Posts Tagged ‘words’

What are words?   How do we use them?

below: “Excuses injurieuses” 2007, by June Clark.  One of her “Wine and Tea” pieces.  It consists of the words Invective and Apology written over and over again starting from the top left corner and moving inwards toward the center.  Instead of a spiral it is a pyramid shape.  Perhaps it rises upwards, or perhaps it sinks down.  It’s only 40cm x 40 cm so the words are tiny.  I’d love to know how many words there are but I think that I’d be screaming profanities before I finished counting.  What I can tell you is that the pair of words ‘invective apology’ is written 32 times on the outer square.  If  invective is a noun that means, expletive, or abusive language, what does ‘invective apology’ mean and is that the same as the french title, ‘Excuses injurieuses’?

close up artwork of words written over and over again, invective apology, in smaller and smaller circles.

June Clark was born in Harlem NY but moved to Toronto in 1968.   At the moment, the AGO is featuring some of her work.  For whatever reason, I was more attracted to the pieces with words.

below: More of Clark’s “Wine and Tea” series, 2007.  Each one is a 40cm x 40 cm square and they are made with wine, tea and paper except for the one on the top left.  It is “Poubelle Lune” and the circle is a rusted lid that fits in a circle that has been cut out of the canvas.

a grid of 8 square artworks by June Clark on a gallery wall

below: Close up of another of the eight squares, a collage of sorts, the silhouettes of two people (men?) in front of flags, one American and one ? Titled: “All Some Many”.  If you look closely, you can see small words cut out of newspapers or magazines, some, all.

close up of an artwork, ink and collage. Brown squares in checkerboard shapes, with one shape being a photo, 4 small words from a newspaper, all (twice) and some (twice).

below: The next two photos are panels from “Formative Triptych” 1989/1990.  The first one says “I always imagine that I never received anything as a child, but I do remember being disappointed that the chocolate Easter Bunny was hollow and then of course there was the red broom and dustpan set.”

old black and white photo of a black girl, smiling, in dress, with words beside that say "

below: The words say “I decided that I must become so famous and so recognizable so the they could never let me die in an emergency room.”

picture of the head and shoulders of a middle aged black woman, old black and white photo, with words beside that say "

below: More collage and more words, this time it’s “Homecominghome”, words on paper towel.   Words like proactive, dulled integrity, impotent, hostage, elation, victim, underwhelmed, illusion, and satisfied surface desires.   These are only some, there were many more, each in their own little black frame.  Paper towel, that stuff we use once and then throw away.  Can we throw away the words?  Or what is behind the words?  Do we want to?

Actually there was a story about why paper towels were used – “…was made during a residency in New York City.  I had been cleaning the space so it was empty aside from paper towels.  It was a way of dealing with my emotions around how I felt living back in Harlem.  Cutting out the words, I felt like I was captive but free – a sort of ransom situation, of calls for help and demands for responsibility. ”  Quote taken from the words on the wall at the exhibit.

a grid of 8 square artworks by June Clark on a gallery wall - black frames around pieces of paper towel with words on them formed from cut outs from newspapers,

Words are fascinating.

June Clark’s work is on exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario until December 2018.

 

And while we’re on the subject of words and the AGO, there is a whole room of panels like the one below.  This is “Jack and the Jack Paintings: Jack Goldstein and Ron Terada”

Goldstein was an artist who published his memoirs in 2003, just before he committed suicide.  Terada has taken words from the book and made them into 14 panels, sorry, I mean test-based paintings.  They are Goldstein’s words? Or are they now Terada’s words?  Whose story are they telling?

below: A large painting by Jack Goldstein (lightning) and four of the panels by Ron Terada.

The Jack exhibit continues until 16 September.

More words!

below: You’re awesome!

large white letter across a roof line that say you're awesome

below: Embrace peculiarity

side a garage plus wood fence beside it painted with abstractr shapes in reds and oranges, with the words embrace peculiarity written in blue cursive writing

below: Love will win 🙂

on the side of a grey metal box, written in black, with a smiley face under the words, love will win

below: I love you!

graffiti on a brick wall, red heart with words I love you, instead of the word love there is a white heart

below: A mural with a pink skate boarding raccoon with a hockey stick and a Blue Jays baseball cap.  Also words of encouragement (or at least that’s how I’m going to interpret them today), Keep Pushin.  It’s actually an ad for Kadence World, a store that is opening up on Ossington, a place where art, music, and skate boarding all converge.

large yellow letters that say keep Pushin, on a mural with a pink raccoon wearing a blue jays baseball cap, looking at a wrist watch with a dollar sign on the face,

below: And last, a final Buh Bye

yellow stencil on a sidewalk, in cursive writing, buh bye

below: What is happening? By the looks of it, Doug Ford and John Tory have taken up cricket. Nice uniforms but something’s not cricket…

a woman with light brown hair holds a sign at a protest, seen from the back. The sign says what is happening? Picture of John Tory and Doug Ford as cricket players.

below: What is happening is a protest. A decent sized crowd gathered at Nathan Phillips Square late this afternoon because why?  Because another Ford, another protest. Been there, done that, and is he really going to do what? Sigh.

crowd gathered at Nathan Phillips square for a protest, TV cameras, microphones, speakers, protesters, signs, placards,

below: Making a point.  Doug Ford recently dictated that the sex ed curriculum brought in by the last government will no longer be taught because not enough parents had been consulted about its contents.  Today he announced that the number of Toronto city council seats will be reduced from 47 to 25 after he consulted with zero zilch nada of Toronto’s 2.7 million people.  Hypocrisy.  It also gives credence to the theory that this is all sour grapes – he lost the last mayoral election to John Tory and his ego is damaged.

a man in a green t shirt holds up a protest sign that says Dick-tator Ford

below: “To succeed we must secede #provinceofontario”  An interesting concept?

Crowd of people at protest rally at city hall in Toronto. One man holds a sign that says to succeed we need to secede

protesters at an anti Doug Ford and anti PC Ontario provincial government for their announcement to cut the number of city council seats

two middle aged red headed women holding a sign at a protest at city hall

a young woman holds up a sign that says Dud Ford. Words followed by a sad face. Seen from the back. Lots more people in the crowd at the rally

below: Ford did campaign on cheap beer, a dollar a can if I remember correctly.  There was no beer at Nathan Phillips square this afternoon.   No consultations AND no beer.

a woman holds a white hand written sign at a protest, the sign says You campaigned on cheap beer, not on cutting my representation in government with no public consultation where is my beer?

Young women in a crowd, holding a sign that says Ford - F for Fuck O for Off R for rude and D for Doug

below: A lone dissenter (or at least the only visible one). “Thank you Doug Ford.  You saved me a part of my battle, for the Mayor’s office.  Harris suggested this at amalgamation you put it in to action. Jim McMillan.”

people sitting by the Archer, a Henry Moore sculpture, at Nathan Phillips Square. An older man is talking to another man. He is holding a hand written sign that says Thanks to Doug Ford

Once the speeches were over, some of the protesters went inside City Hall to the council chambers where a city council meeting was in progress.  We’ll see what happens in the coming days and weeks.

below: Like most days, there were lots of tourists in the square too.  But that’s a whole other story!

a father and son by the light purple O in the 3D Toronto sign. In the background is a group of people at a protest

‘Trans Am Apocalypse No. 3’ by John Scott

a 1980 Pontiac firebird trans am, painted in black house paint and then words scratched into it, the words from Revelations in the New Testament of the bible, every part of the black surface is covered with words, in an art gallery

This is a 1980 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am painted with black house paint.   The words from the book of Revelation from the New Testament of the bible scratched into it, covering the whole surface of the car.

below: “Faithful until death” stands out on the door handle.  From Revelation 2:10 “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

words from Revelations in the New Testament of the bible scratched into paint covering the whole surface of a trans am car, close up of door handle with the words faithful until death on it,

This is actually the third car that Scott produced. The first, finished in 1988 ended up being crushed into a cube of metal. The second, finished in 1993, is now in the National Gallery in Ottawa.  This one was finished in 2000 but it was homeless for a while.   In 2007 it was donated to the AGO (at that time it was housed in a barn). It was first displayed in 2016.

below: All 22 chapters of the Revelation to John fits on the car, including the part seen here: “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.”   This is Revelations 3:12.

words from Revelations in the New Testament of the bible scratched into paint covering the whole surface of a trans am car, close up of the side of the car by the front passenger door, and front tire

The book of Revelation is written in a very symbolic language and there are different interpretations of its meaning.  One interpretation is that it was written to give ancient Christians hope for dealing with their own problems –  to stand firm in their faith despite the threat of death from the Roman government.

Another interpretation is that our world is doomed, that Revelation is a description of the “end of days” sometime in the future. This is the futurist interpretation of Revelation with its premise  that the prophecies in Revelation still await a future, literal fulfillment.  In this interpretation, the four horsemen described in the sixth chapter symbolize the evils to come at the end of the world.   This seems to be the interpretation that gets a lot of attention. 

I have no intention of writing an essay on this but I wanted to mention the horsemen because some of the words used by the AGO to describe John Scott’s car are “A symbol of American consumerism and machismo, the vehicle has been modified to produce a contemporary mode of transport fit for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”.   The Trans Am, a doomsday vehicle on the highway to hell.

 

words from Revelations in the New Testament of the bible scratched into paint covering the whole surface of a trans am car, close up of the front corner of the car, headlights and part of hood

What drives a person to scratch out these biblical words, not once, but three times?  What goes through a person’s head while they’re working on it?

And I have one more question – wouldn’t a Mustang be a more appropriate vehicle for the four horsemen?

‘This Mountain Loves You’

is a mountain of positive messages stitched into a quilt-like artwork at the AGO.  Fabric squares were decorated with pictures and messages and then hand stitched together.  It is the creation of the AGO Youth Council, overseen by artist Ani Castillo.

 AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario, This Mountain Loves You, by AGO youth council, view from second level of the gallery

black and white art by Ani Castillo of 'Toronto in the Summer', many whimsical scenes of the city in the summer, birds, trees, kids on scooters, lots, of legs, all kinds of flowers, picnics, the island, sun, the ex,

An example of her work, black and white drawings with a little bit of whimsy and a lot of heart…. ‘Toronto in the Summer’ by Ani Castillo. Found online at Bored Panda.

 

AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario, This Mountain Loves You, by AGO youth council, close up of some of the squares of fabric

“I love my black hair and my black loves me”.
“It’s me and it’s you and we’re the universe too”.

Castillo worked with a group of young people (ages 14 to 24) over seven weeks and this was one of the results.   I’m not sure how high it was, 4 or 5 metres perhaps?

AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario, This Mountain Loves You, by AGO youth council, close up of some of the squares of fabric

Part of the AGO description of ‘This Mountain Loves You’ mentions that it is a tribute to, and a recreation of, Salvation Mountain in southern California.

Photo credit: by Kevin Key, found online at Los Angeles Magazine in an interesting article about the site and its creator, Larry Knight who worked on it for 30 years before his death in 2014.

As you can see in the above photo, Salvation Mountain is predominantly about God and Jesus whereas the fabric mountain proclaims a message of secular love, hope, and acceptance.  Messages such as “trust in your abilities”, “love ahead!”, and “keep families together”.

AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario, This Mountain Loves You, by AGO youth council,

Today was the last day that this ‘mountain’ was on display.

I’ll just leave this here.    Just one photo today.

a amll metal table and a chair outside, against a brick wall. On the wall, in white paint, are the words You Don't worry about fitting in when you're Custom Made

I know, I know, Valentines day has come and gone.
But this week I kept seeing hearts and other signs of love in many of its forms.
There’s nothing wrong with sharing a little love, right?

Especially the love where the heart is full and ready to explode in colour.

the front of a garage is covered with street art. A bright red heart is in the middle from which coloured geometric shapes eminate outwards and cover the entire front of the building.

Love is witty… or it just can’t spell because love fogs the brain.  Love is blind after all.

dark brown garage door,metal, with white spray paint words that say love @ first site

Love is solid and strong

a small concrete love bot stands on the grass beside the garden in front of St. Patricks church, winter, no leaves on the small tree, stone church

Love is weak and hides in a corner.

metal staircase, outside, running diagonally across the back of a building, a shopping cart under the stairs with a box in in, a door in the wall under the stairs, both door and wall are cover in graffiti including a large orange swath and a bright red heart

Some hearts are jaded.

on a utility pole in Graffiti alley, there are 4 paper hearts in pink and purple, with words written on them - I love me, no luv,

Sing a song of romance
A pocket full of lies
Four and twenty belittlements
Baked in a pie
When the pie was opened
All hell broke lose
When ranting, and tears, and screaming, and all sorts of incriminations….
You know the story.

“All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.” Oscar Wilde

beside a street art painting of the pink panther, standing with arms crossed (but head missing in the photo) is a utility pole with three paper hearts attached to it, two are light blue and 1 is orange. The hearts have writing on them, bye bye, friendzone, kill me

“If love is the answer, could you please rephrase the question?” Lily Tomlin

on a utility pole in Graffiti alley, there are 4 paper hearts in pink and purple, with words written on them - bed bugs, sk8 me, its you not me,

“Go forth.
the tellers of tales
and seize whatever
the heart longs for.
Have no fear.
Everything exists.
And everything is true.
And the earth is only
a little dust under our feet.”
W.B. Yeats, “The Celtic Twilight”

small black and white stencil on a concrete block wall. An adult penguin is standing with its head bent over looking at a small black and white cat that is looking up at the penguin