Monday, July 07, 2008
Thick and Thin Post Number Three: Where You From?
Expanding on the themes of the exhibition, beyond the very brief curatorial statement, I am sending out questions to all of the artists in "Painting: Thick and Thin" to answer at their leisure.
I'm beginning to think that the answers given will display more disparity than cohesion, and this delights me. Working on this exhibition has highlighted the thousands different paths that eight people, connected by medium, school and geographical ties can take through, to, or from the same city. Threads holding together this exhibition, as I stare harder, are more and more transluscent and move every time I take my eyes away. All the while the circle drawn around becomes more solid by exhibitions, articles and talk.
Painters, except in their paintings, wear their angled skin so all blows are glancing, like those radar-deflecting spy planes. I they stand just right, everything is deflected into the paintings on the wall.
1.Given all the ways an artist can be from a geographical location (born, attended school, lived, or lives), describe to me how you are “from” Calgary.
Kim Neudorf: I’m “from” Calgary in the sense that I’ve lived here for seven years, which is the longest I've lived in any city, so it has probably influenced my perception of "city" and "living and working" more than any other place I've known. As a kid from Saskatoon, “Calgary” used to be associated with Banff, relatives' weird livingrooms, pirate ships in shopping malls, and The Spoons video for 'Romantic Traffic' mixed with an idea that the C-train was another version of the gondola (you wait forever, pay a cryptic currency, and sit cramped with strangers for an anti-climactic time). Saskatoon was about extreme weather survival, independent coffee shops, cult films from the public library, the Mendel Art Gallery, a community orchestra (8 years of violin lessons), and painting lessons from Degan Lindner. “Calgary” has been about Artist-run Centres, film festivals, The Banff Centre, Cat Power (Sled Island 2007), the BFA years (and the U of C library), my first studio at Untitled Art Society, the art and writing community, and longer-lasting friendships. There’s also the “commute”, which has introduced all kinds of new contexts for public waiting/purgatory. Mainly though, Calgary has felt and acted like a starting place (or a waiting place), not a staying place.
Chris Millar: I am from Calgary as a result of moving here to attend art school. I stuck around after graduating because I liked the city and the people who live here.
Kyle Beal: Well I was born in Calgary, and am actually third generation Calgarian. I attended grade school up to college in the city as well. More abstractly where I grew up was on the eastern most edge of the 'Properties', which at the time was the end of the city, after that was just prairie and big sky. Which might be formative in its own way.
Ryan Sluggett: I was born, attended school and lived in Calgary