End of a year - and more
Fat lip in the loo

Mike's excellent adventure

Last Friday night on my blog's calendar I had several things I wanted to get to - so I did them all. And as luck would have it a friend was looking for an excuse to get out and dance, so I dragged her along too.

We started at La Petite Mort Gallery, then to the World Beats & Eats fundraiser, then to Disorganized in the basement of the Clocktower, then upstairs for some Timekode. And by 2:30 I was bagged, and ready for a cab to S'Norleans.

La Petite Mort, the first stop, opened back in October of 2005, and has a constantly changing collection of works - it's always pushing the edge. As described by owner/curator Guy Berube:

As contemporary art and industrial design have come to occupy an increasingly larger space in the consciousness of today's consumers, the line between "design" and "art" continues to blur, even at times to disappear. Consequently, La Petite Mort has created a new space dedicated to exploring this shifting, evolving dialogue. The new gallery will present work which bridges these two disciplines, fusing craft and production, art and design, outsider and mainstream, designer and producer. This is an approach which we've followed from the early days of being artists and designers, and we are now positioned to pursue it in a much more focused way.

Last night's vernissage was for a show running until the end of January, by Sherry Tomplaski. It's entitled Jewelled Body Parts, and is in her words:

"Psychological realism. For the past 20 years as a psychiatrist, I have tried to help people make sense of their inner life, and in a sense, my paintings are that inner life made visible.

The Jeweled Body Parts Exhibition is a natural outgrowth of my Body Language Series, which was recently featured in Brazil's psychological magazine "Mente & Cerebro".

Jeweled Body Parts examines feminine beauty, objectification, and the desire to be complete. I have chosen to express this with playful bold designs and subliminal images".

The paintings are a stunning series of voluptuous torsos, covered in bright bits of colour, like jewels. Some have a hint of a small female figure, trapped in the torso. I asked the artist if these all represented patients, with their inner demons and their neuroses and blemishes painted over their skin - she seemed to appreciate my interpretation, but went on to explain what it really was. As a young developing teenager, she had done some sketches like these, so decided recently to spend 6 weeks exploring the concept further. They are meant to show women's focus on the voluptuous figure, and it's adornment with jewelry and makeup - sometimes as a way to release the woman within. Or something like that - sounded reasonable enough to me. So, after it was explained, I "got it", and appreciated it even more. I guess I was trying to over analyze what I was seeing - been reading to many art catalogues. It did get me thinking that I would prefer to understand the concept right off when I look at art, but maybe there is supposed to be that challenge - maybe only art students or other artists all get it right away. I would hope most people do get it - I would think the goals of an artist would be to express a concept, and then communicate that to others. If the latter doesn't happen - what's the point?  I must admit I am a bit of a Philistine when it comes to some more abstract art, especially when I'm told what it all means in equally abstract words, and still don't get it.

So, ranting aside, the evening continued at World Beats and Eats - usually held at the Mercury Lounge in the Market but this time "due to the expected overwhelming success" was moved to the larger SAW Gallery, on Nicholas. Good plan, as it was very popular, as usual.The art consisted of collections of posters from a number of recurring events in the past year - including those by La Petite Mort, Spins and Needles, and World Beats and Eats. Nibblies were great, especially the chocolate-chili cookies. Beats started with Emily Jones, as usual - I meant to get a better pic this time but missed her before she took off for her regular Friday night at e18hteen, at 18 York. I guess I was too busy sipping my beer and flirting with all the charming ladies and passing out business cards to my blog and pics. The next DJ, Benmore, was ready to start the dancing, so Brad started pushing back tables after the raffle. Unfortunatley, we had to move on - places to go, people to do.

We got to the Clocktower around 10:15 - as it was to start at 10, but when we got downstairs there were only a few there already, mostly to help set up I think. Someone came over to where we were sitting there to clarify that it was to be DJ's and dancing - if we were at the pub for food we should go upstairs. We assured him we were there for Disorganized. He seemed surprised for some reason - might have been all my grey hair, as the crowd tends to be mostly in their 20's. The music had started early but for the next hour, although a lot started to pack in, all the kids looked like they were at their parent's cocktail party - standing there with drinks in their hand and talking. Some had the occasional spasm of dance, but it never lasted more than a few beats. However, eventually a critical mass was attained, and the chain reaction started. We joined the crowd, and spent the next hour or so prancing and dancing up by the DJ's. Spinning for us were Juiceboxxx and Dreskull, and a few others. Ir was a great blend of hip hop and samples from back as far as the 60's, they kept it rolling along and the crowd pumped up. My partner was very energetic and appreciative of the music so we just kept on dancing - until I REALLY had to go to the can. By then it was waaay over the legal limit in there, with a line of the fashionably late waiting all the way up the stairs. So, if you left for the can - that was it, you were out and at the back of the line. We figured we had danced enough for one night anyways, so just headed upstairs, where it was much quieter (and cooler).

Timekode was playing, and so were some bgirls - from Decypher Cru and such. I stayed to watch and enjoy a quiet beer and then faded. It was too late (2:30?) to walk up to Slater on the chance of still catching a 95 bus home - so it was a cab for me.
Be sure to catch Timekode at the Eri Café / Pan-African Social Club Jan 19th on Somerset by Preston. It starts at 8 but get there early for some of the foods from Eritrea. And contact the bgirls as to when their next classes start.
The pics from some of the evening are up on Flickr.
I'm listening to CBC3 again, just heard a cut by Masiaone - great. Check out her Myspace too, and the video for Split Second Time.

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