Monday, October 2, 2006     « India Basin (San Francisco) »


This one is a bit colder than usual. It was quite a scene.

We had a busy weekend. I was shocked by the turnout for Nuit Blanche. The walk up and down Zone 3 reminded me of the Blackout but with electricity and lots of black clothing. I will choose a different zone next year. This one was too party with the usual Drake crowds out in full force and then some. Too much money, very little interesting work.

This is a big gallery area and I was disappointed by how many chose to keep the same shows on rather than doing something special for the event. Some of the best stuff was stuck in the back room of one of the larger galleries (help I forget which one) as an afterthought. It was mixed media illustration work on large boards (not referring to that awful lacey stuff). The same back room housed a mid-sized painting by Fiona Smyth whose work I always like. We own a small painting purchased at her garage sale a few years ago (also a Parkdale resident) for a cheap $25. WAY too much laughably BAD video art one involving performance art and fire. Lots of 80's inspired nonsense. Night Swim seemed like the best and most thought-out project but we arrived at a quiet time.

Yesterday the Tasting Fair at Dufferin Grove Park and then to see Manufacturing Landscapes, the new documentary about Ed Burtynsky. I have experienced too much end-of-the-world discussion this past week. On Tuesday I gave a small presentation to a group of UofT students following another speaker on the future of organic farming. While the facts she presented were known to me (in fact I planned to address some of the same issues in my talk), I found myself overwhelmed midway into the presentation, so much so that I had to ask for a break before following her. Even then I was shaky and teary during my own presentation which left me feeling very embarassed and unprofessional. By Thursday I had decided that feeling and showing emotion about horrible and heavy subjects is not inappropriate. It's tricky because I have found that I need to be able to connect and tap deeply into my emotions in order to write good presentations. I am often writing and presenting from a personal perspective about things that mean a lot to me. And yet when it comes time to make the presentation there is an expectation that I should detach and present in a manner that is inspiring, yet aloof aka "professional." I am finding it harder and harder to do that.

I say all of this because I was watching Ed Burtynsky speak publically during the film and wondered how he could visit those places, take those photos, and then give presentations on them all the while remaining seemingly detached emotionally. It's not a criticism, just a wondering. I am currently trying to find my way through this stuff and am interested in how other people cope.

I would say more but have nannered on for too long today in an effort to procrastinate an article that needs writing. I will say that it was a great documentary and absolutely worth the $14 admission.

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