Lorna Mills and Sally McKay
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clarification: I am not pregnant
I am leaving the position of Interim Managing Editor at YYZ Artists' Outlet. And the job is a maternity leave position, but the person that is pregnant is the person that I was hired to fill in for. Not me. I've pasted the job posting into the comments in case anyone is interested in applying. I won't answer any questions about it or otherwise mention it again on this blog.
stolen from bill
Lately I've been dipping in and out of The Mabinogion. It's a potent mishmash of very old Welsh myths and tales, and the stories are really funny. I'm starting a super-informal series of posts, in which I will undertake to summarize, to the best of my off-the-cuff ability, some of the nuttier storylines. The version I'm reading was translated by Gwyn and Thomas Jones in 1949, and according to Mary Jones is more accurate (being word for word) than Lady Charlotte Guest's translation of 1849 which is available all over the place online. I've already found that some juicey stuff* in the Jones's version is not included in Lady Charlotte's version, which is apparently considered a dubious translation (too prudish?).
Okay here goes...
Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed (part one)
A chieftan, Pwyll (Prince of Dyfed), goes out with his dogs hunting stag. In the woods, he comes across a totally foreign pack of dogs, of a colour he's never seen. These dogs have a stag cornered so he sets his dogs on it and they take it town. Then the owner of the foreign looking dogs arrives and he's really pissed. He says that he won't give Pwyll the time of day, since he's been so rude as to hijack his hunt. Pwyll apologises and asks how he can make it up to the guy. Turns out this guy is also a chieftan, Arawn, a King of Annwvyn. He explains that he has a problem and Pwyll can help him out. A neighbour chieftan to Arawn has been bugging him, honing in on his territory and trying to take over. He wants Pwyll to get rid of the guy (another King of Annwvyn named Havgan).
Pwyll is into this, "Sure, what do I do?" Arawn's explains, "Okay, here's the deal. You and me switch places for a year. You come and rule my land and hang out with my posse and as a bonus you'll get a great looking woman to sleep with every night."
"Sounds okay," says Pwyll, "but what about my kingdom?"
"Oh no worries, I'll take your place. And I'll fix it so no one can tell we've switched. I've got a tryst arranged with Havgan, in a ford in the river here, one year from today. You show up instead of me, and strike him one blow. Don't hit him anymore than once, even if he begs you. That'll do the trick and then we can trade back."
Pwyll agrees, and so off they go. He goes to Arawn's kingdom and everyone accepts him as Arawn without batting an eyelash. He hangs out and parties, chats with the guy's gorgeous wife, hunts, carouses, and generally enjoys himself. But at night in bed he does nothing, just turns his back on the woman and goes to sleep. This goes on for a year. At the end of that time he goes to the ford and Havgan shows up. Pwyll clocks him one and strikes a mortal blow, though Havgan is not killed instantly. The wounded chieftan is irritated, to say the least, "Why did you strike me, asshole, and furthermore since you did, would you please finish me off?" Pwyll refuses to hit him again, and says that now his men must put him out of his misery. Also, he's taking over Havgan's kingdom. Havgan's men swear allegiance to Pwyll (still in the guise of Arawn, of course) and by noon he's pretty much got control of Havgan's territory. Then he hooks up with Arawn again and they trade back.
Arawn goes back home and he's thrilled to see everyone again, but of course they don't notice any difference. He parties with his friends and at night he gets affectionate and makes love with his wife. Afterwards she's kind of quiet, and he says "What's up? You're quiet tonight." She bursts out, "I tell thee, for a year I have not spoken even so much in such a place as this."
"Why now," says Arawn, "we have talked closely together." She says, "Shame on me, if ever since a year from yesternight, from the time we were enfolded in the bedclothes, there has been either delight or converse between us, or thou hast turned thy face towards me, let alone anything that would be more than that between us." Arawn is stunned. This guy Pwyll never even tried anything with his wife! So he tells her the whole story. And she says, "Dude, you are lucky to have a friend like that. Go say thanks."
Meanwhile, Pwyll has gone back to his kingdom and he's asking around, "How have things been going this past year?" And it turns out people are thrilled. They say "Lord, never wast thy discernment so marked; never was thou so lovable a man thyself; never was thou so free in spending thy goods; never wast thy rule better than during this year." And so Pwyll is thinking that Arawn is a pretty good guy too. So the two chieftans become bonded together as fast frieinds, and they send each other all kinds of presents like hawks and dogs and horses. And Pwyll gets a promotion from Prince of Dyfed [which I don't understand cause I don't have the faintest clue how chieftan heirarchy works] and becomes known as Pwyll Head of Annwn from then on.
*In Lady Charlotte Guest's version the whole piece of plot that involves Pwyll not taking advantage of Arawn's wife is left out, leaving the reader to assume that he slept with her as part of the bargain. Weird. It's the best part of the story.
Cory Arcangel is an interesting artist who has popped up only a small bit on this blog (he's been touring with Beige and Paper Rad and Dr. Doo, for instance, mentioned earlier today.) Tom Moody has written about him quite a bit, and rightly so. Cory and his sister, Jamie Arcangel, often work as a team, sometimes performing live and in video. At the moment they are co-curators of a show called Infinite Fill in NYC. Tom Moody is compiling a sort of blog-scrapbook on the show, with images and bits of criticism. Those of you interested in art criticism chit-chat should have a look at today's post and follow the links.
|It is with extreme regret that I must report I can only find one of my old Rudy comics. A sample panel (dream sequence) is here on the left. Toronto artist Mark Connery drew Rudy throughout the 90s and distributed his comics at zine and small press fairs. I have always been a huge fan, and went looking for my stash when Dr. Doo's zine (see today's earlier post) reminded me of Rudy's oblique yet precise psychedelic humour.|
Below is a reprint of a review I wrote of Rudy in Lola 4 (2000):
Rudy was my very first favourite zine. Rudy is a sort of cat. His friends are Phil (a triangle), and Ken (a fish with legs). In one issue Rudy got a cartoon eye in the mail. He could see what it saw, so Rudy sent it over to spy on Phil and was thus able to rescue him from a psycho-troll who hated triangles. Another time a male cigar-smoking duck from the Bureau of Missing Time turns out to be the mother of four vampire ducklings. Rudy and Ken end up driving a stake into the mother duck but Rudy builds a statue to memorialize her because "a mother is a special thing..." In another issue, Phil the triangle has a new power. He can suck things (in this case a dot) inside the perimeter of his head. Rudy has to help him get the objects out again. The creator of Rudy is Mark Connery. I ran into him recently and he told me he has been sticking his newest drawings under windshield wipers. Makes me almost wish I had a car.
I recently attended a swell evening of entertainment in Toronto when Paper Rad, Beige and friends came to town. My highlight of the evening was (again...saw him once before in NYC) Dr. Doo. This long-haired, trucker-hat wearing dude (so Canadian yet not) plays live drum-kit to recorded tunes and wacked out animation. Sounds dumb. It is. It's also a rush and a lot of fun. For one thing Dr. Doo is a damn good drummer. For another, the mix of an intense physical live act with boldly dumb computer graphics is a cyborg brain teaser. The iconography is psychedelic and spins into states of consciousness trippiness (pyramids and corridors and flying carpets) while staying close to simple themes (big faces, dogs and cats). I scored a free zine and comp cd in my shameless fandom. My favourite panel from the zine, Black and White and Read, is here above. I am not 100% sure that the zine is made by Dr. Doo, but I think so, especially because he and the dog character, Tux, share a rather strong resemblance. [UPDATE: thanks to Tom in comments...zine is by Paper Rad collectively]
Update: the Miss Mouse and Miss Teapot video is now available through Youtube.
Above is a mini, .gif-style version of a 6.5 minute video I made* that is going to Hungary, Albania and Serbia with Kiss Machine's Girls and Guns show (details below). Click here for the soundtrack made with Garageband. This software is frighteningly easy to use. For one thing it takes care of tuning and tempo. The samples they provide are funny and also (at least in this case) useful. This tune (with the working title "First Try") is made up of the following:
guitars ��acoustic � country � "Accoustic Picking 08"
guitars ��acoustic � country � "Accoustic Picking 17"
bass � dark � "Distorted Finger Bass 02"
bass � dark � "Distorted Finger Bass 03"
beats � urban � "RnB Beat 08"
beats � electric � "Club Dance Beat 002"
guitars � electric � "Modern Rock Guitar 09"
guitars � rock/blues � "Spacious Guitar 04"
I don't have the faintest idea what this stuff means in terms of the history of sampling or the future of music. Very puzzling. I do know it helped me out lickety-split when I was stuck for an appropriate and copyright-free soundtrack.
* I made...with help from Miss Teapots Maogosha Pyjor and Jean McKay; camerawork by Carma Livingstone, Paul Hong, and Ben Smith Lea; timely advice from Von Bark and a leg-up from Kristin Lucas of Simulcast.
The first exhibition of Kiss Machine's Girls and Guns touring project opens at the Dorottya Gallery in Budapest, Hungary, on August 10, 2004.
The art show premiered at Forest City Gallery in London, Ontario, and was originally created for the sixth issue of Kiss Machine (http://kissmachine.org/sixth.html), which featured the dual themes of girls and guns. In September, the Girls and Guns show moves to the Lindart Cultural Center in Tirana, Albania, and in October it will be featured at the Videomedija Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia.
Sheila Butler, Nina Czegledy, Michelle Kasprzak, Sally McKay and Paola Poletto (Canada).
Roza El Hassan (Hungary).
Tuesday, August 10 to Saturday, September 4, 2004
Dorottya Gallery (Budapest, Hungary)
Michelle Kasprzak will perform at the opening.
A roundtable discussion will follow, moderated by Emese Suvecz.
The Dorottya Gallery show is supported by the Hungarian National Cultural Fund, the Canadian Embassy, Budapest, the Municipal Government of Budapest and the Nadasdy Foundation.
For further information: http://www.ernstmuzeum.hu/dorottya_a.htm
been absent due to workin' on a video full tilt. It's not done yet. Above still is a sneak preview.