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Sholem Krishtalka's top ten list for 2009

#1-10: An Opera for Drella, Jack the Pelican Presents (Brooklyn, NY), Sholem Krishtalka.
Yeah, that's right. Me. My debut solo show in New York was the ten best things of 2009. It was ambitious, conceptually engaged, witty and fun. The paintings were vividly coloured, archly composed and seductively painted. And not even taking into account the fact that I made the work, I can say, fairly objectively, that my show was ten of the best things I saw this year; and I even saw the Venice Biennale (which mostly sucked, PS). I would go so far as to say, in fact, that, alongside the shows I saw this year and liked (oh, I dunno, Shary Boyle and Shuvinai Ashoona at the Barnicke, Stephen Andrews at Paul Petro spring to mind the quickest), my show was on par with my favourite thing at the Biennale, Elmgreen and Dragset's The Collectors. Yup. In complete and total seriousness, I can say with absolute conviction and objective critical authority that my show was on par with all those shows. It was the Top Ten.


- L.M. 12-31-2009 5:16 am [link] [5 comments]

GM.gif Gabrielle Moser's Top Ten List

and Akimblog Editor, Terence Dick's five highlights from the past ten years of Canadian art.


- L.M. 12-30-2009 7:15 pm [link] [2 refs] [add a comment]

My Top Ten Songs of the Century by Mike Canzi
They're in chronological order by year of release. I provided a link to "official" videos where I could find them, but I don't swear by the videos. It's the songs that I like.

1) Outkast - Red Velvet (2000) - Like most of the other songs on the peerless Stankonia, "Red Velvet" is a call to start thinking outside the box ... 'cause you know that fucker is made of pine. A decade later, this song still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up every time I hear it.

2) Queens of the Stone Age - Feel Good Hit of the Summer (2000) - A pounding, neanderthal beat, outrageous, buzzsaw guitar that'll rip your head off and lyrics that read like the shopping list for a party you ain't want your chirren going to, this song is what rock'n'roll is all about, not that limp, polite Beard Rock the scions of the weathy are churning out by the bowlful today.

3) The Weakerthans - Pamphleteer (2000) - "Pamphleteer" is the slow dance boy-loses-girl flipside to Left and Leaving's adrenalyne boy-bounces-back song, "Aside." It is clever, with lyrics mocking 20th Century red-scare propaganda, and Canadian, in the 20th Century meaning of the word, with countrified jangle and prominent slide guitar.

4) El-P - Accidents Don't Happen (2002) - A guitarist's worst enemy, other than a singer, is a patchcord that is plugged into an amplifier at one end, but dangling free at the other ... 'cause you know that shit is gonna buzz. Well, that buzz runs right through this track, the heaviest straw on this camel's back of an album of hobbling beats, grating electronic noise and impenetrable lyrics. (I like it, by the way.)

5) Deerhoof - Apple Bomb (2003)- Dissonant, jangling guitar and a singer with a childlike voice and tenuous grasp on the English language. What's not to like? Deerhoof was the one consistently great band of the decade and this song, 'round about the 3-minute mark, is where it first starting clicking with me.

6) Jay-Z - 99 Problems (2003) - In this, easily the most "punk" song of the century, Jay-Z tells you what you can do to protect yourself, legally, when stopped for driving while black. A civics lesson you can sing along with. Brilliant.

7) The Go! Team - Ladyflash (2004)- A gold star moment in the short history of Cheerleader Rock, of which The Go! Team was the only known exponent.

8) Clap Your Hands Say Yes - The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth (2005) - This song has its charms--the warbling, David Byrnesian voice of the singer chief among them--but the big story here is how it came to my attention in the first place: Clap Your Hands Say Yes was the quintessential internet buzz band. Back when this song came out, the band probably couldn't even buy a friend in their own home town. Then one blogger took a shine to their self-released CD and told his two readers, both of whom were also bloggers, and they told their four readers, and so on.

9) Black Lips - Veni Vidi Vici (2007) - Seamless melding of 1960's garage band fuzz with 21st Century studio trickery. I don't know how they made it sound like this, but I have enjoyed listening to it again and again trying to figure out.

10) Fucked Up - Black Albino Bones (2008) - Someone in this band knows something about electric guitars, because they manage to make them roar, ring and feed back at the same time. This one's up there in the electric guitar pantheon with Back in Black. It's that good.

Honourable mentions to Andrew Bird for "A Nervous Tic Motion," LCD Soundsystem for "Someone Great," Aesop Rock for "Daylight," Outkast (again) for "Hey Ya," and The Juan Maclean for "Give Me Every Little Thing."

- sally mckay 12-30-2009 3:01 pm [link] [add a comment]

Peter Bowyer's Top Ten for 2009

1. In March I was invited to a conference at The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds on rethinking sculpture of the 60’s and 70’s in Britain. The institute had an excellent survey exhibition of the German artist Asta Groting. I liked her sculpture ‘Potatoes’ (2006), a line of 100 roughly peeled potatoes made of polished bronze, running along the floor in earth bound repetition.


2. In London I saw the tremendous Annette Messager show at the Hayward Gallery. I was familiar with her work from the early 90’s when she showed with us at Cold City in Toronto, but this exhibition covered her whole career. The piece I kept returning to was ‘The Boarders’ (1971-72), dead birds she had found and knitted sweaters for.


3. Mark Wallinger’s curatorial piece The Russian Linesman, also at the Hayward, featured a collection of works from all over the place. I got stuck on Jerome Bel’s video ‘Veronique Doisneau’. A ballerina recounts aspects of ballet life and the parts she hated dancing to in Swan Lake. In the men’s room I listened to James Joyce reciting from ‘Finnegans Wake’ over tiny speakers.


4. At The Saatchi Gallery I saw Unveiled: New Art From The Middle East. Shadi Ghadirian’s photographs from the Ghajar Series (1998-1999) attracted me with their serene beauty, especially the tall Persian woman with vacuum cleaner.


5. Wafa Hourani, a Palestinian artist living in Ramallah had one of the best sculptures in this show, imagining the future of the Middle East in cardboard, wire, colored thread and mirror. ‘Qalanda 2067’.


6. Rebecca Warren at the Serpentine felt like an important show to have seen. Galleries of similarly made objects, in dialogue with early modernist sculpture techniques. Serious and funny metal sculptures. I really liked this dried clay piece on a rotation pedestal. ‘The Mechanic’ (2000).


7. Keren Cytter, an Israeli artist had some interesting film projections of artificial drama in her show ‘Domestics’ at Pilar Corrias Gallery. Four Seasons (2009)


8. Spartacus Chetwynd’s sprawling installation ‘Hermito’s Children’ was a great place to start the Altermodern show at Tate Britain. An island of bean bag chairs, tangled up headphones, multiple monitors, hand held camera work and lots of people lounging around.


9. Further into the Altermodern show Rachel Harrison’s ‘Bike Week in Daytona’ (2008). A tall accumulation of drippy paint covered buckets and a monitor, kindled fond clownish memories of Abstract Expressionism.


10. Back in Toronto the visual impact of the freshly painted yellow Karen Carpenter room in Candice Breitz’s installation at the Power Plant has been hard to forget. ‘Double Karen’ (Close To You) 1970/2000. It was like looking at the sun.


- L.M. 12-29-2009 2:34 pm [link] [add a comment]

Andrew Harwood - The Ten Best Tops in 2009

1) Guy Maddin's The Little White Cloud That Cried, a short film that is tranny-tastic in the vein of Jean Genet and Jack Smith with a bit Russ Myers thrown in, read great fake breasts. This film will premier at the Berlin Film Festival in January. Its such an amazing short piece that is just pornographic enough for German audiences to be pleased. Its saturated colours, fab sound track and enough cock and boobs to make even the most sated porn addict happy. Lexi Tronic is sure to become the new "Most Dangerous Woman in European Cinema." Ace Art Inc., Winnipeg.


2) R.M Vaughan's Sears Portrait Studio Shots in Taddle Creek magazine. The Christmas Number 2009. This is one of the funniest things I have ever seen published in a magazine. Vaughan poses as a little boy in an actual photo shoot by a Sears photographer. I love this work mostly due to the critique on the emphasis in gay men's culture on youth, but this work also speaks about the Daddy/Son play not often talked about in polite press (not gay porn.) Vaughan is thirty-ish so the play is truly on age here and he has already been accused of being a pedophile!! The popish backgrounds of the pics are totes funny and also talk about the construction of the identity of youth and young-ness, through photography.


3) Kim Kitchen's amazing installation Movement of Water in Barrie at the MacLaren Art Centre - reminded me of how lucky we are in Canada to have fresh water available to us. Photographs and projections from her travels in Africa are placed in buckets of water locally collected. This show was very both aethetically pleasing and political all at once, kudos to curator Sandra Fraser

kim kitchenJenny.jpg

4) Being invited to participate in this year's Power Ball as Mdme. Zsa Zsa was fabulous - somehow there were no social gaffe's at all - except for the ones I created - like spraying people I didn't like with tonnes of Trés Semme hair spray!! & drinking glitter mixed with their themed punch - oh and smoking inside. Oh and keeping the money I made because I was so poor - I got $190 and Amy Lam got $750 go figure??? Equality rocks, Godess, you just put a dress on and you get paid less! Thanks tho for reals tho to Helena Reckitt and Paul Zingrone for this fabby invite. This art party was actually fun!


5) Not being in or near nor participating in Nuit Blanche in any way shape or form - fuckin' phew. OMG dodged that art-astrophe by 1,000 miles!

6) David Garneau's heroic portrait of Luis Riel, is one of the best paintings by far I have seen this year. It is an historical painting akin to a portrait of Napoleon on his horse. His exhibition at Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art this November was chock full of other excellent work especially his small beaded painting called Metis? .


7) Jubal Brown's intense video's at MOCCA for the Videodrome program for the Images Fest this past spring were bloody and punk and amazing and alive and reminded me of why the fuck I became an artist in the first place.

8) Ken Gregory's wind coil sound flow at the University of Winnipeg in October. Gregory is not only a hot stud but, an amazing audio artist. His installation was like a gigantic sounding board. The whole gallery vibrated subtly and the accompanying sculpture was like a kite/gramaphone speaker/sitar sounding board. OK Video Pool was a sponsor so what - it was a great piece. Like there is no nepotism in Toronto? - f-youse!


9) Kevin Kelly's fantastical video installation 3 Minutes in Beijing at Golden City Fine Art, Winnipeg takes its inspiration in part, from the famed "bird's nest" stadium from the Beijing Olympics and turns it on it inside out and around and all over the place. Kelly takes architectural forms and animates them into spaceship like structures that plant themselves all over Beijing. The animated "buildings" are like sexual bullets, cocks, cunts that seem to reproduce spontaneously and independently. Cool!

10) Laura Kikauka's For the Love of Gaud (Damien's Worst) at MKG, Toronto, I am sorry I only was able to see this show through the window - but I loved it so much! The mirrored and sparkly skulls on the turntables were beautiful and hypnotic and yes, hit the nail on the head - literally - critical!! Ohh the horror vacui of it all!! I love you Laura and your work and I have never even met you!!


- L.M. 12-28-2009 5:37 am [link] [13 refs] [add a comment]

Sunday - Dusty Springfield

How Can I be Sure

Take Me to the Pilot


- L.M. 12-27-2009 5:19 am [link] [4 comments]