Yesterday I saw...
hey, that native guy is making a pretty good A.R. Penck knockoff!
A.R. Penck. That's funny, c.r.troll.
i saw group of seven inches this year in calgary, it was weird seeing it (adn a bunch of first nation video work) in a block that had four or five stores that sold all kinds of cowboy and indian kitsch, and two blocks from the glenbow, which has some of the strongest historical artifacts of cree, blackfoot and sioux culture but refuses to collect contemparary indian work, it felt radically decontextualizing there.
I can imagine! I thought the paintings were pretty potent here. The R.O.M. has just opened their new permanent collection of Aboriginal Canadian artifacts, and one of the first things you see is a whole bunch of Paul Kane paintings. Paul Kane is a guilty pleasure for me, even though (or because) he's such an awful draftsman. But it's a weird decision to introduce this exhibition with them, as if the R.O.M. is trying to ensure we'll be looking at all their native treasures from an appropriately Europeanish point of view.
also...we rented "Can't Stop the Music" which is a real trip. The Village People were completely mystifying to me when I was a kid growing up in rural South Western Ontario. Particularly Felipe Rose.
one of the better parts of john savages teenagers, and something he mentions in passing, is the theme of the apache or the mochian in european culture, from the 1890s in paris, 1920s in berlin, and then 1970s in the uk...i always wondered if felipe rose is related to those patterns, and also what happened b/w the 20s and 70s (i know that (and i find this fascinating) the apache movement in berlin in the20s was an almost direct repudation of adult fascists obsession with the american west, esp the work of karl may (paul kane isnt a guilty pleasure for me, but karl may is)
Karl May bio here...quote:
In his diary, Spandau: The Secret Diaries (1976) Albert Speer mentions, that Hitler would lean on Karl May as proof that 'it was not necessary to know the desert in order to direct troops in the African theater of war... it wasn't necessary to travel in order to know the world.' According to Speer, 'Hitler was wont to say that he had always been deeply impressed by the tactical finesse and circumspection that Karl May conferred upon his character Winnetou.' Such man was the very model of a company commander. Hitler added that during his reading hours at night, May's stories gave him courage like works of philosophy or the Bible for others. He had attended May's fatal lecture in Vienna in 1912. In the middle of World War II May's Winnetou was printed in 300,000 copies to be delivered for German soldiers. For Martin Bormann Hitler told: "I used to read him by candle-light, or by moonlight with the help if a huge magnifying glass." (from Hitler's Table Talks, 1953). This admiration condemned May for some time to the fate of Richard Wagner, whose music wasn't publicly performed in Israel for years because Hitler had praised it.Karl May Festival here...
Kent Monkman's pieces are amazing...I especially loved his little embroidered pillows, but the paintings are just wonderful. YAY for Kent Monkman!