Monday, May 6, 2013

saturday brunches, art galleries, and gentrification

In case you haven't caught on to the trend lately, I'm really trying to make the time to do as many cultural things as I can before Bean arrives.

Last weekend, despite being sick, Paul and I headed for brunch at the Griffintown Cafe before finally making it to see Arsenal's exhibit, Like Thunder out of China.

Tee Hee... sneaking iPhone photos in when he doesn't know it!

I'd heard about the exhibit in February on the CBC and was really intrigued by the subject. All of the artists are Chinese and banned (from what I understood) in China because their art is subversive and political in nature. 

I won't claim to have understood all of the references in the works, but overall they were really interesting. Plus, the Gallery did a lovely job of creating captions for each piece to help viewers contextualize the work more. 

I was a bit surprised that they did this as it breaks into the viewer's interpretation and is a bit heavy handed with imposing the artist's intention, but honestly, I also really appreciated it! Sometimes it's nice to be able to interpret art for yourself, but other times, it's just awesome to see what the artist intended and then go from there, especially when you're less familiar with the cultural context of the work!

Another interesting thing to note, is that the Gallery in question is a shared space between 3 galleries. When we first drove up to it, coming via the back way because we didn't realize that we could access it via Notre Dame, the building stands out from it's neighbouring factories, and it immense with much of the space still left vacant. Apparently it was an old boat building warehouse. Having first lived down the street from the area in question, it constantly fascinates me to see how gentrification is changing the neighbourhood. 

We also ventured upstairs to visit the other exhibits and Paul was particularly fascinated with one exhibit in the Division Gallery.

Overall, I'm really pleased that we finally made it to the Gallery. It was a fun art excursion and a cheap afternoon out (entrance was a suggested donation of $5/person).

Next up... hopefully... is a literary adventure and revisiting of my love of all things lit geekery!

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