This morning we had a fantastic turn out for our press preview for Picasso – Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris. Members of all media types were on site for a sneak-peak of what is sure to be one of the most talked about exhibitions at the Gallery this year. We’d love to thank all those who came out and a special thanks to our devoted twitter followers who had a lot of really fantastic things to say about the exhibit.
Here’s a snap shot of some of our favourites from this mornings press preview:
We can’t wait to keep the conversation going online. If you are on Twitter join the conversation with #PabloTO and we are also posting lots on both our blog and on Facebook. So stay tuned and we look forward to hearing what you think!
On May 1st, 2012 the Art Gallery of Ontario is proud to present Picasso – Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris. On April 24th, we invited members of the press, sponsors and key industry leaders to attend our Press Preview in Baillie Court. The following is a live blog account of the press preview inclusive of remarks from the AGO leadership team and other special guests. A full podcast of this session will be available on the AGO website within a few days time. We hope you enjoy following along at home / work. Amanda Lynne, interim Internet & Social Media Content Coordinator
The Press Preview is due to begin at 10.15am.
10:09am Baillie Court is filling up. It’s going to be a packed house – over 80 media outlets have registered to be a part of this mornings preview!
10:20am: MT takes the stage. 147 works, please take the adventure with me.
10:22am: Ms. Ristich welcomes us and provides insight into the partnership between AGO and BMO. We are proud and privileged for this opportunity.
10:26am: Anne, curator from the Musee National Picasso, takes the stage to welcome the crowd and exhibit to the AGO.
MT has 1 question to ask Anne: What makes Picasso so interesting today? While Anne has yet to answer, we’d love to ask you what your thoughts are.
10:30 MT – We are excited to announce a Paella night at Frank, a free audio kids tour for those who come with adults and a new Cafe Italia on the 2nd floor.
One of the city’s hottest events this year, tonight’s Massive Party is sure to be a huge success. Every year since 2004 we’ve filled the AGO with close to 1800 of Toronto’s most chic art lovers for a night of installations, dancing, DJs, food, prizes, surprises and more. As you prep for this un-missable event, we have a few pro tips to making tonight the party you’ll still be talking about at New Year’s.
Explore – There’s so much more to Massive Party than the dance party in Baillie Court. With installations in almost every major space, we encourage you to explore the Gallery as it is transformed by guest artists taking on the challenge of creating their ideas of the future of art. From the Weston Family Learning Centre to Granovsky Gluskin Hall, see the Gallery as you will never see it again.
Don’t leave home without it – And by it, we mean some extra cash. With an open bar and pre-paid tickets, you might not think to put a couple extra bucks in your back pocket, but think again. Local artists An Te Liu and Jade Rude have created limited edition, Massive Party-inspired pieces for you to take home with you. Insider scoop: items are no more than $40 each.
#thefutureoffashionis – We want you to dress for success the future. While Artistic Director Bruno Billio envisions gold, silver, bright colours and big hats we merely suggest these as a starting point for your attire. Nothing is off limits when you put your mind to it, so go big, go wild, go fancy and come as the best dressed “future you” you can imagine.
Be Prepared – Like any good boy scout, we want you to be prepared to have the night of your life. You’ll be mixing and mingling with some of the city’s finest artists and arts lovers so expect the unexpected and get ready to see the AGO transform into a once in a life time experience. As we want you to have the best time possible, please be prepared to get home safe and please drink responsibly.
So now you are ready, just like the pros. Remember to follow our hashtag #thefutureofartis for updates, contests and more! We look forward to seeing you tonight!
The AGO is continually redefining its space as it relates to the artists and the needs of the Gallery. In the last while we have seen some major transformations of our physical and digital spaces – some temporary, some permanent. The following is part one of a four-part blog series in which we examine the ideas of transformation, change and development here at the AGO.
The physical. Or, Going beyond feng shui…
From small intimate spaces to open concept exhibitions, the physical space around us changes the way we view and interact with art garnering multiple opportunities to create unique experiences for our visitors. With this understanding, we at the AGO continually attempt to challenge and redefine these experiences.
On April 14, we were proud to open an exciting new gallery space with the expansion and relocation of the David Milne Centre, inviting our guests to engage with the work of one of Canada’s most celebrated artists. An innovative first for the Gallery, we have combined art with archives and technology, and are challenging our guests to get interactive with our research tools.
The gallery has created 20 short films specifically for the Centre. Visitors are encouraged to sit back, relax on couches and explore the films on overhead projections. Profiling the places Milne loved and painted, as well his personal history, these films provide a guided tour through Milne’s private world. Spanning two floors, and covering an impressive 1,180 sq. ft., the centre is designed to bridge the interior and exterior spaces of the Gallery with its expansive windows. The airy, light-filled space pays homage to David Milne’s passion for nature and preference to work in isolation.
Come check out the space at our “Finding David Milne: New AGO Milne Centre and Archive” event on April 25th, at 7pm. For more information please visit our site .
With all that’s going on at the AGO, we always love to take a moment to keep our fans and friends in the know about changes that happen behind the scenes.
Holly Knowlman, our in-house Social Media superstar will be away for the next while, and in her temporary absence we have brought on Amanda Lynne Ballard to be the overseer of all things social.
Amanda Lynne has an extensive history in working with local and national arts organizations in the social space, and we are excited to bring her on board until Holly’s return. You can catch her doing her thing on our Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, this blog, and also at some of our fantastic up-coming events.
With so much happening in the next while, we are excited to be keeping very active in the social space and invite all AGO fans to join in on our ongoing conversations. On behalf of everyone at the AGO we would like to welcome Amanda Lynne to the team!
Join the Art Gallery of Ontario and THEMUSEUM on Thursday, January 12 2012 at 11 a.m. for an online discussion about the art world’s ‘best of the best.’
What: #ArtHour is a Twitter chat with a new art topic each month. We invite you to spend one hour each month thinking about and sharing what art really means to you. When: Thursday, January 12, 11:00 – 12:00 EST and then every second Thursday of the month. Where: On Twitter – Follow @AGOToronto and @THEMUSEUM for more information or search for the hashtag #ArtHour. We’ll also be posting the questions on Facebook and here on the blog. Who: #ArtHour is for everyone – Galleries and museums, arts professionals, artists and anyone interested in learning more and meeting other passionate art fans. Why: It’s a great, free way of meeting art fans from across the world. How: Starting at 11am we’ll be asking a series of questions around the month’s topic for you to answer, debate and discuss.
From 11am until 12.00pm EST on Thursday, December 8 the chat host (us!) will be tweeting a question every 10 minutes using the hastag #ArtHour. Anyone can respond, also using the #ArtHour hashtag. What is a hashtag?
For example, we would tweet:
Q1 What is your favourite art gallery? #ArtHour
And you could tweet back:
A1 The Art Gallery of Ontario! #ArtHour
Our January topic is THE BEST OF THE BEST. From your favourite galleries to the best experience you’ve had
#AGOTWEETUP: JANUARY EDITION
Thursday January 5th, 2012
Let’s Get Creative
To celebrate the launch of our 2012 Winter Program Guide you are invited to a free evening of (social) networking, nibbles and a chance to try one of our fantastic adult courses.
Meet other art-loving Twitter users, network and make new friends.
Chat to the team at the Art Gallery of Ontario and find out what’s going on behind the scenes at the Weston Family Learning Centre.
Get your hands dirty: Try your hands at a life drawing class with one of our great instructors and a real live model.
Event hashtag: #AGOTweetUp
5.30 – 6.45 p.m. Networking, wine and nibbles in the Weston Family Learning Centre
6.45 – 8 p.m. Life drawing taster class
8.00 – 8.30 p.m More networking, then home!
Can’t make the event? Follow us @AGOToronto for live updates and photos as the night unfolds.
Need more details? Email our Internet and Social Media Content Coordinator, Holly.
Courses and Workshops for Adults
The AGO’s winter offerings for adults include a series of courses and workshops in the Gallery and in the Dr. Anne Tanenbaum Gallery School – a combination of lecture,discussion, tour studio programs that allow adults to engage with art.
From exploration of contemporary to introduction to drawings sessions inspired by AGO works – adult courses and workshops will bring you new perspectives and opportunities to put art into your life. Register now!
Using musician Bob Dylan’s life and work as a parallel to a contemporary artist’s path, this workshop will look at the relationship between artists and their audience while also discussing the link between music and contemporary practice.
The course will build an experimental approach to image-making and execution. Students will write, draw, sculpt, and work with photography and video to create and manipulate imagery and its meaning according to their own intentions.
Closely guided by instruction, students will focus on sculpting the human form. In addition to developing skills of observation and proportion while working from a live model, students will also be exposed to current applications of life modelling, sculpture techniques, and basic mold making in a contemporary art context.
Examine drawing from the perspective of various disciplines. Combining studio techniques and visits to AGO exhibitions, this course will explore the possibilities of non-traditional materials and approaches to drawing.
Need some holiday gift inspiration? Check out our top 10 holiday must-haves from ShopAGO. We’ve got a wide range of exciting gift options – you can either buy online or come visit us at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto M5T 1G4.
1. Brushed stainless steel watering can from Born in Sweden ($65) Stylish and minimal, yet at the same time striking, this innovative design typifies Born in Sweden’s approach; functional, practical and always aesthetically pleasing. It is made of 18-0 stainless steel with a flexible silicone hose. The hose has a built-in magnet that allows it to be attached to the can’s body when not in use. When watering your plants, simply hold the metal cylinder with one hand and the hose in the other. To start or stop the water flow, just move the metal cylinder up or down.
2. Stainless steel ‘Rocker’ garlic press from Joseph Joseph ($20) The stylish design of this garlic crusher makes the messy task of cooking with garlic much easier. By using downward pressure and a ‘rocking’ motion it crushes garlic cloves quickly and efficiently, forcing the pieces up through the mesh of holes. Once crushed, the garlic pieces are held in the shallow bowl, allowing them to be spooned or scraped easily into a pan. Additional cloves can also be crushed at this stage before emptying.
3. Handmade glass Fishscape fishbowl designed by Aruliden ($153) If the fish fan in your life isn’t into plastic plants and neon skulls, why not grab them this beautiful fishbowl? The contours of the bowl add an elegant twist to the classic fishbowl shape.
4. Alarm Dock for iPhone or iPod touch designed by Jonas Damon for Areaware ($50)
Remember those faux wood grain GE flip clocks that sat on every bedside table just a couple of decades ago? The Alarm Dock uses a nostalgic product language to meet the progressively thin and disappearing profiles of consumer electronics. It is at once a critique and an accommodation to new technology. Place an iPhone or iPod Touch running a flip clock app onto the dock, and see an iconic and meaningful form return to your nightstand, mantel, or shelf. Your iPhone or iPod’s dock connector can be pulled through it, allowing your device to recharge while docked.
The Art Museum is the finest art collection ever assembled between two covers. This revolutionary and unprecedented virtual art museum in a book features 992 oversized pages of nearly 2,700 works of art. It is the most comprehensive and visually spectacular history of world art ever published. Ten years in the making, this unique book was created with a global team of specialists in all fields of art – including museum curators and educators, who have collected together important works as they might be displayed in the ideal museum for the art lover.
6. Faux fur collar + cuffs designed by Heather Campbell ($65-$95) Superb faux fur lined with geometric printed silk inspired by artist Sonia Delaunay. Help the fashion-conscious lady in your life stay cosy without sacrificing style this winter. Available in red/black, blue/black, grey/black. AVAILABLE IN-STORE
7. ‘Vessel’ earrings designed by Nervous System ($40-$90) A fine network of vessels defines the surface of these semicircular earrings and serves as a hollow tube for carrying a loop of sterling silver chain. These 3d-printed nylon earrings hang from surgical steel ear wires.
Nervous System is a design studio that works at the intersection of science, art and technology. They create using a novel process that employs computer simulation to generate designs and digital fabrication to realize products. Drawing inspiration from natural phenomena, they write computer programs mimicking processes and patterns found in nature, using those programs to create unique jewelry.
8. All Natural Clementine Modelling Dough ($12.95) Strawberry, lemon and lime – fresh, natural scents in a soft, crumble-free, all natural dough for little hands. Coloured with tumeric, carmine and spinach. Three recyclable 4 oz containers. Lasts for more than 12 months when stored in our airtight containers. Ingredients: flour, water, salt, soybean oil, cream of tartar, natural glycerin, natural scent extracts, natural colours (tumeric, carmine and spinach), calcium propionate. Other art supplies (pictured) also available.
9. Mini speaki speakers by DOMA ($18.95)
He may be small in size, but there is nothing small about the sound performance of the MiNi SPEAKi. Simply charge him up with your computer and he’s ready to be your sound companion wherever you go! Ideal for iPods, MP3 Players, computers…anything with an audio jack.
10. POP phones designed by David Turpin for Native Union ($40)
Styled by French designer David Turpin, the POP handset combines classic style with a contemporary edge and is finished with a luxurious soft-touch texture.
The handset has been manufactured with a high quality speaker and microphone and can be used with all mobile phones when fitted with the correct adaptor (sold separately) and when fitted with a USB adaptor (sold separately) can be used for VOIP computer telephone calls (Skype, Google Talk…). This product is fitted with a 3.5mm jack (compatible with the iPhone)
Inaugurating their collective enterprise in the heyday of the “medium is the message,” General Idea were often dismissed as camp “triviality.” Yet they created a fictional system based on popular culture that was as coherent as the media analyses of Marshall McLuhan and the International Situationists. The lecture considers General Idea’s contribution to the Toronto School of communication theory. This liveblog follows along with Philip Monk, Director of the Art Gallery of York University and former AGO curator, as he delves into the worlds of Marshall McLuhan and General Idea. The talk is due to begin at 7.00 – we hope you enjoy following along at home. Holly, Internet & Social Media Content Coordinator
A bit about Philip Monk: Philip Monk is Director of the Art Gallery of York University and has served as a curator at both the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Power Plant. A published writer since 1977, he currently is finishing his eighth book Glamour is Theft: A User’s Guide to General Idea, a book as if written in the 1970s and as if written by Roland Barthes (in English translation).
19:04 Georgiana Uhlyarik, Canadian curator, is on stage to introduce Philip Monk.
‘Philip began as a critic and freelance curator in 1977. Last week he was announced as this year’s recipient of the Hnatyshyn Foundation prize for curatorial excellence in contemporary Canadian visual art.’
19.06 ‘Philip has been implicated in the history of General Idea for many years. It has been a complicated and ever evolving history – today is yet another chapter.’
19.07 Philip is now on stage.
‘I installed the 1984 General Idea retrospective – my first installation. (On screen is photos of that moment and of General Idea). What was is about Winnipeg? That’s the initial connection between Marshall Mcluhan, General Idea and me. But this is a talk about Toronto and the Toronto school of communications. It included McLuhan, why didn’t it include General Idea?’
19.10 … And baby makes four.
19.11 Mt title is a menage a trois, or a menage a cinq. MAT is the title of a General Idea exhibition. Two is the number of rivalry or mimicry, which are one and the same. Two insures we would talk about influence – the influence of Marshall McLuhan ON General Idea. It is mechanical. On the other hand we are already caught in the binary logic of either/or… the number three complicates matters.
19.13 The numbers two and three rule everything I say tonight. These numbers rule General Idea’s system – easy to remember, not easy to see. One-two-three – the numeric cosmology rules General Idea’s system.
19.15 GI were the first to recognise the pervasive influence of MM. A General Idea quote – ‘As children of the Summer of Love and spectators of the Paris riots, we were well aware of the International Situations and Society of the Spectacle on one hand, and of MM, drug culture, digger houses, underground papers and free schools on the other.’
19.16 For AA at least, McLuhan was a hero of sorts.
19.17 Commentary was the linguistic basis of much of General Idea’s fabrications. Rather than a specific medium, we need to discover the immersive environment in which General Idea’s system lived.
19.18 MM’s comments about invisible environments could also be applied to GI’s invisible system.
FILE Magazine could find its source in MM’s Industrial Bride. GI always proved that the dated was fertile, camp ground. Creating an archaeology of the past, images of the future, drawn from fortune magazine, where the same kinds that MM used. They were contemporary for MM and retro for GI.
19.20 FILE published from a Canadian point of view. At a high point in Canadian nationalism, GI were nationalistic too. Another MM trait perhaps?
GI’s criticism was produced from an artistic, not an academic point of view, mimicking advertising and popular culture at a higher semiotic level.
19.21 ‘The best weapon against myth is to mythify it in turn… since myth robs language of something, why not rob myth.’ (Barthes quote)
19.22 GI not limited to MM in their media analysis – extended to the Kabalah, de Bord’s Society of the Spectacle and the wildcard of William Burroughs.
19.24 Burroughs offered models, methods and lingo to assimilate and use magazines (1968 novel Nova Express). (Shows WB quote about newpapers and the image virus).
19.26 PM talking about the influence of Levi Strauss and his model of myth on General Idea
19.28 MM was only part of the mythic, subversive mix. I want to look at the relationship between MM and GI in a more diffused way than just tracking influence.
19.29 ‘Perhaps the mere speed up of human events and the resulting increase of interfaces among men and institutions insure a multitude of innovations that upset all existing arrangements whatever.’ – Marshall McLuhan
19.30 In light of MM’s quotation conside this GI quotation:
‘When the junkie, when the art junkies gotta get our fix, we gotta make a connection, we need our correspondences’
19.31 ’In this article seeing art as a system of signs in motion as an archive and indicator and stabilizer of culture as a means of creating fetish onjects as residence for the field of imagery defining a culture, seeing all this and more in many ways we have become aware of the necessity of developing methods of generating realizing stability alternate myths alternate lifestyles.’ General Idea
19.34 ‘We take General Idea at their word as much as we don’t take them at their word. Their work appeared visually as artworks but its event of appearing was performative. The system put their Pavillion in place and kept it standing – a priority given to language.’
19.35 The systematic nature of their work has even now yet to be addressed. Whilst it does not appear, all their operations are linked through it. The systems ruling term, glamour, is a concept who’s operations are achieved through the applications of techniques, produced by strategies and insinuated by tactics.
ONE CONCEPT: GLAMOUR
ONE OPERATION: REVERSIBILITY
ONE TECHNIQUE: CUT-UP
ONE STRATEGY: THEFT
ONE TACTIC: CAMOUFLAGE
19.36 Showing a diagram of Glamour’s operation of reversibility. (Barthesesque diagram)
19.38 I want to cover the early ground that instituted this system. The Pavilion was built on a spacial and temporal fault line – we don’t go far back enough in figuring out where this came from. GI were architect advocates. Through their verbal advocacy the Pavilion was erected. ‘This is the story of General Idea,’ they said. We believed them, but behind every story is a back story.
19.41 Everything is permitted was a Nietzsche slogan GI took from Burroughs. Talking about images banks and the collage/cut-up method.
19.42 Perpetually changing, constantly colliding, different alignments of words and images, ever new configurations.
19.45 The Borderline was a concept MM and GI shared. An ambiguous model signifying domains in politics and psychology, it was a major operative concept for General Idea. ‘Ambiguity is not a symptom of a schizophrenic who travels back and forth across the line’. Mirror, cutup and borderline were one and the same – ‘the vacuum created by your invisibility has to be filled with words.’ The Pavillion was built on this unstable fault, borderline, were the border dweller (GI) performed in stolen moments.
19.49 ‘Two heads are better than one, but it’s really just one more mouth to feed on’ – General Idea
19.51 Words are a method of invasion, even of the image.
19.52 As in the tripod, a motif of their late 1970s work, is a symbol of stablity. They are all each other’s right hand man and would hate to be reduced to a couple. They weren’t always a threesome – a three man they became. They did not conceptually consolidate until 1975 – portraits of themsevles as architects, poodles, baby seals, etc.
19.54 Their association with McLuhan ends in 1975 with the passage of two to three. From Borderline, where one and two dominates, to three. This number three was all about control, constructing our vision. Their fixed point of view was a throwback.
19.57 We cannot judge or argue with a mythic system such as General Idea’s.
19.58 General Idea were a laboratory, a studio, an advertising agency. Their collective dream was the 1984 Miss General Idea Pavilion. The talk is over – time for some questions for the audience.
Q. Would you say that some of General Idea’s work, or details or their works, fell out of this system by accident, experiment or chance?
A. Crisis was repeated – and they were always able to cope. Whilst the system seems to have continued throughout – there was a deviation of sorts but with the burning down of the Pavilion they turned their back on their early system. In 1986 there was a crisis in moving to New York and they had to dumb it down for Americans which fell out of the system.
‘I Sent my interperatation to AA (Bronson) and he thought it was fundamentally true and groundbreaking.’
‘Everything that they say in their work is related to everything else.’
Q. What do you think happened in 1975? Until 1975 there’s an interest in the mirror and after it’s the interest in the menage a trois… from two to three.
A. They began to consolidate themselves… in 1975 they had to brand themselves because people were confused about them and who they were. It was necessary – that’s how the portrait came about and how the story began. They consolidated into a trio and the business model came up then.A collective dream became more specifically focussed. They had to have an artistic identity when they began showing commercially.
‘Everything in General Idea is coded – you have to read the code words.’