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Review: Pathetic Fallacy is a weird weather report, an art history lecture, a green-screen farce – and one of the best livestreams of the year – The Globe and Mail

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Each evening, a different local actor steps into Pathetic Fallacy in the starring role and follows instructions on a monitor while standing in front of a green screen.

Anita Rochon/Handout

  • Title: Pathetic Fallacy
  • Written and directed by: Anita Rochon
  • Actors: TBD
  • Company: The Chop presented by Rumble Theatre
  • Year: Runs online to November 29, 2020

The Chop is one of those brilliant little companies based out of British Columbia that was thinking deeply about future forms of theatre long before the pandemic hit.

Pathetic Fallacy, its co-artistic director Anita Rochon’s clever, unclassifiable 2018 show about weather, God and art, was born out of the idea of creating a touring theatre piece that would not require her to actually physically go on tour.

How useful to have that in your pocket as a performing artist right now.

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This is how Pathetic Fallacy, which is live-streaming nightly from Vancouver’s Rumble Theatre until November 29, works.

Each evening, a different local actor steps into the show in the starring role, puts on a blue-and-white striped Breton shirt and follows instructions on a monitor while standing in front of a green screen.

An in-person audience would get to watch two things unfold at the same time: On one side of the stage, the unrehearsed actor flailing around trying to keep up with the directions; on the other, a projection of the quirky documentary about weather and art that this actor’s image is being sucked into, narrated by and occasionally featuring video of Rochon in tricot rayé herself.

For this live-stream-only version, stage manager Emelia Symington Fedy, who is also co-artistic director of the Chop, calls the shots on what the at-home audiences get to see at any given moment: The farcical frenzy in front of the green screen, the smart if idiosyncratic documentary, or both at once.

If it sounds overcomplicated, it’s not: It’s funny, like watching an unprepared TV meteorologist try to give a forecast.

The substance of Pathetic Fallacy is a short visual exploration of the history of the depiction of weather in art and television.

Samantha Madely/Handout

I tuned in on Wednesday to see Jonathon Young, the charismatic co-creator of the internationally celebrated B.C. dance-theatre hybrid Betroffenheit, take part in this avant-garde experiment. Arggy Jenati, Aryo Khakpour, Omari Newton and Jivesh Parasram are on deck for the next performances.

The substance of Pathetic Fallacy is a short visual exploration of the history of the depiction of weather in art and television. (It’s just 60 minutes, the perfect length for a livestream, or at least my pandemic attention span.)

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There’s a segment in which Rochon, in recorded form, talks about a 1836 painting of the Connecticut River by the English-born, American painter Thomas Cole, finding all sorts of insights in its details into the shift between the idea of weather as a God or an act of God, to weather as a natural phenomenon we can predict and maybe even shape as humans.

A later segment sees Rochon dissect a more recent masterpiece of visual art about passion and precipitation: The 1982 music video for the disco hit It’s Raining Men by the Weather Girls.

All the while, keep in mind, there’s the overlaid physical comedy of watching the transposed Young – or whatever actor happens to be in front of the green screen in a given performance – attempt to point to the right place in the painting at the right time or join in the choreography in the music video. The Breton stripes made Young seem like a mime gone mad.

Though the magic of the green-screen technology, Rochon, in filmed form, and her stand-ins, who are live, also share a few scenes – having a conversation on an airplane or in a restaurant about the show’s themes. (Candelario Andrade and Milton Lim are credited with the projection design, which is of high quality.)

Young is a quick enough wit that these were the highlights of the performance of Pathetic Fallacy I watched. He flexed his expert improv comedy skills here, but also was genuinely thoughtful in responses to questions about why the world population is growing so quickly and whether the earth can actually “hurt” (or if that’s ascribing a human emotion to nature, see: the title of the show).

The crisis hanging over Rochon’s show is not COVID-19, but climate change. And yet while Pathetic Fallacy often takes the form of a lecture, the tone is never lecturing.

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Indeed, Rochon sets up the entire experiment as a kind of environmental paradox. She tells us right off the top that she decided to make a touring show that she wouldn’t have to tour in order to reduce her carbon footprint as a jet-setting theatre artist – but also because she wanted to stay put and have a baby, which would increase that footprint many times more than a few flights to international festivals.

How do you create – theatre or life – knowing that creation may make the planet a worse place? The theatrical tricks Rochon deploy to explore this question aren’t necessarily new, but they’ve been combined in a fascinating new way. Pathetic Fallacy is a weird show that is also wise and seems to have found its perfect form in these live-streamed times.

Pathetic Fallacy is streamable through rumble.org nightly at 7:30 p.m. PST; tickets are “pay what you decide.”

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‘Glorified littering’: Junk street art installations popping up around Montreal – Global News

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From the Van Horne skate park in the Mile End to NDG’s Saint-Jacques Escarpment, bizarre art installations are popping up around the city.

Prowling panthers, massive abstract beasts — it’s all put together from the imagination of the artist under the pseudonym Junko.

It’s a fitting name, for all the art he creates is entirely made from miscellaneous “trash” that he finds on the street.

“Basically, they’re carefully arranged piles of garbage,” Junko said. “You can call it glorified littering.”

Read more:
Black Lives Matter street mural removed from Ste-Catherine Street

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Using things found on the street like car tires, bike frames, even shoes, everything is a workable piece in Junko’s creations.

Car bumpers are a common staple in his creatures.

“They’re definitely a popular item for me,” he said with a laugh.

Over the past few months, he has put together some six different statues around the city and abroad, all varying in size from small to towering.

A timber frame made from recycled wood holds the installations together.

“I’ve been making art my whole life,” Junko said. “My art has always been around creating creatures and characters. This is a new chapter in that.”

He says finding the junk isn’t that hard in the city but finding the right piece can be.

“Sometimes it’s extremely easy. I’ll be walking and find something and carry it home,” he said.

Read more:
Montreal’s Mile End construction project ends up on residents’ doorsteps

While shying away from the spotlight, Junko says he isn’t trying to make a point with his art, which he says speaks for itself.

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“There no deep hidden meaning, it’s just a way to expressing myself,” Junko said.

That so-called trash is getting a lot of likes and recognition on social media and on the street.

“There is a lot of art in the neighbourhood, so it’s good, I’m not against it,” resident Nick Barry-Shaw said.

Juno sees his form of expression as a legal grey zone.

“The people are into it but I’m not sure about the city, though,” Junko laughed.

Read more:
Pointe-Saint-Charles mural defaced by graffiti a chance to reconnect with community, creators say

He said that unlike graffiti, his street art is not vandalism but simply “an organized pile of trash.”

So far, all four art installations in the city have not been taken down, according to Junko.

The young artist says there is a lot more art to come and people should keep their eyes peeled.

“I’m just getting started so, yeah, you can expect more work,” he said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Fine art in your mailbox: local artist creates unique postcards – TheRecord.com

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WATERLOO — A new postcard art project will use snail mail to rekindle memories of travel while sharing evocative original artwork.

Art galleries are closed due to the pandemic, and opportunities for local artists like Paul Roorda to display and sell their artwork are sparse.

“I just wanted to find a way to get my art out there so people can see it,” Roorda said.

His project “Somewhere Anywhere Postcards” is a series of hand-printed postcards that feature abstract landscapes, vintage stamps and messages of hope.

Roorda photographed different parts of an old, weathered wall. The lines and markings reminded him of beautiful landscapes, the ones you typically see on postcards from tourist destinations.

The postcards are small works of fine art, Roorda said, from the imagined landscape of the weathered wall he photographed, down to the vintage stamps he found and attached to each individual postcard.

The photographs were processed using an age-old technique known as cyanotype. Roorda mixes chemicals and brushes them onto paper. He then exposes the photographs in the sun and develops each photograph in water. The result of this process creates cyan-blue prints.

“I wanted to stay true to the vintage nature of the art,” Roorda said.

He has also written hopeful messages on the back of each postcard to uplift people during the pandemic as it keeps everyone indoors this winter.

“Right now with COVID we are surrounded by our walls, and we can see walls around us as barriers. I wanted to write something about seeing past those barriers at a time when people are feeling discouraged.”

Roorda is fascinated with vintage and antique items as well as found objects. Three years ago he created mini art galleries out of metal cash boxes and attached them to utility poles throughout Waterloo.

Roorda was ordered to remove them by bylaw officers, but was later granted permission by the city to temporarily display his art. The project was called “Time Stops” and each piece featured a musical element, found objects and messages.

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Roorda’s postcard project is supported by a grant from the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. He launched “Somewhere Anywhere Postcards” last week and has already mailed postcards to addresses across Ontario and to Europe.

Roorda’s postcards can be found in his online shop at www.paulroorda.com.

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Watch: Marty One-Boot's art of the Yellowknife Snowcastle pour – Cabin Radio

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Yellowknife

Published: January 25, 2021 at 6:23amJanuary 25, 2021


Snow is like concrete, they say.

To build Yellowknife’s Snowcastle – even this year’s amended design, which is more like a castle grounds than a castle itself – you need to know your construction methods.

Putting together the walls that hold snow structures together requires plenty of carpentry to build wooden frames, then a snowblower and some nerve while you stand under a blizzard of snow and compress it with your feet.

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Martin Rehak – Marty One-Boot, to give him the nickname he acquired after this exercise once went wrong – described the process to Cabin Radio. Here’s a little look at how preparations are going ahead of this March.

Camera, editing: Ollie Williams

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