A daily bulletin of news & opinion

11 January 2014


Fringe Toronto: Next Stage Theatre Festival

The Next Stage Theatre Festival (NSTF), now in its seventh year, sees Toronto residents braving frigid temperatures to visit the Factory Theatre on Bathurst Street for two eclectic weeks of shows. Performances this weekend range from street-dance event Jack Your Body, courtesy of the Toronto-based Mix Mix Dance Collective, to a solo stand-up show exploring father-son relationships from local Toronto humourist Sam S Mullins. Produced by the people behind Fringe Toronto, NSTF is the season’s leading theatre event for new ideas and also a stage for performers to further develop recent successes.

Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street. See website for show times. Until 19 January.


Montréal-Paris In Loco

In 2011 photographers Thomas Bouquin and Pascal Amoyel – residents of Montréal and Paris respectively – started a transatlantic photography project inspired by their home cities. The photos they’ve taken since vary from documentary-style outdoor snaps to more subjective portraits, and this latest exhibition at Éditions Loco gallery in Paris launches the sixth in a collection of corresponding image booklets – the final installment of the series. But Paris and Montréal look pretty good together, as do Bouquin and Amoyel’s photographs, so the story might not be over yet.

Éditions Loco, 6 rue Charles-François Dupuis. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 14.00-19.00. Until 8 February.


Logical Progressions

Singaporean artist Song-Ming Ang’s solo exhibition opens this weekend at Fost Gallery located in the city-state’s contemporary art hub, Gillman Barracks. Ang’s show uses video, photos and drawings to probe the meaning of music. The centrepiece is a two-channel video of Ang playing music by Bach on a harpsichord in a Baroque-era villa in Germany entitled “Backward Bach”. The first film shows the artist, who has no musical training, playing “Prelude in C Major” the regular way. The second film shows him playing the same piece in reverse. By fumbling his way through, Ang tests the boundaries of the musical rulebook while also taking the viewer on a journey of discovery.

Fost Gallery, 1 Lock Road, #01-02, Gillman Barracks. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11.00-19.00; Sunday, 11.00-18.00. Until 2 March.


The Pleasure in Boredom

If you enjoy letting the mind wander and happen to be in Dubai this weekend, stop by Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde for Tehran-born artist Nargess Hashemi’s latest solo exhibition The Pleasure in Boredom. Hashemi’s habit of doodling as a child became a lifelong obsession and inspired her current show that features the “Home and Carpet” series – vibrant compositions consisting of simple, repetitive shapes, abstract cityscapes and complex designs that resemble Oriental carpets. The works bring to life challenging art techniques while upholding the cultural customs that Hashemi grew up with.

Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Street 8, Alserkal Avenue, Unit 17,
Al Quoz 1. Open Saturday to Thursday, 10.00-19.00. Until 27 February.


Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Wig Out at Jagbags

Every two or three years we’re invited by ever-reluctant US slacker-pop-guitar-god Stephen Malkmus to “wig out” with a handful of freshly melodic new jams. His latest release, Wig Out at Jagbags, is being touted as a small landmark for the Portland Oregon-based tunesmith and his latter-day band, the Jicks – in that they’ve now surpassed the number of albums made by Malkmus’ acclaimed former group, Pavement, back in the 1990s. But that matters little, as Wig Out at Jagbags continues a consistent run of eccentric guitar-pop albums that have actually outlived and outshone many more polished production teams' hit’n’miss efforts over the years. The difference being that Malkmus is (still) making it look easy.

Wig Out at Jagbags is available to buy now.


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