Reservoirs of Information

October 30, 2017 | Jen McB

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What was your favourite place as a child? I wonder if the Moulou Theatre is still there. My favourite place as a teen? The library of course. My favourite place as a young adult? The third floor of 80 Spadina, the commercial galleries that loved and supported Canadian artists. It’s not there anymore. The time and the places have changed or the people moved. Other favourite hangout spots change their menus; their names; don’t even remember you were once a regular, then life happened and you got busy. I love the new flavours of this big conglomerate of towns, I still need my 'thinky' spots. 

Cheryl Ruddock slip
"Cheryl Ruddock: Slip" by Cheryl Ruddock, John Kissick and Dawn Owen

I need to sit and read a magazine or a tweet in a café that is not overcrowded and in a place where I do not recognize a soul, “let’s be alone together.”  I need to climb the wooden steps of old town Spadina because going further west than this is weird for an east ender. I wonder what will become of these artists. Where will they go? What else shall they do?  What can we do for them? These little spaces that fewer people know or cannot make time to go to, well, they end up disappearing. This brings on a type of mourning. Loss of continuum; of dreams. Nuit Blanche is great if you have never been introduced to these smaller places, but they are there the whole year. Open on weekends, free for the most part to enter. They ask for nothing but that you might make a small optional donation and sign their guest book with your thoughts.

So I ask you, do you know these places?   

Have you heard of Akimbo.ca?

How can you have a thinky spot without something sublime to mull about?  Why not pull up an eMagazine from RBdigital or PressReader on the way to or from your favourite place? Go see the Kent Monkmans and read up on Joseph Honoré Fragonard so you can make a comparison. Allow us to suggest a few titles to inform your experiences.     

Recommended RBDigital (formerly Zinio) Titles

Zinio bubble gum Paris review
An example from the pages of the Paris Review, which is also a literary publication.

Recommended PressReader Titles

  • Art Press
  • Canadian Art (at a library near you)
  • Arts Circle
  • Inuit Art Quarterly
  • Magazine Art (Montreal)
Arts Circle
See art from China with PressReader, Arts Circle is literally half a world away.

Recommended Print Titles

Border Crossings Magazine (available at Main Street Branch), a quarterly publication, interviews Canadian artists and explores their shows in depth along with great photo reproductions. 

Broken Pencil Magazine, a younger Canadian publication, understands the issues of today and though it’s printed in black and white touches on topics you will not see in safer publications.   

Places of contemplation are reservoirs in the buildings they inhabit, but also the ideas they encompass. They are the visual reference and entry points of our time and if we do not visit them or make use of their contents, we will lose more than just spaces but the elements that mark our shared culture.  Another place has passed this month, let it be the last.         

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