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Art Agenda: January 31- February 7

Posted by Carolyn / January 30, 2010

30012010electionsign.jpg Stefan Christoff, Political campaigning during the 2007 elections along improvised electricity wires in Tondo slums of Manila. (Image: courtesy of Stefan Christoff)

As we creep into the month of February and prepare ourselves for another long stretch of frigid temperatures, I find that one of the best ways to beat the winter blues is to bundle up, venture out, and add some art to an otherwise lazy weekday afternoon. This week particularly, there's something on the agenda for everyone. Check out a vernissage of photographs from the Philippines at a Middle Eastern Cafe in the Plateau, witness the dark brilliance of Winnipeg artist Marcel Dzama in a new exhibition at MACM, immerse yourself in film installations by a Finnish experimental artist, or take one last look at the infamous Lady of Shalott at the Beaux Arts. Other eclectic exhibitions include urban art at Foufounes and a photographic series recreating of the fall of Icarus by Montreal artist Christopher Orme.

30012010arafatstencil.jpg Stefan Christoff, A stencil graffiti of Yasser Arafat in Burj el-Barajneh refugee camp in south Beirut. (Image: courtesy of Stefan Christoff)

Stefan Christoff, On Movements in Manila @ Kaza Maza. Lebanese Cafe Kaza Maza presents an exhibition of photos by Stefan Christoff--Montreal-based journalist, activist, musician, and photographer--featuring portraits and landscapes from the Philippines. Christoff's images illustrate the human impacts of economic crisis and political strife--according to the U.N., more than 15,000 people living in the Phillippines survive on less than $1US per day. Christoff deftly captures the spirit of Manila and its people, with particularly gripping images of grassroots social movements. Open until the end of February, with a vernissage featuring a presentation from well-renowned Phillipino author Miguel Syjuco on February 4, 6-8 p.m. Marcel Dzama, The Minotaur. (Image:

Marcel Dzama, Of Many Turns @ Montreal Contemporary Art Museum. Of Many Turns--the largest solo exhibition ever organized by a museum of multidisciplinary Winnipeg-born artist Marcel Dzama's works --presents pieces which underscore important themes in the artist's work, such as nostalgia, early modernism, the relationship between irony and cynicism, and politics and subjectivity. Taken from the prologue of the Odyssey, the exhibition's title is meant to suggest the meandering, multifaceted quality of Dzama's imaginative work. Through diorama, video, sculpture, painting, collage, and drawings, Dzama recalls haunting scenes of choreographed violent and erotic behavior, meanwhile making countless literary and artistic allusions to such figures as Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce and Dante. Fun fact: Dzama also created the album cover art for Beck's Guero and The Weakerthan's Reconstruction Site, as well as the costumes worn in Department of Eagle's "No One Does It Like You" music video. Don't miss this one--exhibition at MACM starting February 4.

30102010zooming.jpg Charles Orme, Icarus Series: Zooming. (Image:

Charles Orme, Icarus & Putto @ Galerie Maison Kasini. According to Greek mythology, in attempting to escape from exile in Crete using a pair of wings his father created out of wax and feathers, Icarus flew too close the sun and then when his wings melted, he fell into the sea. The tale of Icarus has inspired legions of artists, from Peter Bruegel the Elder to James Joyce, and now, Montreal photographer Charles Orme. In his studio, Orme recreates the classic Greek myth by painting the walls to resemble the sky--complete with polyester clouds--and suspending himself naked in the middle of the composition. The individual photographs present the artist in different stages of plummeting, as Icarus did, into the sea. In the Putto series--also on display at Maison Kasini--Orme presents himself as a cherub dangling from a sculptural cloud. According to Orme, he was "inspired to create a photographic series/performance that created entertaining conflict in the relationships between earthly and celestial bodies, gravity and loft, artifice and nature, and fantasy and reality." The exhibition runs January 27 until Febuary 20, with a reception on January 30 at 3-5 p.m.

30102010eijaliisaahtila.jpg Eija-Liisa Ahtila, The House, 2002 Video still (© Crystal Eye Ltd Helsinki Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery New York and Paris / photo Marja-Leena Hukkane)

Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Seeing in Time @ DHC/ART Foundation. Finnish experimental artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila presents a survey of her film installations, which focus on dramatic human interations. Merging contemporary art and contemporary film making, Ahtila... THe exhibition at DHC/ART features her 1999 film, Consolation Service, about a tough divorce, The House (2002), about an insane woman experiencing auditory hallucinations; and her most recent, The Hour of Prayer (2005), which explores the grief and hardship following a dog's death.

30012010JWLadyOfShalott.jpg J.W. Waterhouse, The Lady of Shalott. (Image:

Last Chance! John William Waterhouse, J. W. Waterhouse: Garden of Enchantment @ Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Alas, the lovely Lady of Shallot will be leaving our fair city on February 7 to return to London's Tate Museum. But if you haven't already, there's till time to chick out the Beaux Art's retrospective of works by British Pre-Raphaelite artist John William Waterhouse--most well-known for his paintings of female figures from Greek mythology and Arthurian legends. The exhibition is unprecedented in scale, being the first-ever to feature his entire artistic career. The exhibition presents 80 paintings, as well as many studies in oil, chalk and pencil.

Oneton Vernissage 2010 @ Foufounes Electroniques. Montrealer Regimental Oneton--former musician and now painter of large scale acrylic canvases--has created an unusual collection of paintings of pop culture icons such as Ice T, Hunter S. Thompson, Pierre Falardeau, and Serge Gainsbourg. Dark, sometimes despondent even, and with a heavy urban influence--graffiti is a central element in Oneton's work--his art is described as "sexually blunt, and slightly crass." The paintings and prints will be on sale along with original Oneton jewellery and keepsakes. Exhibition begins January 31 at 7 p.m., with free entrance and DJs such as Tipsy T, Detro, Melodrastik, Dialect and more there for your entertainment. Oneton's works will be on display until the end of February. (Image:



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