
Thursday the 1st of March I will give a seminar at the Curatorial Studies Program on my own recent experiences with the multiple role of artist, curator and critic, in Landscapes of Madness, Towards the Other, and subsequent exhibitions. I look forward to this discussion, and to meeting Jim Drobnick and Jennifer Fisher, the editors of the new electronic Journal for Curatorial Studies. It is a little strange to be speaking of my own work, but then, I have been doing that increasingly since I started making art.
The day after, Saturday the 2d, two parallel installations will open. At VTape, A Long History of Madness will be displayed every day, twice a day, until April 7th. I am quite curious how the film, which has its narrative line, albeit far from linear, will work in a situation where visitors can come in and out as they please, as distinct from theatrical screenings - even though the VTape 28-seat theatre is still a theatre of sorts. At the gallery of the Women’s Art Resource Centre, in the same building, the dual-screen installation Psychoanalysis on Trial will be opened as an independent piece.
Again, this piece has so far been embedded in a larger exhibition, and I wonder how it will work on its own. Again, a new experience.
Finally, on Monday the 5th A Long History of Madness will be screened at the theatre TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX. Well, all this should keep me busy enough, but I will find time to meet old friends and make new ones.