Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekend Adventures: City Centre Market, Art Gallery, Rain

On Saturday morning I hopped on my bike and checked out the grand opening of City Market for the 2009 season. City Centre is Edmonton's original Farmer's Market and is located downtown. There are more vendors than ever, and I picked up a few Latin American style bead necklaces. Unfortunately, one of them fell off my neck as I was cycling to my next destination. I also enjoyed a Fat Franks hot dog and a small bag of kettle popcorn. I considered it to be a balanced lunch! A short opening ceremony featured many local politicians giving short speeches, including Mayor Mandel. Check out some photos here.

I ran into quite a few people I know at City Market, including a few I have not seen for a while. I've also started to notice more and more of my Internet friends in real life. Sometimes I say hello and introduce myself in person; other times I am not quite sure if it really is the person, so I avoid doing anything so as not to embarass myself. However, I for sure saw Mack, Sharon, and @jasdarrah - although I was not positive it was Jas until later on. Fellow photographer Ian McKenzie had a similar incident seeing me, but wasn't completely sure. Internet friends - if you see me wandering around this summer at Edmonton's many festivals, events, and attractions - please say hi!

Anyways, after I left City Market I did a quick bike ride around the McCauley neighbourhood to see what was up. Saw one of my friends who was on his way to a family member's baptism and we had a quick chat. Then, it was off to the Art Gallery of Alberta. I was mistakenly told that the gallery was open in its original location, currently being rebuilt. However, teh sign on the construction fence indicated otherwise, so I pedaled in the direction of Enterprise Square, where the AGA is temporarily located. I had a free pass (a stamped passport from the recent 124th Street Art Walk) and was particularly interested in the "Koshashin" exhibit of photographs from 19th century Japan. The exhibit was huge and the variety of images blew me away, especially the coloured ones. If you wanted a colour photograph in those days, it had to be coloured by hand. The results look somewhat between a photo and painting. There was another Japan-related exhibit of paintings done of 53 rest stations that Japanese princes would pass through on their annual trip to Tokyo.

An exhibit that I was not expecting was "Polaroids," by Attila Richard Lukacs and Michael Morris. This collection of over 3000 Polaroid images depict masculinity and male behaviour in ways that differ from popular culture. In particular, there are many photos of skinheads and Neo-Nazis that emerged in Berlin after the fall of the Wall. The photos are at once disturbing and fascinating, with poses that represent work, play, sexuality, and other themes. Seeing the huge walls literally covered in Polaroids was overwhelming to say the least, especially when most of the models were in various stages of undress (we're talking Full Monty here). I would expect this kind of exhibit more at an independent gallery than the AGA - it took a lot of courage for them to take on something like this. A related exhibit, "Leaving Olympia," explored different depictions of the nude figure, both male and female, and in different time periods.

All of that Japanese art made me hungry for sushi, so I biked over to Kyoto on 109 street. Avocado sushi and vegetable tempura make me happy.

Today I threw my 24-speed on the bus for the first time this season. I took the #4 which brought me to Whyte Avenue to check out the closing sale of Southside Sound. I am very sad to hear of this store's imminent closure, as I have spent many a time browsing through the once-extensive folk and World sections. Unexpected rain put a damper (ha ha) on my afternoon, so I was able to make it back home on my transfer.

It's a long weekend and I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but according to weather reports it is going to be nasty. Likely I will stay home and edit, upload videos, work on my new online art portfolio (more on this later), and geek out with some movies and comics.

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