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Culture Vulture: Banksy, L'amour à trois & Elektra

Why are so many of us downright fascinated by street art? Is it its raw, unsullied, frameless nature? The illegality of the creative act, with the need to express oneself greater than its potential repercussions? Or the anonymity of the exposed work, with the originators of murals and tags often lurking in the shadows of their lauded creations (Roadsworth circa 2001, anyone?) For me, it's all of those, coupled with the fact that you can stroll by at any given time, dusk or dawn, to marvel at its ephemeral beauty...and it won't cost you a penny. 


Street art made mysterious and cheeky
Who better to delve into the matter - with his signature satirical and self-deprecating style - than the urban world's equivalent to MJ, the name on every street art aficionado's lips from Manila to Bogotá, the notoriously MIA man of political dissent, London's Banksy. In his ''pseudo-documentary'' Exit through the gift shop, which is being billed as "the world's first street art disaster movie", Banksy himself appears under a hood, blurred out and voice digitally altered to make room for a smattering of the world's greatest street artists doing what they do best, where they thrive and how they get it done. It's all framed around the a tale of French-born, L.A.-based filmmaker Thierry Guetta (love it) who feels this uncontrollable yearning to record everything with his camera, leading him to "document" street artists in their element. The film has garnered overwhelmingly positive buzz post-Sundance preem, and it'll be interesting to see how the popularity of such a film might impact the culture of street art and how it's regulated.  

AMC Forum | banksyfilm.com



Threesomes gone silent, Mainline goes holy
For those looking to satiate their stage cravings, two interesting offers are up for grabs. On the French, though speechless end of things is L'amour à trois at Espace Libre. And by threesome, they're referring to 3 texts (Tibullus, La femme aux peupliers, Cornemuse), 3 directors (Francine Apelin, Caroline Binet, Marie-Ève Gagnon) amd 3 tales of lascivious desires in which actors speak through movements and rhythms. It's a three-way clusterfuck of love set in different eras, and the cast (which includes the always stellar François Papineau and Markita Boies) will work its way through author Larry Tremblay's texts in what's gearing up to be a veritable pageant of non-verbal articulations and intimations.

1945, Fullum | espacelibre.qc.ca

Also, one of NIGHTLIFE's Class of 2010 performing artists, Paul Van Dyck presents his latest work Mission Drive at Mainline Theatre until May 15. You might have caught a glimpse of the 2010 MECCA "revelation" prizewinner in The Mid Life Crisis of Dionysus’ arresting (read: skinful) promo shots, but the latest play he’s directing, producing and performing in is more mystery, less fornication. Penned by local playwright Ned Cox (HELLAVATOR, Duplicity Girls), it's the tale of a little church parish on the verge of financial ruin that receives the surprise visit of a billionaire. The wealthy mystery man offers to save the beloved place of worship…in exchange for the reverend working overtime to save his soul. Sounds juicy.

3997, St-Laurent | mainlinetheatre.ca


Elektric discharge of wicked art
Finally, you know spring is in full swing when the cutting-edge digital arts crew over at Elektra is charging ahead with a line-up that’s so forward-thinking, it makes Willie Gibson look like a techno relic (Is he? Still a big Neuromancer fan, on a purely personal note). In any case, the 11th edition if the fest bursts out of the gates today and runs till Sunday. Too many events and performances to list here, but the two I’m most looking forward to are Laser Sound Performance, an immersive laser beam, colour wave and Xtreme sensory assault by Dutch artist Edwin van der Heide. (May 6, 7 and 8)

And then there’s Herman Kolgen, the local (don’t be fooled by the name) multi-disciplinary master we featured in an interview piece here last week. Kolgen has a wholly unique and engrossing approach to matter and texture – whether it’s a stark naked human body or a teeny dust particle – capturing it in a way that’s both alienating and darkly magnetic. He’ll be presenting a retooled version of Inject as well as the North American premiere of Dust. No Claritin needed, the particles will only be floating ever so ethereally on jumbo screens at Usine C.