Saturday, June 24, 2006

Parlez, les petit chats!

(via Erin Ashenhurst; slow to load but worth it. Distant relatives of the Incredible Talking Cats. My favorite: the close-captioned black-and-white with the enormous whiskers who obviously watched both seasons of Twin Peaks)

Untitled (Missing), 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006

Rush hour, Kingsgate Mall liquor store:

GUY HORNING IN ON A DISPLAY OF CHEAP BEER: 'scuse me. I'd like to get Lucky tonight.

ADAM HARRISON: Sorry! Can't help ya there!
Thursday, June 22, 2006

For All I Know
Marisse Aguilar
CSA Space #5 - 2414 Main Street
Vancouver, B.C.
Opening Friday, 23 June 2006, 6-9pm
Curated by Adam Harrison
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Open Letter to Richard Rhodes, Editor, Canadian Art

Dear Rick,

I’m writing to add another voice in opposition to R.M. Vaughan’s embarrassing attempt at reviewing the Intertidal exhibition. Vaughan’s gossipy travelogue crystallized a dissatisfaction that I have felt with Canadian Art for some time now. It seems that what was once Canada’s visual arts magazine of record has, over the last few years, somehow been transformed into something resembling Art News lite, full of rambling first person accounts of visiting exhibitions and various amusing factoids and squibs.

Vaughan’s review is a sad mess. He provides no basis for his condescending dismissals of the work on display, beyond block quotes from curator Dieter Roelstraete (who, I imagine, is appalled at being exploited in this fashion), followed by banal put-downs like, “Uh-huh.” I can’t believe that you, as an intelligent editor who has published much good work by critics like Nancy Tousley, Roy Arden, Trevor Mahovsky, Ken Lum, etc., would judge this piece suitable for publication. Vaughan’s lame attempts at critical analysis would not pass muster on a Fine Arts 100 midterm, let alone in a national Canadian magazine.

Ultimately, the presence of Vaughan’s writing in the magazine sends a strong, and, I think, dangerous signal that Canadian Art may no longer be a viable forum for well-written, carefully considered criticism.

As Canadian Art does not have a letters section, I will post this letter for an extended period on my blog, Anodyne,

Very sincerely yours,

Christopher Brayshaw
Vancouver, B.C.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006

One Hundred Famous Ghosts (2), 2006
Monday, June 19, 2006

ART (Aesthetically Rejected Thing): Predatory Antiquarian Booksellers

VENDOR: much for this one?

CJB: I'm gonna price it $14.95. $7.50 cash to you.

VENDOR: I paid $30 for that book!

CJB: Where?

VENDOR: [names local dealer]

CJB: Ah-hah.

VENDOR: Was I ripped off? Or are you ripping me off?

CJB: Let's check and see. [Consults,, & etc.]

INTERNET VERDICT: 20 copies available in identical condition for $7-15USD.

VENDOR: That guy's a shark!

CJB: That's one way of describing him, yes.
A cool summer so far, bright sun this morning but a cold wind blowing, more early September than mid-June. Clouds furling off Crown Mountain, little bits of twig and leaf on the sidewalk in front of the shop shaken down by the vigorous gusts.

Apartment-hunting. The overpriced Kitsilano suite. Its overpriced Main Street sibling. The dingy batchelor suite with stained and flapping curtains above a convenience store with a view of the Second Narrows Bridge.

Car-hunting. The Legacy with a huge lump of mud and rust in the left wheel well. The Legacy with transmission trouble. The Legacy owned by the huckster. The Legacy owned by the guy with the full voice mail box.

Vendors. The woman with the rolling suitcase of Danielle Steel books. The guy with the hardcover set of 1980s microwave cookbooks. The girl with the underlined and water-damaged cultural studies textbooks. The Goosebumps. The Baby-Sitters Club. The Day in the Life of Alberta. The Day in the Life of Russia. Snow Falling on Cedars. Fugitive Pieces. The Margaret Atwood Library. David Baldacci. William Bernhardt. Richard North Patterson, spined and dog-eared. What do you mean you can't use them? Just put your hand in the till and give me the fucking money. Please.
Sunday, June 18, 2006

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): The Force of Soul

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