<$otino corsano conceptual art new genres$>

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

TEL-TALK @ Telephone Booth Gallery

TEL-TALK art interventions in telephone booths

Book Launch and Exhibition 
Exhibition continues until July 14, 2012

Exhibition photographs available at

The Tel-talk project brings together artists of varying backgrounds, from across the country, to perform in and or animate a telephone booth in response to themes surrounding public spaces, and the disappearance of traditional phone booths. Artists and writers were invited to contribute a site-specific installation, artwork, or short work of fiction, which references a unique telephone booth location. The installations began in September 2011 and continue through to July 2012. Over the last nine months, each installation was announced and documented on the Tel-talk blog (http://tel-talk.blogspot.ca/).

The Tel-talk project culminates in an exhibition of various works and photo documentations at the Telephone Booth Gallery in Toronto's Junction neighbourhood along with a book launch which outlines contributions to the project in (phone) book form under the Tightrope Books imprint. The project continues online with an open invitation to artists and writers to make their own art interventions.

Selected artists and writers (Tel-talkers) include: Barry Callaghan, Dyan Marie, Julie Voyce, Lizz Aston, Jessica Westhead, Otino Corsano, Tim Laurin, Sheila Butler, Steven Tippin, Stuart Keeler, Tara Cooper, Terry O'Neill and many more. Full list of participants and online: http://tel-talk.blogspot.ca/
Coordinated by: Paola Poletto, Liis Toliao and Yvonne Koscielak

Otino Corsano “Last Call”, 2012


The project “Last Call” consists of three audio pieces.
These sound works are cinematic constructions = film as sound.
Three actors helped with the voice work for these audio works.
Each actor was stationed at the Bell Telephone booth located on the North West corner of Finch Avenue and Bayview Avenue in Toronto.
They all called my home telephone from the payphone for each of the sound recordings. The actors’ dialogue was recorded both on a hand held voice recorder and on my home phone’s answering machine (except for one actor - only hand held recording was created)
The resulting tracks are edited in post-production into 3 tracks by sound engineer Walter Sawan in Vancouver.
The audio files are designed for presentation online and for public reception in a traditional gallery setting.


Actors were asked to improvise a personal narrative metaphorically relating to the following theme: Bell Telephone booths are becoming extinct by the minute. The times we use them are growing smaller and yet the moments we require them are becoming more significant in our times of communication need. Accordingly, these private dialogues created in the moment by actors are meant to overshadow the eventual transformation of communication in the public sphere. This leaves us one last chance to creatively consider the influence of the telephone booth on our lives.

These creative telephone calls are in many ways our 'last call' - our metaphorical conversations with the vanishing telephone booth itself.


Actors were asked to record 4 to 7 telephone conversations from the booth with each take lasting an average of one minute in length. 
Actors ad-libbed all their lines. While these individually constructed dialogues were spontaneously delivered (no use of scripts), some set scenarios were planned in advance. These performed calls simulate a real telephone conversation – just as anyone would leave a quick message on a friend's answering machine. 

I wanted the final audio pieces to have the feel of audio movie trailers. 

Special Thanks:

Otino would like to thank the amazingly creative and generous actors who gave of their time and skills to contribute rich content to this project. Thank you to Maarika Pinkney, Emily Schooley and Ash for their excellent acting help. Thanks also to Liis Toliao and Colleen Osborn for their critical help in sourcing acting talent. Extra-special thanks to Walter Sawan for agreeing to bring his sound engineer expertise in creating the final mixed tracks. I am most grateful to Paola Poletto for inviting me to this project and her continuous support of the “Last Call” project especially in its most crucial stages.

- Otino Corsano, March 2012 

3148 Dundas Street West - Toronto - Ontario - M6P 2A1
(The Junction, Dundas at St. John's Rd.)
647 270 7903 - www.telephoneboothgallery.ca

Contact: Sharlene Rankin, Director

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kim Andrews @ Olga Korper Gallery

I dislike how practical tasks take time away from important objectives and I am on a mission to write about the work in Kim Andrews’ 2012 solo exhibition at Olga Korper Gallery.

I think there is this similar banal plight in artists – to secure time for ‘isolated’ creative endeavors as one of a long list of repetitions. Yet another: the term “painter’s painter” and I have often considered this duplicate designation.  In my view the reference has many meanings. It may refer to the work of an artist who has so drastically reconfigured the medium in advance of any anticipated progression. The take commonly involves these revolutions to be somewhat exclusively appreciated by other specialists who have the perspective of a localized vernacular to both comprehend the maneuver(s) and appreciate the shifted implications. Architects who reconfigure the definition of abode and analogue producers who dismantle digital productions are stereotypes.

“My god, may I know how to spell “Chrysanthemum” in school tomorrow: from among the different ways of writing the word, may I happen upon the right one.”
- The Poetics of Space

There is also a link from the meta-title to mentorship or apprenticing: Mike Kelly draws from the obscurity of Douglas Huebler’s conceptual paradigms; Cindy Sherman ensures Suzy Lake and Elanor Antin get nods at her MOMA retrospective; Koons adopts Johns/Rosenquist/Kostabi for his personal narratives. One does not have to remain in an art realm to discover this entrepreneurial, catapult effect launched by a lucky break generation riffing low-key pioneers. iPads are clearly visible (resting on futuristic cafeteria trays) in stills from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.   

This under-recognition – possible injustice - is the bane of originals; yet notice how I skirt the problematic issue of first origins.  Still, it seems obvious to us – vision after all is instantaneous (or at least a negligible duration) – when a move brings us to a place beyond the board.

Kim Andrews’ work has charted past the boundaries of a very precise and concentrated field of visual study – if not to a point of saturation (the field is inextinguishable) at least to unexpected states of equilibrium (minus the Spalding basketballs). The most recent work makes me reconsider the new territories of experience beyond classifications like vector/bitmap; line/space; vision/light; France/Canada. I enjoy how the inherent formal attributes in certain painting approaches – in this instance a custom structuralism – commands the immediacy and presence of viewership while rendering any documentation a humorous attempt.

I am not a betting man nor do I, like Robert Irwin, have a knack for picking out prize horses at the races or able to confirm by sight the level of customization in collector cars. I do know enough about basic investment to bank on property value and although this conservative approach does not always literally transfer well to landscape paintings, there are new genres more safe than sure. Andrews’ long-term yield is locked since the principal triptych in this show, “Pink, Blue and Yellow”, is pristine and climbs after more than three decades. 

I asked Kim if I could describe these works as figurative and he deferred the read in favor of first intentions - of radiating luminance advancing from the surface (as opposed to any atmospheric or illusory light effects in perspective). Although he later entertained my thought when I evidenced the two thin, gritty yet unified, red strands on the left canvas – the ‘first’ originating from the outside frame at lower left pointing towards a ‘second’ red sliver hovering almost perpendicular and just off center close to top. 

I’ve always found great light-heartedness at the discovery of these seemingly self-graffitied, meandering hairlines revealing the lifeline and signature of the author in a single random mark. The green-tinted skin tones in the center canvas recalled The AGO’s largest Varley loot – although I’m aware this default read is tangent to the objective tenants of Andrews’ specific colour and structure.

Compositions never become more heightened than when they are reduced to streamlined essentials and Andrews has long since mastered this play of planes to a degree where masking, natural edge and transference are pliant to an incalculable sum. This show is about relationships. Between an art dealer and an artist. Involving complexity well put. I am simply fortunate, at one critical point in my academic career, I learned it is the heart which supplies blood to the brain.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Quick Draw Artist Interview #21: Ben Blatt

Quick Draw Artist Interviews are a series of interviews conducted by Otino Corsano using Facebook's IM Chat feature. Spontaneous conversations with international artists are recorded and documented specifically for publication on this blog.

Quick: meteoric. fierce flora and feisty fauna. A sealed chip is preservation. Somehow from where I’m standing the framed and its external source are visible at the same moment only because of both happenstance and a scientific deflection. They were never just nature’s vacancy. Draw: art about art.

Ben Blatt lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He was born in Denver, Colorado and holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has exhibited in New York at White Columns, Half Gallery, Halsey Mckay, Bellwether, Feigen Contemporary, as well as at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI, and V1 Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Read the entire interview with Ben at: