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Listen: Art & Ideas, A Bird’s Eye View on Art & Extinction

March 3rd, 2014

Sara Angelucci, Aviary (Male Passenger Pigeon/extinct), 2013
Sara Angelucci,
Aviary (Male Passenger Pigeon/extinct),
2013.
© 2013 Sara Angelucci.
Courtesy of the artist.
Sara Angelucci, Aviary (Female Passenger Pigeon/extinct), 2013
Sara Angelucci,
Aviary (Female Passenger Pigeon/extinct),
2013.
© 2013 Sara Angelucci.
Courtesy of the artist.

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Recorded: Jan. 15, 2014, at Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 01:31:16

Artist-in-residence Sara Angelucci; writer and historian Matthew Brower, Mark Peck, Royal Ontario Museum Ornithology Technician; and Bridget Stutchbury, author and Professor of Ornithology at York University, gathered to discuss the extinction and endangerment of North American birds as well as art and society’s relationship with the natural environment. The talk was moderated by the AGO’s curator of Canadian Art, Andrew Hunter.

Pigeon-less Pie, Sara Angelucci

The discussion was followed by a three-course meal served in FRANK restaurant, specially prepared by executive chef Jeff Dueck in consultation with Sara Angelucci. The main dish featured a vegetarian “pigeon-less” pie to mark the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon. The passenger pigeon, formerly one of the most abundant birds in North America, was pushed to extinction in 1914 due to habitat destruction and over hunting. Dinner and dessert were each paired with a choice of white or red Ontario wine.

 

Speaker Bios

Sara Angelucci is a Toronto-based visual artist who works primarily with photography, video and audio, exploring vernacular archival materials such as home movies, snap-shots and vintage portraits and their limited ability to convey the exact sense of a lived experience. Working with these images Angelucci seeks to reposition them in the present, shedding light on their broader context and histories outside of the frame.

Matthew Brower is a lecturer in Museum Studies in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. He writes on issues in animal studies, the history and theory of photography and contemporary art. He is the Author of Developing Animals: Wildlife and Early American Photography (University of Minnesota Press 2010). He has curated exhibitions in historical and contemporary art including Mieke Bal: Nothing is Missing, Gord Peteran: Recent Works, The Brothel Without Walls, Suzy Lake: Political Poetics, and Collective Identity │Occupied Spaces.

Mark Peck is the Collection Manager in Ornithology, Department of Natural History, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto. He is also involved in museum exhibits and programs and field research in South America, New Jersey and the Hudson Bay Lowlands of northern Ontario. In addition, he is the coordinator of the Ontario Nest Records Scheme, the ROM liaison for the Ontario Bird Records Committee and the program director for the Toronto Ornithological Club. In his off hours he is an avid bird photographer, traveling extensively for both his profession and his hobby. He has authored or coauthored numerous scientific and popular articles on birds and hundreds of his images have been published in books, magazines and on websites. Mark has been with the ROM since 1983.

Bridget Stutchbury is a professor in the Department of Biology at York University, Toronto. She completed her M.Sc. at Queen’s University and her PhD at Yale and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. Since the 1980s, she has studied migratory songbirds to understand their behaviour, ecology and conservation. Her current research focuses on studying the incredible migration journeys of songbirds to help halt the severe declines in many species. She serves on the board of Wildlife Preservation Canada and is the author of Silence of the Songbirds (2007) and The Bird Detective (2010).

Listen: Meet the Artists, with Sara Angelucci, Spring Hurlbut & Marla Hlady

February 24th, 2014

Spring Hurlbut, Peewee #3 (crown)

Spring Hurlbut,

Peewee #3 (crown),

28 1/2 x 32 1/2 inches,

ultrachrome digital print,

edition of 7

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Recorded: Jan. 8, 2014, at Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 1:13:47

This talk features former artist-in-residence Sara Angelucci in conversation with artists Spring Hurlbut and Marla Hlady about their work, points of convergence and departure.

Sara Angelucci (born Hamilton, Ont.) is a Toronto-based visual artist who works primarily with photography, video and audio, exploring vernacular archival materials such as home movies, snap-shots and vintage portraits and their limited ability to convey the exact sense of a lived experience. Working with these images Angelucci seeks to reposition them in the present, shedding light on their broader context and histories outside of the frame.

Spring Hurlbut (born Toronto, Ont.) is a Toronto-based artist whose installations, sculptures and photography explore life, death and the human condition. Hurlbut, through her sculptures, which incorporate bone, egg shells, and claws, her photographs of human ash and her solemn monochrome portraits, encourages the acceptance of one’s own mortality and attempts to find the beauty in this inevitability.

Marla Hlady (born Edmonton, Alta.) lives and works in Toronto as a sound and kinetic sculpture artist, exploring ways of experiencing sound through spatial and social contexts. Hlady’s pieces deal with the nature of sound, often materializing it for viewers and reorienting their connection to everyday auditory experiences.

Listen: “21st-Century Art: Why Feminism Still (Really) Matters”

January 6th, 2014

On Jan. 2, 2014, artists Shary Boyle, Vanessa Dunn, Petra Collins and Aminah Sheikh got together on stage at AGO First Thursdays for a conversation entitled “21st-Century Art: Why Feminism Still (Really) Matters.” The talk was moderated by Nicola Spunt and presented by After School and Hazlitt. For those who couldn’t be here, an audio recording and links to media coverage:


Learn more about AGO First Thursdays and find out what’s on next month here.


What was contemporary art?

June 11th, 2013

Photo of Richard Meyer

Photo courtesy of Richard Meyer

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Recorded: Thursday May 9, 7 pm in Jackman Hall
Duration: 00:51:25

Contemporary art in the early twenty-first century is often discussed as though it were a radically new phenomenon unmoored from history. Yet all works of art were once contemporary to the artist and culture that produced them. In this lecture, based on his recent book What Was Contemporary Art?, Art Historian Richard Meyer reclaims the contemporary from historical amnesia, exploring episodes in the study, exhibition, and reception of early twentieth-century art and visual culture.

Richard Meyer is the Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor in Art History at Stanford University. He is the author, most recently, of What Was Contemporary Art (MIT Press: 2013) and co-editor, with Catherine Lord, of Art and Queer Culture (Phaidon Press: 2013).

Richard Meyer’s talk is presented in assocation with the Joan & Martin Goldfarb Summer Institute in Visual Arts, produced by the Graduate Program in Visual Arts and the Graduate Program in Art History and Visual Culture, Faculty of Fine Arts, York University

 

Navigating a Gracious Cosmos: Faith and Creativity in 14th Century Florence

June 10th, 2013

Pacino Di Bonaguida, Leaf from the Laudario of Sant’ Agnese, around 1340

Pacino Di Bonaguida (active around 1303-1347), The Apparition of Saint Michael, Leaf from the Laudario of Sant’ Agnese, around 1340, tempera and gold leaf on parchment. The British Library, London (Add. Ms. 35254 B)

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Recorded: Wednesday, May 22, 7 pm in Jackman Hall
Duration: 01:32:53

Gilles Mongeau and Sasha Suda

Listen as Gilles Mongeau and Sasha Suda discuss the challenges faced by early Renaissance artists, like Dante and Pacino, whose efforts to depict their changing world precipitated a radical new visual language.

Gilles Mongeau is the Director, Master of Divinity and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Regis College in Toronto. Sasha Suda is the Art Gallery of Ontario’s assistant curator of European art.

See Lost in the Memory Palace through the eyes of a teenager

June 4th, 2013

After visiting the AGO and seeing Lost in the Memory Palace: Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, students from Cawthra Park Secondary School had to choose a work and record a 20-second response. Don Ball, head of visual arts at Cawthra, says the students were asked to move “beyond mere description.”

Experiment in F# Minor

The work:

Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Experiment in F# Minor, 2013, mixed media interactive sound installation including 72 loudspeakers on two wooden worktables, 2.44 x 1.83m

Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Experiment in F# Minor, 2013,
mixed media interactive sound installation including 72 loudspeakers on two wooden worktables, 2.44 x 1.83m

The response:
Read the rest of this entry »

Conservation Notes: Zeroing in on a tiny menace

April 9th, 2013

What is this thing?
The specimen in the video above, the larva of a webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella), was discovered in a cardboard box stored on top of a wool carpet in an administrative office. At only 5mm long, webbing clothes moth larvae can be very difficult to detect. The red wool fibres from the carpet — also visible in the video — provided the larva a steady source of food. At this stage in its life cycle, after hatching from an egg, the moth can cause the most damage, because larvae feed on material and produce frass (aka excrement) that will be a colour similar to the material that has been eaten (in this case the red fibre from the carpet).

What’s happening in the video?
Conservators Sherry Phillips and Maria Sullivan collected the larva and viewed it under microscope to identify the specimen, and the carpet was immediately wrapped and sealed to prevent further migration of pests, then placed in a chest freezer to eliminate any other larvae, eggs and adults in the carpet.

Where did it come from?
Moths can find their way into the Gallery on coats, clothing or on other items that staff or visitors carry. New artworks or materials are screened for pests before placement in the galleries or vaults.

So, what’s the big deal?
All galleries and museums need to be vigilant and pro-active in keeping pests under control. The goal of an effective pest-management program is to find and deal with these issues before they affect the collection, and so efforts extend to all areas of the building, not just in the galleries. Larvae can cause extensive damage to artwork made of or containing materials that have protein, such as natural fibres — particularly silk and wool — as well as hides and feathers. AGO staff monitor for pests throughout the building on a weekly basis to identify potential problems, because it is easier to prevent a problem than to deal with an infestation.


Curious about Conservation?
If you have a burning question about Conservation, leave a comment below. We’ll do our best to give you an answer in an upcoming Conservation Notes post.


Signature Partner of the AGO’s Conservation Program


Life of a Craphead Present: Doored (Video)

February 21st, 2013


Watch the video archive of the live-streamed event.

Recorded Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, 8:30 pm in the Weston Family Learning Centre Gallery School, Art Gallery of Ontario

What is this video?

On Feb. 10, AGO artists in residence Life of a Craphead presented a new edition of Doored, a monthly performance show that they have been curating and hosting since 2012. Doored features exciting new work from performance artists and comedians in Toronto. This edition’s participants were Bridget Moser, Cameron Lee, CN Tower Liquidation, Daniel Goodbaum, Fake Injury Party, Glenn Macaulay, Gwen Bieniara, Laura McCoy, Lisa Smolkin, and Neil LaPierre and David Tallis, with live music by Man Made Hill, visuals by Nikki Woolsey and door by Zoe Solomon.

Doored is part of the regular programming at the artist-run venue Double Double Land in Kensington Market.


About Life of a Craphead

Life of a Craphead is the collaborative work of Amy Lam and Jon McCurley, comprising performance, comedy, theatre and video. Established in 2006, their projects include transporting two psychopaths in a cage on the back of a truck, touring a live comedy show, giving away everything on a restaurant’s menu, and building a three-storey maze. Their first feature-length film, Bugs, is in post-production. Life of a Craphead have presented work at The Power Plant, Toronto; Gallery TPW, Toronto; Hotel MariaKapel, Hoorn, The Netherlands; Department of Safety, Anacortes, U.S.; and the Banff Centre, Banff, as well as at numerous comedy venues and music shows in Canada and the U.S.

Life of a Craphead live and work in Toronto and collaborate frequently with other artists and performers.


Participating performers

Bridget Moser is an interdisciplinary artist whose performances combine inanimate objects, affect, prop comedy, and escape art. She has presented work in various venues across Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Cameron Lee received his BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCAD U, the University of the Imagination. He hasn’t drawn or painted much since graduating.

CN Tower Liquidation is Sebastian Butt, Charlie Murray and Xan Hawes. They specialize in the dematerialization and reconstitution of objects into cubes. Recent shows include Free(or Best Offer), Ed Video Media Arts Centre, Guelph; THASDF FORDFBDFG CDFBLLimdbbing MEAD, Gendai Workstation; and Paul Petro’s Christmas Spice.

Daniel Goodbaum is either an artist/comedian or a comedian/artist. He’s attempting a ‘reverse Woody Allen’ by starting as a filmmaker and working his way into standup. He makes videos about food, fashion, film, and one or two things that don’t start with the letter ‘f’.

Fake Injury Party are three full grown men who know how to get the job done and have fun doing it! Experience: catering, dishwashing, serving.

Glenn Macaulay has been performing comedy in Toronto since 2005. He believes in true love and has to get to the theatre nice and early in order to fully enjoy the experience.

Gwen Bieniara is an artist from Toronto who works closely with performance.

Laura McCoy lives and works in Toronto.

Lisa Smolkin is an artist living in Toronto. Some of her creative stand-out moments include hosting a connectedness workshop, having a home-museum tailored to its visitors, and co-presenting a performative installation about the idea of emotional receptivity/industrial receiving areas.

Man Made Hill is the Solo Funk Agenda of Randy Gagne. Incubated in a crusty basement in Cambridge, ON, Man Made Hill has been steady mutilating sounds since 2004. Armed with a modest arsenal of synthesizer/sampler/drum-machine/voice/dance MMH assumes a series of transformational stage personas including Extra-Terrestrial Sex Judge, Diseased Futuristic Priest, Energy-Mayonnaise Demonstrator, Prison Disco-Enthusiast etc…

Neil LaPierre and David Tallis are prophets of the hypercassional (events you’ll be finding yourself doing everyday several times a day). This is their first performance at the AGO.

Nikki Woolsey lives in Toronto and makes mostly sculpture and photography. She collaborated with Life of a Craphead at the Hotel Maria Kapel residency in The Netherlands and contributed to CN Tower Liquidation’s performative “Theory of Condensation” event at the AGO. She was included in the recent exhibition “That’s not a run in your stocking, it’s a hand on your leg” at Narwhal Art Projects. She sometimes works as a prop maker and production designer.

FRANKly delicious: Chef Anne’s Buttermilk Bacon Biscuits

February 6th, 2013

In this video, executive chef Anne Yarymowich shows how to make the Buttermilk Bacon Biscuits served alongside Nova Scotia Clam Chowder on FRANK’s Winterlicious lunch and dinner menus.

Buttermilk Bacon Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup cooked bacon bits, drained of fat
1 cup buttermilk

For the bacon:

  • Use good quality double smoked slab bacon. About 8 ounces raw will yield a half cup cooked. If you are using a commercial sliced bacon your yield will be much less. Cut into quarter-inch cubes.
  • Render in a pan on medium low heat until most of the fat is rendered out but the bacon still has a bit of chew. Remove from fat and drain well on paper towel. Set aside to cool.

For the biscuit dough:

  • Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, whisk together until well blended.
  • Cut in the cold butter using a cheese grater. Work the butter into the flour mix with your fingers, until well incorporated.
  • Add in the cooked cooled bacon.
  • Add in the buttermilk all at once and mix just until liquid is incorporated and the dough comes together.
  • Turn onto a lightly floured board. Roll out to 1 inch thickness.
  • Cut into 2×2-inch squares or with 2-inch round cutter.
  • Place on parchment lined tray.
  • Bake at 375 F for 12 minutes, turning the tray once, halfway through the baking time.
  • Serve immediately

Video by Danny Winchester/AGO.


Art. Food. Talk. Find out more about FRANK, including its hours, menus and special events and see photos of its modern, inviting setting.


How to get AGO podcasts using iTunes

February 5th, 2013

1. Open iTunes on your computer
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If you’d like to subscribe to all AGO podcasts, use this feed URL: http://www.artmatters.ca/podcast.xml