Canadian Art - - Legacy -

1. A Man­tis* reads a book of poetry* on a rock out­crop­ping:

A way out of the mir­ror

was found by the im­age that re­al­ized its ex­is­tence

was only… a stranger, com­pletely like my­self

A way out for ever! Has not been found to en­ter the ground whence the images rise, and re­peat them­selves

* ME * KADDISH AND OTHER PO­EMS 1958–1960 by Allen Gins­berg.

2. Part of a grotto from Schloss Hell­brunn, an early Baroque villa near Salzburg, which is fa­mous for its wa­tergames. There is the rain grotto, the mir­ror grotto and an­other with a dragon com­ing out of a hole in a rock, who drinks from a foun­tain and van­ishes again.

3. An ex­pres­sion in­spired by bu­reau­cracy.

4. The bird of un­cer­tainty peck­ing my face. (This bird comes from a ce­ramic tile from Villa d’este, Tivoli, Italy, where I saw many birds drink­ing from foun­tains.)

5. Part of the Trevi Foun­tain, at the junc­tion of three roads (tre vie), marks the ter­mi­nal point of one of the aque­ducts that supplied wa­ter to an­cient Rome. It was de­signed by Ital­ian ar­chi­tect Ni­cola Salvi, who died when his work was half-fin­ished. He made sure that a stub­born bar­ber’s un­sightly sign would not spoil the en­sem­ble, hid­ing it be­hind a sculpted vase that Ro­mans called the asso di coppe, or “Ace of Cups.”

6. The sig­na­ture of Vit­tore Carpac­cio, from the paint­ing Meet­ing of the Be­trothed Cou­ple and the De­par­ture of the Pil­grims (1495), which I pho­tographed at the Gal­lerie dell’ac­cademia dur­ing my first trip to Venice. It is a mas­sive paint­ing, about 9-feet-high by 20-feet-wide, and near its cen­tre is a flag pole. And on the flag pole’s mar­ble base is his sig­na­ture. And above his sig­na­ture is a very small black scor­pion, which, when I no­ticed it, be­came the pro­tag­o­nist of the paint­ing.

7. A pray­ing man­tis made of glass, by Vit­to­rio Costan­tini. Visit his shop in Cannare­gio on Calle del Fumo, 5311, 30121, Venice. As well, if any­one has Ar­naud Spire’s text “Ger­maine Richier or the strat­egy of the pray­ing man­tis,” which ap­peared in L’hu­man­ité on May 9, 1996, could you please send me a copy.

8. Bot­tles col­lected from the shores of Venice and used in a poster to en­cour­age peo­ple to drink tap wa­ter to re­duce plas­tic waste. More than 20 mil­lion tourists visit Venice each year, con­sum­ing 13 mil­lion bot­tles of wa­ter. There are pub­lic drink­ing foun­tains in al­most ev­ery square, but tourists are afraid to drink from them. Float­ing among the bot­tles is a fig­ure from Al­fred Ku­bin’s Grotesque An­i­mal World (1898).

9. A pic­ture of a print of a flamingo taken in Ben Lomond, Cal­i­for­nia, at my friend Tom’s house, which is a con­verted horse sta­ble sur­round­ing a pool with a black bot­tom. The house is filled with ta­pes­tries, folk art,

11. News­pa­per clip­ping from the In­ter­na­tional Her­ald Tri­bune from Fri­day, June 21, 1968. The head­line reads: “ARTS AND CLUBS Po­lice in Venice charge stu­dents de­mon­strat­ing in Saint Mark’s Square against the Bi­en­nale yes­ter­day, the sec­ond day of protests. Many artists have with­drawn their works in sym­pa­thy.”

12. Ce­ramic tiles from the 16th cen­tury from Villa d’este, Tivoli, Italy. Ken­neth Anger filmed Eaux d’ar­ti­fice (1953) among the wa­ter fea­tures of the gar­den. The fa­mous wa­ter or­gan, which had not func­tioned for many years, was re­stored and now plays again each day. The tile is stuck in the shell of a Ra­pana venosa, a species of large preda­tory sea snail.

13. iphone 6 Plus with notes: The Repub­lic of Venice first rose as a ma­jor mil­i­tary power through par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Fourth Cru­sade, where Vene­tian troops were among those ef­fect­ing the con­quest of Con­stantino­ple. Venice then fought a pro­tracted se­ries of wars with Genoa and Pisa for dom­i­na­tion of the Mediter­ranean trad­ing routes. With the rise of the Ot­toman Em­pire, the Repub­lic lost its ter­ri­to­ries in the east as Cyprus and Vene­tian strongholds in Morea were oc­cu­pied; at the same time, the rise of the Vis­conti in Mi­lan drew Venice into the con­dot­tiere war­fare of Italy.

14. Ac­cord­ing to leg­end, a pet mon­key kept at the palazzo was pos­sessed by the devil. Dur­ing an ex­or­cism, the mon­key flew through the wall, leav­ing a big hole that the owner cov­ered with the shrine of the angel.

15. Por­trait of the Four Te­trar­chs (ranked #153 of 498 things to do in Venice) in por­phyry brought from Con­stantino­ple in 1204. A re­view from Trip Advisor: “SMALL STAT­UES... A not im­pres­sive mon­u­ment that can be seen at one of the Doge’s Palace court en­try. It con­sists in two pairs of char­ac­ters, al­most iden­ti­cal, sticked to the wall.”

16. Mush­rooms ex­tracted from a card de­pict­ing Alice in Won­der­land, which was bought from the Win­dow Com­mu­nity Art Shop on 1 East Hast­ings Street, Van­cou­ver, and given to my pro­ject man­ager, Karl, at the Kun­st­giesserei St. Gallen, to thank him for his help on my pro­ject. On one of the mush­rooms is a frag­ment of a draw­ing by An­nie Pootoo­gook, ti­tled Bal­ve­nie Cas­tle (2006). An­nie Pootoo­gook died of sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances on Septem­ber 19, 2016, in Ottawa.

17. Peter Pit­se­o­lak High School in Cape Dorset, Nu­navut, burns to the ground, three youth charged.

18. A wood carv­ing of mush­rooms given to me by Kitty Scott. A stop sign from a photograph of a col­li­sion be­tween a train and my Grand­fa­ther’s lum­ber truck. He died a few months af­ter the ac­ci­dent.

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