Sunday, April 24, 2011

New P. J. Harvey

P. J. Harvey's new record Let England Shake has been in high rotation at our house for the past few weeks. You can read about it and hear the whole thing on her website (click on "film"), but we didn't want you to miss these two songs.
In The Words That Maketh Murder, it's fun to hear Harvey singing this powerful song with her autoharp and with that wonderful look in her eyes. When the rhythm changes half way through it makes Bill and I want to jump up and down.
The Last Living Rose, starts with an English cliché,
     "Goddamn Europeans!
     Take me back to
     Beautiful England..."
And becomes an anthem.
     "Let me walk
     Through the stinking alleys..."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Historic Ruins Near Fort York

The ongoing excavations for the Library District Condominiums on the old Railroad lands have been delayed by the predicted discovery of the foundations of a huge, cruciform engine house for the Grand Trunk Railway (1850's).
Bill and I saw the archeological dig in progress as we were cycling over the Bathurst Bridge this afternoon. Last year the remains of an early wharf for the Town of York (Toronto) was found during condominium excavations on the other side of the bridge.
Archeologists were taking great care digging out the brickworks with shovels.
Here is a detail of one of the 19th century walls. If you love history, you'll find that the Bathurst Bridge, over the railway lands, provides an ideal balcony view of the work, while it remains visible.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Taurus Party

Bill and I had a party today for friends born in the House of Taurus. It was lovely and we are remembering it in tranquility.
Am I the only person who likes washing-up after a party and then feels the virtue of the dishes drying in the rack.
Then the sun came out tonight after a day of snow and high wind and rain,
and beautiful clouds herded past our balcony. Click image to expand.

Monday, April 4, 2011

On the couch with Maurizio Cattelan

  I got some library books this week on artist Maurizio Cattelan and had a good look at them yesterday afternoon while Bill was napping.
Yale University Press published Franklin Sirmans' book Maurizio Cattelan: Is There Life Before Death? 
I took a close-up of the title page and the camera set the white value to neutral gray. I'm aware that light meters do that but have forgotten the advice that goes with it. They say one should point the camera at something neutral gray when setting the level. Here's what happens when you don't.
I love this set of sculptures carved to represent shroud-draped life-sized bodies. All, 2007 (white Carrara marble). I find them very moving. I'd love to see Ydessa Hendeles buy it and bring it to Toronto.
I love this, too. It's so silly, it makes me smile. Untitled, 2008 (boots and pepper plants).
I'd love to see this for real. It's amazing. Untitled, 2007 (taxidermied horse).
The library also had Phaidon Press' book on Cattelan. It's so tiny. Usually the Phaidon books are a foot square.
Nice Italian pharmacy and Bar signs, but is this a Cattelan photo, or installation, or both? I can't find any information in the book, not even a title.
Nice illustration! 4 Bananas by Erwin Wurm (please click to enlarge). Permanent Food is a magazine that Cattelan edited with Paola Manfrin. On the right are some page spreads. Bill's up and doing Paris research at the computer.
I love these tiny elevator doors that Cattelan had installed in a gallery in Yokohama. Untitled, 2001, in two parts (stainless steel, composition wood, electric motor, electric light, electric bell, computer).