Monday, March 3, 2014

OT4: Men of Canada

Stephen Fowler, the proprietor of the Monkey’s Paw, currently has an art piece exhibiting at the 26 art space centering around a set of old books, so of course I went to check it out.

The forefathers of our country?

Without giving too much away, this multimedia exhibit stems from a set of anthologies titled “Men of Canada” dating from the late 1800’s which was not unlike a giant yearbook for distinguished men of the Dominion. 

Does not highlight how thick these books were.

Pairing carefully extracted photographs and one-line bios taken out of context (one of my favourite things to do) with an original score, it’s an entertaining look at the upper society men of our great country a century and a half ago. It’s okay to laugh.  

Who doesn't love logic like that?

The whole piece is only 12 minutes long and runs on repeat cycling through five categories. I found myself sitting through multiple times out of fascination, and partly because I don't know why I was so amused by the poor guy who became distinguished by losing everything in a fire.

I know, I'm a terrible person.

The books themselves were also on display and the covers were simply gorgeous.

Design principles in the 1800's.

There's also method to the madness of how the categories were organized. It becomes pretty clear early on if you like to judge people like I do, otherwise you might need a second viewing.

The face of justice.

“Men of Canada” will be playing continuously for the next three Saturdays at the 26 art space at

26 Mackenzie Crescent (a block or so from the Monkey's Paw) from 2-6pm. If you like old-timey photos and quirky facial hair, go check it out.


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