Friday, September 21, 2007
Prairie Artsters on the Roam: Calgary
Lack of updates on the home front, Prairie Artsters surveys as much of Calgary's arts scene as half an afternoon can beget.
Highlights and not necessarily reviews included the Triangle Gallery's exhibition on Swedish design; both the space and show were pleasing and surprising. The Art Gallery of Calgary was showing a retrospective of Alex Janvier for the AB Biennial, and along with Janvier's more well known works from the 80s, a sample of recent floral paintings were on the top floor from 2005. A similar stroke was present, but it is unfortunate to say that perhaps Janvier's best works are well behind him.
In the basement media room of the AGC was Red Eye, a compilation of contemporary Aboriginal short films put on by Carleton University and curated by Ryan Rice. Taking on the narrative of the "cinematic" Indian as mythologized by Hollywood and mainstream cinema, works by Terrance Houle and Nadia Myre represent a new channel of storytelling.
Also visited were Truck and Art Central, both reviewed below.
Calgary as a whole certainly appears to have both more commercial appeal and credibility (what with ACAD and all), but I saw little or no risk happening at all in the art. Even in the Truck exhibition, which was probably my favorite space and exhibition (if you discount the films and videos from Red Eye), most of the art seen can be summed up in the overheard conversation that happened inside Axis Gallery.
For a city booming faster than Edmonton, I can only wonder where all the artists are working from and working towards. And hopefully, more visits to the south can be taken to see what arises.
at 5:23:00 p.m.