Saturday, January 22, 2011

Everybody's working for/on the weekend . . .

We've skipped over to Vancouver for the weekend -- after all, it's been over three weeks since we last saw Nola, and granddaughters grow too quickly . . .

Took in a very worthwhile exhibit yesterday at UBC's Museum of Anthropology -- an exhibit putting Man Ray's photographs of African art and sculpture in the context of those actual pieces so that we could compare the physical objects with the use Ray and other photographers of the period made of them and better understand their exploitation by and their influence on the Modernist and Surrealist movements.

Although I was a bit annoyed with myself for putting off this exhibit for so long -- it closes on Sunday so we partly made this trip over to catch it before then -- in some ways, I'm glad I did because our viewing of it is now informed by the visit we made to San Francisco's Museum of the African Diaspora. That museum insists on placing African artifacts -- ceremonial headdresses, carved doorways, cooking implements, spiritual sculptures, etc. -- in the context of their original use. It tries, then, to correct many decades, even centuries, of these pieces being collected as curiosities for viewing or studying or archiving.

A short video coincidentally shown at both museums linked the two exhibits all these miles apart on the Pacific Coast: Susan Vogel's short: "Fang: An Epic Journey" follows an African (Fang, more specifically) sculpture from its (colonialist) acquisition to a Paris artist's atelier in the early 20th century to an art collector much later in the century and into the hands of an academic who retraces its history. The work is fictional but based on fact, an informative and entertaining dramatization of the lives of so many pieces yanked from their communities and circulated in so many odd contexts.

I'm sorry to be so late visiting and commenting on this exhibit, because I'd love to tell you it's worth heading out to UBC to experience for yourself. And there's still today and tomorrow . . . Even if you miss this one, though, you really should get out to the MOA -- such a stunning building in one of the best settings for any such museum, anywhere in the world, really. And to see the native art, those totem poles especially, against the grey sky, as you can in this stunning architecture . . . really worth the drive.

And while I'm making recommendations . . . we saw Mike Leigh's Another Year last night, and this one lingers. This is one you'll want to go out for dinner or drinks afterward to talk about (thin-crust pizza and a glass of wine at Incendio's for us). Recently, we've seen Black Swan and The King's Speech and I would recommend both of those as well, but Leigh slows down the pace and confronts you with humanity in its beautiful, sad, and optimistic vulnerability. This film, with no single celebrity actor to carry it, is the one that will stay with me. And it offers a woman of a certain age that I would happily adopt as a model, a mentor, a friend. . . seriously, you'll love this woman.

Anyway, you get the idea. I like the film. Go see it.
We're off today to see a play, This. The playwright, Melissa James Gibson, is apparently a Vancouverite, daughter of a well-respected BC long-time politician and journalist, but her work, regularly staged in New York, has never been shown in her home town. Megan Follows is playing the central role in a story centering on the lives of five mid-30s women struggling for balance in busy lives. . . should be fun.

And then we're hoping to catch some time with a little girl and her mom, Daughter #1. Daughter #2 has a new kitten, the most gorgeously quirkly-faced Persian that I've only met in photos, so we'll spend some time ooh-ing and ah-ing over there. Might even get a chance to check out Daughter #3's wedding dress (yes, she and her big sister chose it without me -- I tried not to be miffed, 'cause, you know, her day and all . . . and I live over there and she's over here, etc., and it's all good now, but still, I'll be pleased to finally see it!).

So a busy weekend. I'll need some naps but not sure when I'll fit them in. Have you got anything special on? Any napping planned? Whatever you're doing, take care . . .


  1. Sounds like a full and fulfilling weekend. Have fun!

    Thanks for the movie recommendation! Hopefully we'll have a chance to get to movies this weekend.

  2. Thank you for the movie tips...and your weekend sounds full to the brim...enjoy!

    I am spending some time with the lovely Miss delightful grand daughter...happy grammy!

  3. I've worked with his "negative" photos of Kiki before . . . Fascinating!! Enjoy!!

  4. If you send me an email, I'll answer your q. (Couldn't find an email address on your blog . . .)

  5. Can;t wait to see this Mike Leigh film, he's one of my all-time favourites. ("Life is Sweet" is on my Top 10 list). Ah, you didn't happen to take any new Nola pics, did you? Art is edifying but that little girl is glorious.

  6. Pseu: I think you'll enjoy this one when you get a chance to view it. Have a good weekend.
    Hostess: Ah, enjoy! lots of cuddles . . . I can't believe how quickly this generation is growing up as well . . .
    Miss C: That would have been an interesting project, I'm sure. That whole nexus of ideas across the arts was such a rich one.
    Duchesse: They'll be here momentarily for dinner -- I'll grab my camera . . .

  7. Sounds like such a lovely weekend.

  8. Adding the film to my Netflix queue

  9. I have been in the mood for a movie that makes me think. I will definitely see Another Year. I LOVED both Black Swan and The King's Speech.
    Your weekend sounds completely satisfying, as long as there are some naps to recover from your busy fun filled schedule.
    I am off to read a book and I plan to fall asleep while reading it. :-)

  10. LPC: yes, it was . . .
    Terri: I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
    LBR: So much is shown without words in this film -- so much trust in the viewer, really. I could happily watch it again today.
    Enjoy your nap . . .

  11. I´m all exhausted having read your weekend schedule! How on earth do you have time for all this? Makes me so green of envy ; )

  12. I love it when an exhibition is curated with a level of intelligence so that it elucidates and educates and the same time, I saw the worst exhibition ever on Friday, your sounds everything this was not. I have kept my eye out for a cheap DVD of that Mike Leigh film it did sound really good and I have enjoyed all his films over the years. As you say the pace of the film works so well allowing you to linger over the all to often very articulate dialogue. He is a great favourite over here.
    Your weekend may even top my hectic schedule!

  13. Oh it sounds like a fabulous weekend and the exhibition sounds like something I would have loved to have seen.

    And I am so jealous that you have seen the Mike Leigh as I adore his films, and I haven't even seen Black Swan or The King's Speech yet, both of which are high on my list. I think even more though, I miss having someone to discuss the films with, that companionable viewing and discussing, and yes perhaps sharing a bite and a sip as well.

  14. Thank you for putting Another Year on my list of movies. Your trip to SF looked fab!

    Karen xx

  15. Metscan: I`m very lucky now having such great domestic support in the form of one retired husband -- amazing how much one can get done with someone else cooking, cleaning, and grocery-shopping!
    Alison: I know! -- sometimes I`m tempted to take a marker to the interpretive accompaniments! This exhibition really was well done -- even just the simple way it set up Man Ray`s photo of an African sculpture and juxtaposed it with Walker Evans` photo of the same piece to show the different effect of a documentary vs. a surrealist approach. . . We picked up the accompanying catalogue so will spend sometime reading a bit more about it all.
    Mardel: This must be one of the hardest adjustments to make, the loss of companionship even when your husband is still there. It makes me really strive to appreciate what I`ve got while I can.
    Karen: If this is the Karen I`m thinking of -- you and your sisters would love this, I think. And so might Miles, given the allotment gardening that features all the way through.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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