About alinakulesh

At a very young age Alina made the commitment to Art, Film, and Media. Currently, Alina is working for a media production company that tells stories on behalf of brands. Prior to entering into the world of media production and advertising, Alina explored portrait and life drawing. Uber-curious, Alina finds beauty in the ugly, intriguing, and ridiculous.

McLuhan 100: Celebrating The Now, Then.

Art at its most significant is a distant early warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen. –Marshall McLuhan

Tonight, dozens of people gathered to celebrate the frightfully accurate vision of Marshall McLuhan. My first introduction to him was while completing my undergraduate degree in Film & Media. His name was amidst those of Laura Mulvey and Walter Benjamin, the sacred theorists of media and culture (or lack there of). Wearing many hats, McLuhan coined the term “the medium is the message” and predicted the creation of The World Wide Web several decades before its shaping.

McLuhan, Mulvey, Benjamin and I spent four years together–many late nights in the comforts of my bedroom. Their names reappeared in my mind as I typed furiously to meet countless deadlines. It wasn’t until today, in midst of eclectic haircuts and wine, that I witnessed his true reach in the art world, media, and my daily life.(I will restrain myself from filling this word count with a decertation on McLuhan’s lullabiac influence, but I strongly encourage you to Google him, if not now then later.)

“Signals From The Dew Line” is an exhibit running from November 8th -13th on the second floor of the Gladstone Hotel. New media projects and paintings showcase the artist’s own takeaways from McLuhan’s theories and writings.

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Highlight: The Colours of Chagall

It’s all about colour at the new AGO Exhibit Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde“.  Running from October 18th 2011 – January 15 2012, with a concentration on the lucious art pieces of Marc Chagall (32 works total), the exhibit also features works of Wassily Kandinsky (a personal favourite), Kasimir Malevich, Vladimir Tatlin, Natalia Goncharova, and Sonia Delaunay.  The AGO does a tremendous job detailing historical occurances of Chagall’s world and illuminating the artist’s inspirations. Accompanying photographs and video footage deepend the understanding of the artists’ world and motifs.

Colour Is The Pulse Of A Work Of Art – AGO

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Nuit Blanche 2011

When asked to recap Nuit Blanche the next morning it often comes to me like an impressionist painting to an artist–I remember the colours, the gist, and the movement, but the factual detail is blurry.  A free all-night contemporary art event that is sponsored by Scotiabank, Nuit Blanche runs from 6:59PM to sunrise (approximately 7AM). In full discretion, I have never made it past 4AM, not because of exhaustion but mostly because of the cold.  Many people complain about the disorganization of the (free) event–but are we really in a position to complain (most likely on free services such as Facebook or Twitter) about it? Sure, there is room for improvement. Perhaps Nuit Blanche is the opportunity that lands on our door step, allowing us to take matters into our own hands.

There were two very distinct events / exhibitions that I visited this year that left an inspirational imprint:

1.  The Feast of Trimalchio (2009-2011) by EAS+F Group, Moscow, Russia.  This rotunda style exhibit featured 9 HD screens that enclosed the audience in an intimate outdoor setting.  Inspired by ‘Satyricon’ (by Gaius Petronius Arbiter), Trimalchio paints a vivid moving picture filled with 21st century luxuries and classist behaviours.  Unnaturally poetic, this three part piece is transformational and uncanny; allowing the audience to observe the translating roles of the ‘Masters’ and the ‘Servants’.  Visually,  Trimlachio is evocative of Renaissance paintings–the composition, the saturated colours, and the emphasis on the body and its surroundings.  The piece itself is quite erotic with an undeniable musical fluidity.

The Feast of Trimalchio is a modern masterpiece.

2.  The Gladstone Hotel never fails to impress me.  This year Fly By Night offered many performances, exhibits, and a good time.  The newly renovated Melody Bar was hopping with live music. Specifically, Lemon Bucket Orkestra kept the party going with its Eastern European tunes–they are a personal favourite gem that never fails to get the crowd riled up.

My favourite experience in the Gladstone was in Room 214.  As you walked up to the door two curtains blocked the door frame. You stood and waited. Suddenly, the curtains flew open and inside was a random group of people (fellow Nuit Blanche visitors) having a great time, happy to see you, and dancing away to loud music.  This experience encapsulated the exact moment of a party entrance and how one feels when walking into a really great house party.  Room 214 was a party that you never wanted to leave.

What were some of your favourite Nuit Blanche moments?

REVIEW: Square Foot

On Saturday, August 6th AWOL Gallery was having their 9th Annual Square Foot Show.  Taking place at Twist Gallery, the show featured over 1250 artworks. There are really no restrictions — each artist is allowed to submit 3 art pieces, any medium(s) can be used, and all subject matters are welcome. The only catch is, you guessed it, the art piece has to be a foot in width and height, no exceptions.  To add some more consistency AWOL also priced each art piece at $225.

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Haute Culture : General Idea

AA Bronson, one of the three founders of General Idea.

Last night I attended the Member’s Preview for the new exhibit Haute Culture: General Idea at the Art Gallery of Ontario.  Living on the fourth and fifth floor, the Haute Culture exhibit offers a profound retrospective of an art group who had an immensely prolific career known as General Idea. Founded in 1969 in Toronto, General Idea is vital to the construction of the diverse and vibrant art scene in Toronto.

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Exhibit Highlight: Fellini Comes To Town

There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life. -Frederico Fellini

I wouldn’t be true to myself if I didn’t say that Fellini is one of my favourite film Directors. His work has influenced and inspired many filmmakers, actors, and fashion designers.  I was overwhelmingly excited to hear that TIFF Bell Lightbox was presenting Toronto with a grand collection of Fellini films and a Fellini Exhibit: Spectacular Obsessions.  The exhibit runs from June 30 to September 18 2011, showcasing the influence pop culture and celebrity had in Fellini’s films, but most importantly how Fellini influenced pop culture, reality television, and “the celebrity”.  Through drawings, photographs, original film posters, Fellini’s cartoonist work, interviews an clips from films, we are introduced to the mastermind’s thoughts, inspirations, and influences.  Noah Cowan, the exhibit organizer observes:

This exhibition takes us through the different ways in which the great Italian director made work that continues to inform popular culture today. From the paparazzi to celebrity reality TV, from HBO’s Rome to MTV’s Spring Break, they all owe a debt to Il Maestro Fellini.

Of course, Spectacular Obsession is accompanied by a curated film programme.  If you have never been introduced to Fellini’s work, make sure to check out La Dolce Vita, La Strada, and 8 1/2. TIFF is also holding several Fellini inspired events, such as; La Dolce Vita – Food and Film and Fellini Dream Double Bills. If you are looking to further your Fellini exhibit experience, TIFF is inviting visitors to Tweet their obsession–using the #FelliniTIFF hashtag and attaching an image.  The visitors’ responses appear on the big screen at the Bell Lightbox.

What’s your obsession?