It’s a bit of a shadow. I was gesturing with my notebook for some reason at the ARTery on Saturday, at a art-show party (it’s not clear if it was an opening or a one-night show—the Facebook event didn’t say). One of the artists didn’t want me to—I sort of understand; there was some terrible stuff. I might be breaking my word; I don’t remember how I responded. I do remember Kristy saying “do it, do it”.
One of the first things I wrote for Vue Weekly back in 2009 was about a show co-curated by Amelia Aspen, whose drawing is up on the wall this week. I didn’t like it very much and I flatter myself with the idea that there were some ruffled feathers about it. Small circles. Lots of people have asked me if I am writing now though. Or planning on it. I tell them I don’t know—that goes for lots of other questions about the moment too. “We’ll see.” It’s nice when they are enthusiastic.
I thought about it a lot when I first got to Glasgow, assumed that that’s what I would be doing. But it didn’t seem as necessary. I spent lots of time at work complaining about The Skinny, being slightly awkward because of small circles that I hadn’t seen all of. I never met the arts editor/main writer for them (their problems go way deeper though—it would have taken some dramatic format changes to improve), I don’t remember if I slagged his writing in conversation with Jac who writes for them sometimes. But there were lots of writers working in different categories, especially all of the “creative” stuff. I miss it.
I still smile when I think about Edmontonian reactions were to Scott Rogers writing in the Glasgow house style for our show. I never saw the show, it was when I was covering at Latitude 53 “for a couple of weeks” from a distance.
This year was going to be different though, that was the plan: I was sort of comfortable with the place, maybe enough to write too. Before I figured out that I was being an artist I was awkwardly trying to find a justification to write, but I think I just needed some time.
This weekend it sounds like I’m missing a lot of good stuff over there.
Edmonton’s dirty spring is in full swing.
At the ARTery I had another conversation. The space is changing, new owners, who knows what. We talked about how it kind of sucked for visual art anyway, I don’t think it’ll be remembered for that. But I fell into talking about my subject two weeks ago: those complaints of inaccessibility in Vancouver. At least it makes people aim high, I said. Because in poor edmonton they just get Curtis Ross to put up some drawings for some reason. There was something in there about the danger of curating your friends too: “We Are The Golden West” is just some people, you know. I don’t know why you would put up a show if you didn’t want people to talk about it. And if they’re talking, why shouldn’t they write?
That post two weeks ago: someone described it as very Edmonton. I don’t know what to say; I’m aware of something about what I’m performing, partly naïveté. I go back and forth about what it means, though. I miss the feeling of having peers who you can see are working on the same stuff as you but are a little bit ahead (this makes me sound like an asshole).
I just don’t feel very attached here right now. I’m waiting for the summer, I guess—that seems silly though, too. I should make up my mind. I procrastinate about sending applications. But it’s hard to put in the investment to write when I know I’m going to be disappointed, like I have been at almost every show I’ve gone to see here this spring. I actually couldn’t bear to write an article about “We Are The Golden West – New Work Art Exhibition”, or any of the stuff I saw tonight at another artist-run centre. It’d be awful. So everybody sort of wanders about without committing to anything except for complaining about how outrageous it is that the Wildrose party seems to be exactly what we all expected it to be what a surprise. Small circles.
The best bit was the part that felt like a secret.
It seemed like a pretty sad way for the ARTery to go out, anyway.