Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Recommended Day Trip

For the first time in my life I skipped eating turkey on Thanksgiving and instead spent a couple of days in Montreal checking out a few museums and galleries but I must admit, I honed in on some of the culinary delights that Montreal has to offer. As for museums, well, I always make sure to visit the Canadian Center for Architecture. Their main exhibits often work with themes to address how people interact with space, be it architectural or natural, and often from perspectives which may be multi-generational, multi-cultural, often global and always expansive intellectually. And, many of their exhibits reflect upon history, address the present, and often consider the future in a somewhat non-la la land manner.

The Center has just installed another brilliant thematic exhibit which could be very thought provoking for Art of Action artists as we all work toward our proposals and form a project. I quote from the web description of the exhibit below. The link to the CCA and this exhibit follows:

Actions: What You Can Do With the City

November 2008 - 19 April 2009
An exploration of how everyday human actions can animate and influence the perception and experience of contemporary cities. Seemingly common activities such as gardening, recycling, playing, and walking are pushed beyond their usual definition by the international architects, artists, and collectives featured in the exhibition. Their experimental interactions with the urban environment show the potential of a new level of participation by city residents.

With the word "City" in the title, please don't be mislead. Many of the ideas conceptually and visually could be quite easily adapted to a rural context. Instead focus upon the word "Actions" for this is the premise of the exhibit. Architects, artists, scholars, and designers (not to suggest that these are four entirely different m.0.s) want this exhibit to stimulate change from the traditional perceptions about urban mind-sets. As the exhibit collaborators suggest, through using video, a range of material culture artifacts, photographs, designs and text (narrative and substantive labels), there is a subconscious need to appropriate and rethink how people use and enjoy urban space. Hmmm, how might we appropriate this concept in our relatively rural State.

If you make it to this exhibit, make sure to then go to the CCA bookstore which is one of the best for visual thinkers outside of New York. Tables of books are always organized for reference to each exhibit, many of which are published in Europe and might never find their way into the lower 48. And, when you head south out of town, consider stopping at the Atwater market to indulge in a large warehouse filled with food vendors.

An addendum: Sorry - Out of Gas was the CCA's prior large-scale exhibit which entailed the same attention to detail with rich multi-media perspectives upon energy dependence, alternative energy experiments through history, and philosophies (videos of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and a Sheik) centering around the debate.


Elizabeth Torak said...

Fascinating! You have me contemplating a trip to Montreal.

docjohn said...

Well worth it.
Warhol at the Museum of Fine Arts,
and much more.

CWHunter said...

Doc John -
Oooh! An excuse to go to Montreal! Love it....
- C