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Monthly Archives: October 2008


Image courtesy of MKG127

Image courtesy of MKG127



To enter into the world of Instant Coffee is like experiencing a hallucinogenic flash back.  You know you’ve been there before or taken part in some respect, and are quite willing to experience the trip again.  Such is the show on currently at MKG 127 titled “Say Nothing in Bright Colours”.  However the six member Canadian based collective have a lot to say, and definitely in their acid based bright colour installations on display.


             I am not one really for anything too jarring in the colour realm when it comes to art but the hand painted and shrouded Sandwich Boards they have crafted stop you dead in your tracks.  If not with the psychedelic hues then with such catchy slogans as “Nothing Happens in Good Weather” or “Pleasure Will Keep Us Together”.  OK…feel free to stop and think here, because that is the intended purpose of these socially suggestive catchphrases.  The happy colours are also carried over to their “Stuffed Violators” which are whimsical packed felt forms shaped like the comic book character balloons.  Whereas “Precious Painted Objects” offers us found objects such as a coffee cup and basket painted a bright red echoing the colours of the sandwich boards.  Perhaps the most conspicuous piece in the show is the “Violator” wallpaper in black and white and which depicts an updated version of dingbats, a typographical device used to replace letters or to signal divisions in text.   This is humorous at best and a great design tool for the more daring decorator.


            Instant Coffee utilizes architectural spaces and objects and re-crafts them to investigate the social world around them in an ironic fashion.  Such was the case for example in their “Disco Yurt” sauna that they constructed for the first Nuit Blanche installation at Hart House.  Sharing common space inside the yurt, inhabitants were taking part in an on-going performance piece in which the participant was acting out “outdated forms of work and leisure.”  This collective manages, with tongue in cheek, to provide us with a bit of escapism and brightness in these trying and stressful times.  







What is art? This must be asked in this age of “instant art” and our fast paced nano bit world. We as humans take in on average millions of bits of info on a daily basis.  The brain processes and filters out what we want to know and what we want to keep as our thoughts dictate.  Art is as I think a very personal experience dictated by our own separate biases and preconceptions beginning as a child and developed or underdeveloped depending on our own societal dealings with peers and divergent cultural experiences.   


Is art an observant process or a culturally appropriated dictum based on our preconceived notions of our time.  Does politics, family or world events affect our experiences of art during our day or do we heed to really “look” beyond our pre-conceived notions of creativity. 


Certainly our surroundings dictate what we can process as art on a daily basis.  Can one compare living in Florence per se as to living in Haiti.  Not to say that Haiti does not have its fair share of art.  But how much time does the average Haitian spend thinking about and observing art?  If one is going about the daily struggle of survival you really do not have a lot of time do debate the linear or painterly qualities of Renaissance painting.  What then constitutes art in this population?  Does geographical location or education dictate how we perceive or think  about art?  Can one really care about what Judy Chicago is doing with dinner ware when you cannot feed your own family?      


Art may be around all people but do we really accept what is said by so called outsiders who are pushing the boundaries or do we challenge what the critics say?  Art is as relevant to the uneducated as to the degree granted patron of the museum culture.  What we have to realize is that art challenges or should provoke on a daily basis a dialogue regarding social or political engagement that pushes the boundaries of personal comfort.  What is arts purpose if not to engage the viewer emotionally or aesthetically and to draw them into the drama at hand?     


The viewer of art in our world needs not only to activate all senses but also has to envelope the world culture of our times and develop an awareness that is at once sensitive and critical.




We must as consumers of art not only appreciate what our fellow artists are producing but also dictate what and how we would like to view the images they are creating.  Are they appropriate for our time?  Do they question and challenge our daily living?  Does the artist engage the viewer and inspire them to create works of their own?  Then and only then does art serve its purpose, that is that anyone regardless of age or ability can produce or admire an image worthy of the Met or any other gallery.  



And again….

Schneeman Installation

This is a blast from the past re: feminst issues!!

  But is it art?Carolee Schneeman at her best!!

Dohosu Reflection
Dohosu Reflection

    My name is Chris Le Page and welcome to C.L.O.N.E Gallery, an  on line art gallery that caters to eclectic art and architecure. Read reviews on art, look at art, engage in questions about art or just become inspired to be creative on your own . Please feel free to leave your comments or suggestions.