Monday, June 18, 2007

Trouver du nouveau

"Nous voulons, tant ce feu nous brûle le cerveau,
Plonger au fond du gouffre, Enfer ou Ciel, qu'importe?
Au fond de l'Inconnu pour trouver du nouveau!"

Les Fleurs du Mal - Charles Baudelaire

Such a fire burns our brain,
we want to plunge in an abyss,
who cares if it's heaven or hell,
in deep unknown to find the new.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Luminato

We took the Art Boat from Harbourfront to the Distillery District. In the middle of the lower deck, an artist was painting a dark landscape on a canvas larger than herself. There was a light breeze, enough to let your hair blow in the wind and feel carefree. A singer crooned Moon River. The woman in the photo mimed and coaxed us into dancing. When we docked. large shipping containers were lined on arid brown soil, against a backdrop of grey steel and asphalt. Upon closer inspection, each ribbed-metal container was the size of a small room, and displayed creative videos, sculptures with fluorescent lights, and other multimedia artwork. We crossed the highway, and walked under the bridge towards the Distillery. The huge brick buildings, where whiskey was distilled in the 1860's, have kept their ancient allure. History reverberates thoughout. It is almost palpable when the soles of your shoes adjust to the uneven contours of cobblestones, and you slow down as if moving back in time. A whiff of old Montreal. Jazz bands and singers, scattered around the site, filled the air with wistful melodies. The crowd milled about happily. It was fantastic to see creativity, in all its forms, accessible to a larger public. Food for the soul.

A friend had an extra ticket to see Gore Vidal interviewed by Adam Gopnik at the Elgin, so I tagged along. Toronto seems starved for culture during Luminato events. The line up to see this writer was so long that it wrapped around the block. Mr. Vidal was on a wheelchair but it didn't stop him from being his witty, perspicacious, arrogant yet self-deprecating, gossipy and opinionated self. It's interesting to hear him talk about U.S., his own country as being a liar that always acts in bad faith and hides behind a cloak of invisibility. And he calls Canada, Lady of the Snows ...