Category Archives: art

Time and Space for Good News

After 8.5 hours...just exited The Clock to a beautiful morning

Through Advent, I will be writing reflections on the lectionary texts for the website Light Reflections, and reposting them here. Hope you enjoy! Please feel free to use any of them in sermon, teaching or other church education type prep.

Luke 3:1-6

3In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler* of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler* of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler* of Abilene, 2during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” ’

These stories about John in the wilderness are so familiar that I risk no longer fully hearing them. I can jump right over the political positioning in the first few lines to get straight to the heart of proclamation because familiarity makes me think that’s where the meaning is. But not this year. This year I’m trying to dwell in the time and space established by those first few lines to see what might reside there. Continue reading

Another Open Letter to the AGO

Dear AGO,
Every morning on my way to work, I pass a poster advertising your current exhibit, “Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting.” Now, I’m an art lover. So you would think I would be excited that I get to stroll past your art images each morning. You would think your posters would inspire me to walk a few extra blocks from my workplace to check out your exhibit on my lunch-break. But, in fact, each time I pass this poster, I find myself less inspired than angry. The poster reads: “She painted a diary of her life. He painted a diary of Mexico.” Continue reading

The Space Between Words

Given how sad – livid – I am that one of my favourite paintings was vandalized this week, I’ve been digging through some old files to see if I can find the piece I wrote on it 7 years ago. It’s funny to read an old piece of writing – a little embarrassing, but also kind of fun to be reminded of the things that moved me back then…many of which still do today. I get that to a lot of people, most paintings by Mark Rothko look the same – I’m posting this old piece of writing because for those of us who love his work, there are paintings with which we’ve spent hours of time in conversation and contemplation, paintings of his with which we’ve developed old, familiar friendships. The one that was defaced is one paintings of those for me.

I wrote this piece in 2005 while I was living in London. I wrote it in part for fun, but also with the thought that I might share it with my various friends who visited over the year, take them to the Tate, and let them enjoy this little aesthetic experience I’d put together. The Tate has since rearranged the room in which the Seagram Murals are housed, painted it with brighter colours (I liked the old version, in which I wrote this piece better). Nevertheless, the integrative art experience would still work – so if you find yourself in London, maybe pop on a little Ani, and make your way to the Tate with what follows after the jump in hand Continue reading

Transcending Memory

I am usually in bed by 9:30, to fall asleep reading by 10:15, 10:30 or so. It’s been years since 10pm marked the start of my evening rather than its end. But last night I made an exception, trudging out of the house at 9:20pm and making my way down to The Power Plant at the Toronto Harbourfront to see if I could pull an all-nighter to watch a good chunk of Christian Marclay’s, The Clock.

I expected long lines and a minimum 1-2, probably 3, hour wait, which is I why I aimed to be there for 10. I wanted to be in the room when the clock struck midnight. But I arrived just in time to be the last person let in before the line-ups began.

The Clock is a 24 hour video compilation of short clips from films (and some tv shows), each of which contains some reference to the time, Continue reading