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THE NEWS

I READ THE NEWS TODAY, OH BOY

Just got Will Steacy’s newspaper, DOWN THESE MEAN STREETS, today.
(Thanks to a swell giveaway over at Conscientious.)

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Fotos on newsprint. I love it. Gives the images a totally
different juju than if you looked at them in a book or online
or on a gallery wall. (Not that those all aren’t totally righteous
venues for fotos.) But looking at these pix on the kitchen
table with my morning cup of coffee is like seeing the news
as poetry.

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Brings to my mind the time I was at Oka, during the armed standoff
between the Mohawk warriors and the Quebec Provincial Police.

I was at the top of the hill, behind the Warrior barricade, along with
representatives of the world press. This was big news….Indians
shooting and killing police, then making a last ditch stand, all
to protect a piece of forest, that was sacred to them, from turning
into a golf course.

At a certain point a Mohawk mother, father and son came from their
village, behind the Warrior barricade. They were scrummed by the
press: “Did you come to make a statement?” they were asked.

“No, we came to smell the pines” they replied. Pure poetry and,
in fact, the reason for the whole armed standoff. Preserve the
towering pine trees that figured in their history.

Their statement went way over the heads of the gathered reporters.
They wanted “hard” news. I remember shaking my head and thinking:
“You idiots just don’t get it, do you? Here this family replies to your
question in a poetic way, a way that totally cuts to the chase, vis-a-vis
why this is happening, and you just don’t see it.” It was then when I
realized that most of the news media are stuck in a system that precludes
any real understanding, that the mainstream media is a machine that only
knows one way to process information.

So, as I sat at the kitchen table, reading Steacy’s news, one of the
many thoughts that passed thru my noggin was: “Oh boy”.

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Page spreads from: Down These Mean Streets by Will Steacey

Same goes for Alec Soth’s THE LAST DAYS OF W. A newspaper (from 2008)
made up of sequenced fotos that, very subtly, talk to a society in the grips
of a President and a history that just doesn’t seem to be working.

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Some page spreads from: The Last Days of W., by Alec Soth

SOME RECENT EDITORIAL

Here’s a few of the pix I took for Guerilla Mag. These are the
result of winning the WinInitiative 10BEST10 contest thingy.

Went to Montreal and shot a bunch of artists in their studios.

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Domenic Papillon

jonathan-villeneuve-109
Jonathan Villeneuve

mirana-zuger-187
Marina Zuger

kierander
Trevor Kierander

And here’s a picture of a Mr. Dave Gower. Shot for MoneySense
magazine to illustrate living on retirement income.

moneysense-dave-gower-062

I SUPPORT PORTRAITURE

For those of you in other countries, and to my compatriots
who aren’t paying attention, I’ll just let you know that we
(Canadians) have elected (sort of, but that’s a whole other
story) and are living with, a pretty reactionary conservative
government who seem to be anti-art/culture and pro-them-
selves.

One of the things the gov’t did was to cancel a perfectly good,
and already proceeding plan to establish a National Portrait
Gallery (NPG).

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Now, drool usually doesn’t dip into the political swamp, much
preferring other types of swamps. But it has to be said: Bad
move Mr Prime Minister.

Anyway, some students at the University of Ottawa pulled
together an exhibition and panel talk on the NPG’s demise,
titled: Out of Site/Out of Mind.

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Fotos by: Irina Lubchenko and Genevieve Thauvette

On the panel were Penny Cousineau-Levine (chair of Visual Arts
at the U of O), Michael Schreier (artist) and Lily Koltun (former
director of the NPG).

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l to r: M. Schreier, L. Koltun. P Cousineau-Levine

Regular droolers know that I’m a little bit cynical about stuff
like this, much preferring to do my own thing and let the chips
fall as they may. It must be said, though, that as of late, I’ve
been thinking about, if not “community”, at least “contribution”,
And droolers know that drool doesn’t care what you do, as long
as you do something.

So, while I won’t be signing any petitions or sending letters to
political bosses (meet the new boss, same as the old boss), I did
come away from the evening with renewed hope (look out for
hope) that, if enough art-type folks in Ottawa do their thing,
and keep doing their thing, some critical mass will be reached
and, sooner or later, bigger things must happen.

In the meantime, thanks to the organizers of Out of Site/Out of
Mind
, and to the panelists, for doing something.

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MY SWEET NEW RIDE

After way too many years of wrestling with my $149 Staples office
chair, I finally took the plunge and bought one of those Aeron ones.

My bum and my back thank me.

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