This week's Arty Tuesday takes us into Arcade Fire's Reflektor and Geoffrey Farmer's 'Spider House' - as well as anywhere you want to go. What arty things have you been up to this week?
Art speaks. This is where we stop and listen in community.
Share up to three art experiences you've had this week. A gallery show. A movie. A new album. A piece of theatre. Choose based on one criteria - the art made an impact on you. It spoke. It resonated. It won't leave you alone.
Share in the comments, and comment on others' posts.
My name is Dave, and I'll begin this week.
MUSIC: Arcade Fire: Reflektor
I don't buy a lot of music. That doesn't mean I download a lot of music for free - I just don't get new music that often. There are a few bands I follow closely and Arcade Fire is one of those. Having pre-bought the new album a month ago on iTunes, I was very excited to get my 'download is ready' email. The album has not been a disappointment. I am loving the fusion of electronic beats with organic rhythms. I read that this album bears the fingerprints of travels in Haiti and it's easy to hear the influences in the rhythms alone. I think Arcade Fire have done a masterful job blending their own unique, anthemic style with the joy and infectious danceability they found in Haitian music. This album is a lot of fun! But it is, as all Arcade Fire albums are, deeper too.
I'm still sifting through the lyrics (my life doesn't allow a lot of 'sit down and listen through this' moments). So far, there are many lines making me think. 'Thought you would bring me to the resurrector / turns out it was just a reflector' points to our loss of intimacy and spirituality found throughout the song Reflektor - we've created idols that simply reflect us back upon ourselves infinitely. The line also makes me think of the time I was in the Mormon temple for a tour and saw a room with mirrors on each side, reflecting back and forth into a simulated eternity. I seem to remember some Mormon roots for Arcade Fire (correct me if I'm wrong) so I wonder if that's part of the reference here?
Here Comes the Night Time is chock full of contrasts between the people in the streets and the people of the religious establishments. Indictments against missionaries are here, knocks on televangelists and even jabs at the theology of heaven and hell. But this is not just deconstructive railing. Arcade Fire has found beauty in the sounds of the streets of Haiti, and in that beauty I think they've seen God, and they have noticed how blind to him the Christians seem to be -
"And when they hear the beat, coming from the street, they lock the door
But if there's no music up in heaven, then what's it for?"
(see full lyrics with some interesting notes here - http://rock.rapgenius.com/Arcade-fire-here-comes-the-night-time-lyrics)
That line alone could be a sermon.
What's grabbing you on this album?
GALLERY: The Intellection of Lady Spider House
Both of my kids were too scared to go inside this massive haunted house / installation at the Art Gallery of Alberta. I have to admit that opening the broom-handled door that led into darkness and mystery, I was spooked, too.
A haunted house in an art gallery over Halloween sounds like a gimmick, but this installation by Geoffrey Farmer really works. It works as a haunted house, and it works as a fascinating art installation. It is immersive and it is scary. It is impressive and calls out for engagement. It is unlike anything else I've seen, really.
What was interesting for me were the things I was afraid of. There are typical spooky elements, like severed limbs and spiders. But then, there are areas where I wasn't sure I could go. There were no clearly marked signs to go this way or interact in that way, and so I found myself to afraid to be curious in some cases. At one point the path leads under a bridge, through a tiny little tunnel. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I was allowed in there, so I went around. My fears about breaking things, including the rules, were rising up and choking me. This exhibit revealed some things about me that I don't like to see.
It is dense and worth more than one visit, so it is good that we have until January 12 to visit the 'house' time and again.
Have you been? What did you think?
Please join the comments below - I'd love to talk about these, or any other art with you this week.