I Am an Art-bitch (Latitude 53)

I’ve written about the band CSS once already in recent months, as an opener to a Melodic Monday entry on Grimes, in fact. But because this is a music reference, I’m okay to play like a broken record and write about this week’s Timely Thursday entry on timotheories with a repetitive start.

Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS) is a rock group from São Paulo, Brazil. The band came together in 2003, which was the year I entered into university for my undergrad BFA in art and design. For the next few years, I became accustomed to their new rave sound. This is back when there was a bar called HALO in the downtown core of Edmonton.

A long time ago, in an Edmonton far, far away, for you younger readers.

Anyways, CSS had this great little ditty called Art-bitch (chorus to follow), and when my graduating class was putting together their final submissions to the exhibition and supplemental catalogue, I witnessed several lyrics come together in the titles of some of my friends final pieces. Titles like Art-bitch, Art-lick, and Art-hole.

Lick lick lick my art-tit
Lick lick lick my art-tit
Suck suck suck my art-hole
Suck suck suck my art-hole

I ain’t no art-ist
I am an art-bitch
I sell my panties to the men i eat
I have no port-fo-lee-o
Cuz i only show
Where there’s free al-co-hol

This is significant because a band like CSS represents an aesthetic gone by, and fashion is often closely associated with visual arts. For instance, new rave took elements from both new wave and rave to produce a fashion look (and sound) that incorporates fluorescent clothing, and similar visual accessories, ie glowsticks. It even had a shelf life, much like fashion, because by the time it got really popular in mid-2008 it kinda just died right then and there. The use of synthetic music combined with apathy and anarchism made it perfect for artists to capitalize on.

And this is totally applicable to the memories I associate with a key group of friends at that time, many of whom continued on their art journey almost immediately after university and are now making waves all over the world, but in totally different ways then they did a decade ago, kinda.

One of those friends now works at Latitude 53, the same one who organizes Manhunt-Edmonton.

Incidentally, I went to see an art opening at his invitation back in January. It was for students of the UofA at Latitude 53 and called Bridging Encounters. This is where I heard Grimes new album blasting away, that’s right, Art Angels was playing in the background. Yes! I thought, this means that the revolving aesthetic is still alive and well.

Which is why I’ve spent all this back story building up to an event that is happening this saturday and which I’m pretty excited about. Latitude regularly hosts exhibitions of two kinds. In their main space artists and curators can submit proposals twice a year, which are reviewed and then selected by a board. A second option exists in the ProjEX Room, where artists and groups can submit work that is midway through it’s process; allowing the audience to contribute in the research and development.

That’s where the exhibition, The Menagerie, comes in. Edmonton visual artist Lisa Jones will be hosting an artist talk on her work this Saturday at 2PM at Latitude 53.

It’s exciting because she is a painter, who is exploring aspects of her physical self and identity through an analogy of the circus! It promises to be a good one! The Facebook event is here, and the Latitude 53 link is here. Address is 10242 106 St NW.

What do you think dear readers? Any fond memories of your art past? Any triggers? Please leave some comments and of course subscribe if you haven’t already to say updated on timely events in my journey and local events!


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