Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Inspired by Bill Cunningham: Jameson Avenue Bridge

I went for a bike ride along the lake the other day. I live in Toronto's west end, and my favourite route is along the Martin Goodman Trail from Strachan Avenue to the Humber Bridge and back to Parkdale. Riding along the water into the setting sun was sublime.

As I turned around for home with the sun at my back, rush hour was already under way. Several lanes of road separate the lake from the rest of the city so you need to to use a couple of bridges to get from the water to neighbouring Parkdale. White headlights and red taillights whizzing by below inspired me to capture a brief moment during one of Toronto's busiest traffic periods. From atop a couple of bridges, I shot some video. I didn't dismount my bicycle like in my recent Halloween project inspired by Bill Cunningham. Here is what you see when you're crossing Lakeshore Blvd. and the Gardiner Expressway on the bridges on Jameson Avenue.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Using Street-Level Space and the Grace Kelly Exhibition

Recently, I was passing by the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and was intrigued by its use of outdoor space. At the corner of King and Widmer Streets, the street-level display is dedicated to the exhibition Grace Kelly: From Movie Star to Princess. It's a collage of enlarged newspaper clippings and two monitors looping black and white news footage. The clippings and footage focus on Grace and her marriage to Rainier III, Prince of Monaco.

I'm not certain the display would have drawn me in to see the exhibition, as I'd probably see it any way. But I was taken by the use of video in relation to the street. It certainly caught my attention as I spent a couple of minutes perusing the clippings and watching the old news footage.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Marijke van Warmerdam's Handstand

Artist Marijke van Warmderdam takes simple, alluring subjects and challenges viewer understanding by using cinematic techniques. Handstand (1992) is a film installation that questions perceptions of innocence. Here, an adolescent girl (or young woman) does a handstand. The artist slows and loops the footage. On the surface, it's a playful moment. But as the viewer continues to watch the experience shifts from enjoying a whimsical moment to spying voyeuristically.

The short video of Handstand below was shot in June at the Stedeljik Museum in Amsterdam. It was recently included in this post by Blend magazine in the Netherlands.

Museum Bojmans Van Beunigen is showing a retrospective of her work. The exhibition is curated by Jan Debbaut, former director of collections at Tate in London.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hockey Night in Canada

Owen Sound is a town on the southern tip of Georgian Bay. On a recent Saturday night, the 2011 OHL champions, the Owen Sound Attack, were playing a home game against the Oshawa Generals.

As with many towns in Canada, junior hockey is more than a pastime in Owen Sound. It fills the bars and renders streets deserted. I was there recently and shot video in four places: outside Shorty's Grill, inside Shorty's, outside the Bayshore Community Centre, J. D. MacArthur Arena, and outside on 3rd Avenue. The video is called: Hockey Night In Canada. (By the way, the footage of Don Cherry's Coach's Corner did not make my final cut.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Toronto Bike Ride

It's that time of year when it gets dark early. And that's before we set our clocks back an hour. Before the end of daylight savings time this weekend, I give you a short video tribute to the bicycle commute and the beauty of LED lights: