Monthly Archives: March 2013

Boot Camp: GO8 2013

by Irene Lin

group shot

It started on Monday and went till Friday. According to my calculations, the program lasted five days. My math is correct, right? Then why is it that I feel as if I’ve just survived a month-long boot camp? In the greatest way possible, GO8 will exhaust your soul along with your soles. I think I got more exercise last week than I have in the last year, and simultaneously I also think I’ve eaten more doughnuts last week than I have in my entire life. I’m not promising that if you join GO8 next year you will consume your body weight in fried dough, but that’s more or less what happened for me.
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Abbas Akhavan’s Dark Comedy at Western Front

by Brandon Chow


Abbas Akhavan’s exhibit at the Western Front elevates us to a precariously edged twilight zone between comedy and homicide.

Two protagonists drag an awkward body through an old building, trying to dispose of it. But the corpse is actually still alive and it swings its limbs in all directions. Partway through, the killers realize that it is not actually dead, and then things become really complicated.

The introductory synopsis attached to the accompanying pamphlet is an ominous prelude to Akhavan’s grimly constructed crime scene, but does little to brace us for the experience that lies ahead. Akhavan’s early practice explores connections between violence, the home and the nation state. Building on these ideas, the artist has turned his attention to domesticated spaces, such as gardens and backyards, and placed aspects of these manicured landscapes within the gallery.
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The Last Click: From Analog to Digital

by Emile Rubino

gupea_2077_28348_12The Last Click, Esther Shalev-Gerz

After seeing Esther Shalev-Gerz’s first solo exhibition in Canada at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (UBC), I thought it would be interesting to take another look at one of the artist’s latest works, The Last Click. Although this work is not part of the Belkin’s show, it seems relevant to a larger discussion currently taking place within the field of contemporary media-based practices, focusing on the transition from analog to digital media—particularly in photographic practices. Continue reading


by Rhys Edwards

MOV-Neon-BuddhaImage courtesy of Museum of Vancouver

Was there ever time when Vancouver was “authentic?”

The Museum of Vancouver’s latest permanent exhibition—Neon Vancouver/Ugly Vancouver—recounts the history of Vancouver’s love affair with neon signage. Several conserved signs illuminate visitors as they browse the documents that reconstruct this history. Among other things, visitors are asked if the abundance of neon signage in Vancouver, between the 1950s and 1970s, indicates the authenticity of this era. Continue reading

Storytelling Through Colours: Why Beasts of the Southern Wild Should Have Won Best Picture

By Jason Smythe

(Quvenzhzé Wallis) Still image from Beasts of the Southern Wild

We live in an imperfect world. How do I know this? Because 1) I am not getting paid one billion dollars to write this article/‘like’ shit on Facebook, and 2) the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Oscars) commits travesties like they are going out of style. If I were to list all of the Academy’s crimes against film, this article would be longer than a Tolstoy novel. Some of its worst offences include, but are not limited to: Citizen Kane not winning best picture; Al Pacino not winning an Oscar for either The Godfather 1 or 2; Apocalypse Now losing to Kramer vs. Kramer for best picture; and Stanley Kubrick never winning an Oscar for best director (ditto for Alfred Hitchcock). This year, two more travesties were committed: 1) The Master was not nominated for best picture, and 2) of the films that were nominated, Beasts of the Southern Wild somehow lost to Argo. The reason Beasts should have won is simple, for it did something that none of the other nominated films were able to do: it blurred the line between art and film, and it did this by using colours to tell a story. Continue reading