Excerpt from Art or War, “Focus and Vision: Viktor Mitic’s Precise Bullets”

Focus and Vision: Viktor Mitic’s Precise Bullets

Viktor Mitic’s paintings shimmer and move. They look back at you. They hunt you down. Maybe it’s the oil or acrylic, the gold leaf or exotic pigments used. Perhaps, even, the light that emanates from the perfect holes created by his point-blank bullets.

Mitic says that “channelling the proper energy” and “choosing the right ammo” for his bullet paintings is very important, and I believe him. He is classically trained, with the skill of a marksman. Mitic has painted portraits of Jean Chretien, Lucien Bouchard, and Preston Manning. He knows how to please the nervous Conservative, and he can certainly do Traditional with flair. A trickster, and not one to cower from controversy, Mitic has taken a creative stance and begun shooting bullets into his paintings. To date he has shot paintings of Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Benazir Bhutto, John F. Kennedy, and other iconic figures from politics and popular culture. And, as Ewan Whyte writes in his Preface, there is “no scattershot, no wild swing of the gun without thought.”

On a recent trip to Montreal, I stopped in at Drawn and Quarterly Books. I hadn’t been to the store before, but sought it out because I had been thinking about Mitic’s work and Tightrope’s vision of having writers respond to his bullet paintings. I was thinking about how the writers would offer new perspectives and insights, tap into the energy of the paintings, discuss what was triggered (sorry, couldn’t resist) by Mitic’s bullets. I was looking for academic insights for pulling these concepts together. Drawn and Quarterly has a wonderful collection of graphic novels and art books. When graphic novels first came out I remember thinking there was no way they would last—people want “real” literature, not comic books. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The energy of the bookstore was phenomenal. Literature had morphed with art, and apparently I had missed the transformation. The younger generation has whole-heartedly embraced a new way of telling stories and reading text through images. Imagine!


For more information about Art or War or to purchase the book, please click here.

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In The Dark | Ed. Halli Villegas & Myna Wallin

In the Dark, edited by Halli Villegas and Myna WallinISBN: 9780973864557
Pub Date: 2006

Featuring twenty-eight works by Canadian authors that encompass everything from madmen and ghosts to poltergeists and spooks, In the Dark offers something for everyone.

Beginning with the introduction right through to the very last piece, the contributors grapple with ghosts and all the other denizens of the unknown in unexpected ways, pinning them to the page with words.

With In the Dark, editors Myna Wallin and Halli Villegas bring together a collection of stories that are by turns witty, eerie and frightening. Every story is as unique as the dark shadows of each writer s imagination, the place where all supernatural stories begin.

Featuring work from Sandra Kasturi, Catherine Graham, JYT Kennedy, JH Korda, Denise E Bolen, Priscila Uppal, Pelayo Matute, Katharine King, Brett Alexander Savory, Michael Kelly, Suzanne Bowness, John Barlow, Stephen Humphrey, Andrew Leith Macrae, Heather Wood, PG Tarr, Gemma Files, Halli Villegas, Barb Rebelo, Colin Martin, Ewan Whyte, Christopher Caniff, Joanna Sworn, Bruce Meyer, Myna Wallin, I Colalillo-Katz, EP Leeson, Ursula Pflug, and Elana Wolff.

Click to read an excerpt from In The Dark.

Halli Villegas has published two books of poetry, Red Promises (Poetry, Guernica Editions, 2001) and In the Silence Absence Makes (Poetry, Guernica Editions, 2004). Her chapbook, The Human Cannonball, appeared in fall 2005 with Believe Your Own Press. She contributed the piece, “Bond, Jane Bond” to the anthology Girls Who Bite Back, (Sumach Press, 2004) edited by Emily Pohl-Weary. She received 2006 OAC funding for a collection of stories that includes Hair Wreath.

Myna Wallin is an author and editor in Toronto. She is also an organizer and host of the Art Bar Poetry Series. Her first poetry collection was A Thousand Profane Pieces (Tightrope Books, 2006), and her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including The Algonquin Square Table Anthology, Contemporary Verse 2, Existere, Eye Weekly, Kiss Machine, Literary Review of Canada, Matrix, Misunderstandings Magazine, Nod, Surface and Symbol, Taddle Creek, and Word: Canada’s Magazine for Readers and Writers.

 

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GULCH | Ed. Sarah Beaudin, Karen C. Da Silva, & Curran Folkers

DOWN WITH ARBOREAL THOUGHT! // A Steel Bananas Project

GULCH, edited by Karen C. Da Silva, Curran Folkers & Sarah Beaudin
ISBN: 9781926639079

Pub Date: Fall 2009

“From its opening statement, ‘This Book Is a Rhizome,’ to Adebe D.A.’s ‘Poemagogy,’ to John Unrau’s ‘New Age Muskie Considers a Change of Lifestyle,’ Gulch privileges the rhetoric of (and itself exists as an example of) that ever-regenerative genre, the manifesto.”
— Andrew Dubois, University of Toronto Quarterly 80.2

“…the reliability of GULCH is the space it provides for new visions, new styles and new writers.”
Rabble Magazine

“Gulch plays with the idea of collaboration and does it well, with a buffet of new and exciting work from today’s up and coming talent.”
Broken Pencil Magazine

Inspired by the theories of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, GULCH: An Assemblage of Poetry and Prose is a rhizomatic exploration of the modern Canadian literary community.

Drawing on the postmodern themes of detachment and disjuncture, GULCH seeks to create an optimistic snapshot of the pluralities and complexities that constitute the post-pomo literary landscape. Focusing on the theme of fragmentation, Steel Bananas members Sarah Beaudin, Karen Correia Da Silva and Curran Folkers have collected pieces from community artists, Professors, lit students, burgeoning young talent as well as established writers in order to compile a collection that resists the notion of wholeness, privileging instead the multiplicity and diversity found in contemporary globalized culture. This assemblage of poetry and prose bares the innovation and cultural critique of post-millennium Canadian writers, and seeks to expose the beauty of discontinuity.

Featuring work from Adebe D.A., Stephen Cain, Ewan Whyte, Spencer Gordon, Chris Felling, Matthew Hall, Daniel Tysdal, Chris Eaton & Virtual Collaborators, Amanda Lee, JJ Steinfeld, Emma Healy, Wally Keeler, Jon Eskedjian, Vincent De Freitas, Craig Alexander, Heather Babcock, Richard Rosenbaum, Jerry Levy, Alex Consiglio, Sarah Beaudin, Ursula Pflug, Kathleen Brown, Matthew Moliterni, Darryl Salach, Shannon Robinson, Miles Henry, Shannon Webb Campbell, John Unrau, Nathaniel G Moore, Zack Kotzer, Firdaus Bilimoria, Jimmy McInnes, Steph Tracey, James Arthur, Melanie Janisse, Corrigan Hammond, N Dana Jerabek, Shannon Maguire, Ryan Tannenbaum, Karen Correia Da Silva, James Papoutsis, Christopher Olsen, Alyksandra Ackerman, Curran Folkers, James Hatch, John C Goodman, Andrew McEwan, John Nyman, Mark Reble, Jamie Ross, Devon Wong, N Alexander Armstrong.

Click to read an excerpt from GULCH.

Curran Folkers, Karen Correia Da Silva, and Sarah Beaudin of Steel Bananas

Steel Bananas is a not-for-profit art collective and culture zine. They publish a rag-bag of contemporary Canadian writers and art-bums on the 15th of each month, aiming to critically and playfully explore contemporary cultural theory and the varying facets of contemporary urban culture. They’re proud to augment all virtual content with print media or in-the-flesh art happenings around Toronto, and to support independent, alternative, and marginal art in Canada.

http://www.steelbananas.com

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