Sunday, October 21, 2007

Morris & Trasov // The Great Learning

Excerpt from Micheal Morris's and Vincent Trasov's
multimedia media performance, Western Front, Oct 20/07

The very charming artists Morris/Trasov created an elegant evening at the Lux Ballroom of the Western Front to share their 1969-74 Archives that celebrate the duo's inter-related history with Fluxus, General Idea, Ray Johnson, Robert Filiou, Glen Lewis, Kate Craig, Eric Metcalfe, Byron Black and others.

While Miles Black played mellow jazz stylings on the historic WFront baby grand piano, Michael (Morris) and Vincent (Trasov) showed still photos, film, and power point documentation of mail art/magazines/historic texts. They shared art-object-ephemera with the audience including The Hands of the Spirit, Shark Skin Caps, and a two dimensional shark fin that was passed vaudeville-style-person-to-person-&-row-to-row for some audience participation. Best of all, there was a quiet ironing aktion performed by Michael Morris; he brought out the ironing board, plugged in an iron and reverently ironed a little black cocktail dress. I have seen scads of documentation of his iconic ironing performances from Canada and Berlin but it was a treat to see this live.

Many seminal ideas and concepts were developed in that era about the nature of art, culture, glamour, representation, advertising, image-making, mythology, community, memory. [There is an excellent essay by Scott Watson on the Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art webpage reprinted from the catalogue. Click on Scott's name left and it should take you there or google CCCA.]

The evening was an emotional performance event because many of the artists shown on the screen have left our planet. Watching this "performing archive" was a living memorial to our art comrades who have died.

Film excerpt, detailing the The History of the Sharkfin Cap
from Micheal Morris's and Vincent Trasov's
multimedia media performance at Western Front Oct 20/07

Trasov/Morris balanced fun and nostalgia like two favourite uncles telling epic family stories including the best gossipy bits. Handsomely turned out in suits and Hand of the Spirit jewellery, Trasov/Morris nimbly followed Granada Gazelle's infamous advice "to capture glamour without falling into it".
... respectfully submitted by Margaret Dragu

LIVE5 Photos: Morris/Trasov Photo Set

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