Monocolumn

A daily bulletin of news & opinion

6 September 2014

FILM FESTIVAL: TORONTO

Toronto International Film Festival

Torontonians and visitors alike are snaking around cinemas citywide – both to catch films and glimpses of their favourite stars – for the 39th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. While the festival offers first looks at films with big talent such as Nightcrawler in which Jake Gyllenhaal shed almost 15 kgs for his paparazzi role, don’t miss out on the slew of independent features from other countries. On Sunday catch Life in a Fishbowl, which many speculate will be Iceland’s submission to the Oscars. Directed by Baldvin Zophoníasson, the drama centres around three main characters – a struggling single mother, a drunk poet and an athlete-turned-banker – and what happens when their paths meet. It offers an insight into the country that not many Torontonians nor Icelandic people, for that matter, get to see.

At venues across Toronto, see website for details. Until 14 September.

PAINTING: LONDON

Thérèse Oulton: Elsewhere

The impact of human existence has been imposing its presence increasingly on the natural wonders of our planet. In UK artist Thérèse Oulton’s latest exhibition, Elsewhere, at Marlborough Fine Art gallery she explores this theme by challenging our perspective on landscapes. The artist’s oil paintings depict the land with a sense of dislocation and lost intimacy – representing the often awkward reality of coexistence between humans and nature. These are vivid paintings of expansive coastlines, rolling country hills and mountain peaks never far from being interrupted by man’s footprint.

Marlborough Fine Art, 6 Albemarle Street. Open Monday to Friday, 10.00-17.30; Saturday, 10.00-16.00. Until 27 September.

PHOTOGRAPHY: LA

Haute Couture: The Polaroids of Cathleen Naundorf

LA’s Fahey/Klein Gallery is now featuring an exhibition from famed fashion photographer Cathleen Naundorf, Haute Couture. The works have been collected over six years by Naundorf using Polaroid photography while working with world-renowned fashion designers. The artist blends fashion, art and photography with her Polaroid images of pieces by Chanel, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Elie Saab, Philip Treacy and Valentino. Her distinctive technique was inspired by mentor Horst P Horst, whose own images played with shadow and light and incorporated the characteristics of instant film.

Fahey/Klein Gallery, 148 North La Brea Avenue. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10.00-18.00. Until 11 October.

PAINTING: SINGAPORE

Peter Halley: Solo Exhibition

Ten of American abstract-painter Peter Halley’s acrylic-on-canvas pieces are currently showing at Art Plural Gallery in Singapore. Halley’s use of squares and rectangles are metaphors for prisons and cells used to represent the increasing insularity of the world we live in. When the shapes are depicted in fluorescent bright paint, as Halley is keen on doing, the artist is also perhaps insinuating that we might have been so taken in by the bright lights of today’s technologically advanced world that we have forgotten to pause and make meaningful connections with those around us – either that or he just really likes coloured squares.

Music

Sinkane: Mean Love

Sudanese-American artist Sinkane has been busy carving out a special niche for himself over the past year as guardian of mysterious Nigerian synth-wizard William Onyeabor’s music (Sinkane has being playing the tunes of the elusive, performance-shy maestro across the UK and US). And Onyeabor’s slinky way with some analogue beats has rubbed off on Sinkane for his latest album Mean Love. But the album also features a delightful mix of other elements that really shouldn’t work – such as pedal-steel cowboy guitar over tropical sounding rhythms – and yet simply do. It’s a sound so inviting, carefree and effortless, you wonder why he’s focusing on anything else.

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