Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shary Boyle at the Art Gallery of Ontario

There's something to be said about a contemporary artist when the Art Gallery of Ontario devotes an entire exhibition to her work.  Shary Boyle recently opened a four-room exhibition on the main floor at the AGO. It must be experienced.

A whimsical take on sexuality, love, family and childhood, "Flesh and Blood" includes paintings, installation, projection and sculpture.

Here's a brief video of some of her sculptures:  Sex (2008), Birth (2008), Death (2008), Black Mushrooms (2009), The Letter (2009), The Blind (2010), Silver Thread (2006) and The Sighted (2009). (They don't appear in this order.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nuit Blanche 2010

Nuit Blanche is one of my favourite annual art happenings in Toronto. What excites me is the combination of transforming the city's streets and experiencing contemporary art with other people en masse.

One of my all-time favourite performance installations was Jon Sasaki's Promise It Will Always Be This Way at Lamport Stadium in Liberty Village in 2008. You may remember the sports mascots dancing to pop and rock music pumping over stadium speakers. It was as fun as it was subversive to see mascots dancing, eating, taking smoke breaks and lying on benches for short naps over the course of the evening into the morning.

The 2010 version of Nuit Blanch had some fine stuff. Zone C in particular was still a good place to experience some installations. Here are a couple of short videos I shot and edited on my iPhone 3GS:

The Night Watch by Kristi Malakoff of Nelson, Canada

Fire and Flux by Toronto artist Christine Irving and Site3

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Umhambi at the Chicago International Film Festival

My short film Umhambi is an official selection at the 46th Chicago International Film Festival. The festival runs October 7-21, and Umhambi and will be screening on October 10, 2010 at 12:00 pm at AMC River East in the Human Condition program and competition.

The festival invited filmmakers to submit 60 second films that examine who and what we are. "What is the human condition?" asked the festival's programmers. "Is it describable? What causes people to start a war? Grow a flower? Abide poverty? Create Art? Advance technology? Pollute the environment? Seek knowledge? Cure illness? Is there a difference between cause and effect, symptom and disease? What is our place in the world?"

Umhambi is a one minute film I made in South Africa. It’s based on the Little Traveller dolls created for Woza Moya, the income generation program at the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust, a non-profit HIV/AIDS service organization outside Durban. By making and selling Little Traveller dolls, beadworkers -- all infected or affected by HIV and AIDS -- earn money for basic needs such as water, food, school fees, books and clothes. The film features Tholakele Mbombo and her family, and the voice of storyteller Gcina Mhlope.

Umhambi has travelled the globe and has been screened in art galleries and film festivals in Canada, South Africa, Switzerland, Croatia and now the US .