Monday, January 10, 2011

Cross-Country Winter Arts Preview @ the National Post

This weekend, the National Post published a cross-country winter arts preview covering books, music, TV, movies and art. I supplied the latter picks. Here's a few of my picks that were in print but aren't up at the Post's site:

Nuit Blanche and Art Souterrain in Montreal
Though it’s widely regarded as a good-times town, Montreal’s more hardy than party in holding its annual all-night arts fest during frigid February. Ferris wheels and fireworks not enough to lure you outdoors? That’s okay; the arctic wind’s blow is softened by lots of indoor activities, notably Art Souterrain, an exhibition that launches on Nuit (February 26) and takes over the downtown’s many underground tunnels, malls and metro stations until March 13. This year features an all-Nuit screenprinting workshop, photos by Isabelle Hayeur and more. Watch for the full Nuit schedule available early next month at—with fingers crossed for a redo of last year’s Opera Karaoke!

Thomas Hirshhorn & Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle at the Power Plant, Toronto
On March 12, the Power Plant opens a newly renovated space and (hallelujah!) revamped website. Its main draw, though, is its concurrent North American premiere of Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn’s The Eye, a 3,600-square-foot installation that features Hirschhorn’s characteristic mix of philosophical ideas and flimsy materials. (The premise: an eye that can only see red. Yes, colour photocopies and stuffed animals are involved.) Spanish-born, Chicago-based artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle also brings the brainpower with reproductions of the supposed “mobile biological weapons labs” that Colin Powell invoked prior to the US invasion of Iraq. Originally produced for Documenta 12, Manglano-Ovalle’s ersatz trailer will be featured alongside Hirschhorn until May.

Online Art for Anytime and Anywhere
Eat your heart out Mark Zuckerberg! Several Canadian artists and arts orgs are determined to use the web for higher creative ends. Leading worthwhile winter browses are geek-tech videos by Toronto’s Jeremy Bailey (, who’s performancing at Tate Britain on February 18. Melanie Gilligan (born in T.O., based in the UK) has earned a stratospheric rise of late with her socially conscious dramas and Don’t miss Alberta’s Cedar Tavern Singers, who sweetly sing and dance about art history at And for variety, try AGO’s Art of the Day Tumblr ( as well as the Canuck-created curated video site Ryeberg (

For my other Canadian winter art picks--including Brian Jungen's surprising change (or at least inversion) of tune at Catriona Jeffries and other BC highlights--read on here.

(Video of Jeremy Bailey performing public sculpture in Kiev, Ukraine from Youtube. If you want to get the background on this project, check out another of his videos here.)

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