Editorial Spring 2015
Summertime is usually vacation time in Canada: a time to relax and shake off the vapours while strolling down a leafy boulevard or following a winding road to the top of a mountain where the view makes you believe you can see eternity.
It is also the time of year that oers an unparalleled opportuni-ty to take in the arts in all their brilliant panoply. With almost no eort at all the two can go hand in hand.While the federal government may not acknowledge the amount of economic activity that as an industry the arts generate cities and even small towns across the country do and accordingly they help fund and publicize a variety of arts events and week-long festivals.
There are the major and minor music festivals ranging from jazz to classic to pop. With the exception of pop music there will usually be some kind of free stage where people can enjoy music for more or less nothing. Speaking of free events the Festival du Rire or the Comedy Festival in Montreal, usually runs a parade made up only of twins which is of course, free to attend. These large city events are usually a moveable feast in the sense that many of the same events and artists that appear in Montreal also appear in say Toronto. The place names are changed to protect the innocent and se Montreal International Film Festival becomes the Toronto International Film Festival and the Montreal Fringe Festival becomes the Edmonton Fringe Festival but what does it matter?
Our joined collective objective in these events is to see something a little more artistic than commercial in vision and by so doing help support the artistic rather than the commercial. When we think of vacations I would wager that the majority of people think of either going to a dierent big city, Paris, London, Rome or New York for example or going to the country for rest and relaxation.Leaving aside foreign destinations the Canadian countryside or at least that part of it which has developed a well established cottage country aspect to it has changed greatly over the last four ove decades.
While summer theatre has almost always been present where tourists gather many small towns now host music festivals of one sort or another.ese range from old timeddle festivals to jazz and blues festivals. The most pertinent development to Magazin’art however is the rise of the Tour des Arts in which local artists open their studios for one or more weekend and tourists or locals are welcome to visit and see for themselves just exactly what does go into the mystifying process of creating art. While summer may be one of the best times of year to hear, see and experience the arts in all their forms it is also one of the most disappointing times of year because it slips by so fast. Whatever you do this summer make sure to take the time to climb to the top of a mountain to catch the view or sit by the side of a lake and ponder the
Editorial Spring 2015
There’s good news and bad news today about the state and status of art in the world and the only conclusion that we can come to is that art is indeed a very powerful entity.
On one hand, in Canada, Cineplex Odeon Theatres is showing films that purport to take the viewer through some great exhibi-tions at a cost of $17.00 a peep.
On the other, ISIS, the Islamic State, that group of ignorant, moronic illiterate and unwashed small minded criminals have just released a video of their minions destroying sculptures in an Iraqi museum in Mosul, that date back to the seventh century.
At Cineplex, In The Gallery, is a series of three films, one on Rembrandt, one on Van Gogh and one on the Impressionists, that are advertised as taking you inside what one only imagines are European exhibitions which we in Canada will never be able to see unless we travel across the Atlantic.
Rembrandt From the National Gallery, London & Rijkmuseum, Amsterdam, focuses on the artists life, his last years and the prepa-rations for the show.
Vincent Van Gogh – A New Way of Seeing looks at the Van Gogh’s housed in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam with commenta-ries provided by renowned curators and art historians.
The Impressionists focuses on Paul Durand –Ruel, the art col-lector who championed the Impressionists and is anticipated as being the most comprehensive exhibition on Impressionist art to be mounted. For times and locations Google Cineplex.
In The Gallery is riding on the heels of Cineplex’s simulcasting of the New York Metropolitain Opera’s Saturday afternoon perfor-mances which it has done for several years now.
While there is no doubt that Cineplex is running both series to make money it should be applauded because it is making art, mu-sic and pictures in this case, available to a broader audience.
ISIS on the other hand is busily destroying antiquity because it believes the statues represent false gods and that images created long ago should be destroyed.
But that is really only a surface reading of an action that is rich in subtextual drama. Like any fascistic political force ISIS and its modern equivalent of the Nazi’s Brownshirts and Jackboots are busily engaged in rewriting history in an attempt to make sure there will be no history before their advent.
If there is no historical record of any significant activity then how can you say it actually existed?
Fanaticism of any stripe depends on ignorance with a good measure of xenophobia thrown in. Usually there is also a social group, political entity or act that needs to be blamed as a scape-goat as well.
In this particular case ISIS is attempting to reinforce its own po-sition by removing what it perceives as evidence that contradicts its theistic position.
Cineplex’s In The Gallery and the destruction of sculptures are tied together by one simple fact. They both illustrate the power of art, one the one side for monetary gain, goods and services rende-red for a fee and on the other ISIS recognizes the ability of art to make people think and feel.
These are two characteristics which put any fascist state at risk and which therefore must be eliminated.