About Madeleine Black

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Notes: taken in my first year of Art School

I never write down anything like dates or whatever because I’m too easily bored by stuff like that and the profs usually post all of the power points online for us anyways. (For this reason, I also haven’t included any quotes or ideas brought up about/by any specific artists because I’m more interested in the unscripted comments in the everyday.) Most of my notes from school are just long lists of artists, projects, and techniques that I should research, mixed in with quotes from profs and little snippets or ideas talked about that I think are interesting/important, here are my favorites from notebook #1:

(AKA you can know everything I’ve learned. Like, basically)

– Prof on University: “practice play and hang out with kindred spirits.”
– “It’s best to wait as long as possible before making money from your art because it’s kind of awful.” – prof
– Ultra Marine Blue. Vandyke Brown. Hint of Cadmium Red. (makes Black) (watercolor)
– pure pigment vibrating.
– “I couldn’t help it, the colors made me sick.” – puked on paintings
– “I don’t really care about grades, I just wanna teach you skillz.” – prof
– The death of painting. – rumors
– “Painting is often dead from time to time.” – prof
– “If anyone ever tells you that painting is dead, and you’re dead set on being a painter, just ignore them cause painting will be stop being dead about 3 years after that.” – prof
– “I’m not a poet, I’m just drunk.” “That’s the same thing.” – overheard
– “Art forces us to live within a grey zone.” – prof
– Move away from abstraction and recognize the importance of specificity.
– “We’re kind of at this moment where ‘Queerness’ is a sensibility.”
– Dye lace with beets and blood.
– Try on skin before.
– “The identification of the body as a place to define us.” – prof
– “There’s no gender on the internet.” – unknown
– “The face is a point of contact with infinity.” – who said this? -> defined ‘the other’ -> the objectification.
– The rhythms of childhood.
– Relationship between social structure and the experience of being a person.
– Everyday choreography.
– Thinking about the body as a floating signifier.
– Hybrid Body -> a body that stages trauma through inscription.
– Mutable, malleable, performative -> explodes
– Looks at depression as an esthetic quality/sensibility.
– “Tropes of Darkness.” – can’t remember who/what/where
– “How is this esthetic excess framed?” – prof
– Lyrical film making.
– Coming to terms with mental illness and living with it in the home.
– Critically unpack the stereotype.
– “It’s an argument that you have a true identity.” – prof
– *The subject, you the person, is just an invention.*
– Feel like I’m getting a degree in how to be a revolutionary.
– “Male and Female is breaking down before our eyes.” – prof
– Come back to penetration during this.
– “Our glorious leader, who will lead us to heaven or whatever.” – prof
– Connection between ‘Plato’ and platonic relationships?
– “When you see color, you’re experiencing the atoms on your body.” – unknown
– “The revolution here is not the work of art, you become the work of art.” – unknown
– Performativity -> not performing -> we are it.
– Be critical -> of femininity.
– ‘Normally’ <- why you want this kind of normal?
– *Marriage set up as a structural false sense of choice -> Conform or Die.
– “Society as we know it is detrimental to our well being, so we would be better to dismantle it.” – unknown
– “He caused a complete scandal, and today we say, ah well, that’s what artists do.” – prof
– “We don’t learn anything, we just do it.” – prof
– “In this kind of work, boredom is perfect.” – unknown
– “Art History has a hold on how we see things -> they have institutional control.” – prof(s)
– Why do pigs have penises shaped like corkscrews?
– Maybe any, maybe not?
– To be ‘crazy enough’.
– When silent, people don’t perceive you as human.
– “There are more winters in the world than the other seasons, because there are more dark people.” – unknown
– Being a perfectionist about your personality.
– Self consciousness starts to perform itself.
– Esthetic in a critical way -> you make who you are, identity is not natural -> this is the nature of creativity.
– Having, ‘Pretty Guilt’.
– “She always exhibits herself, never anyone else.” – prof,
– “She wanted to touch on the things that men wouldn’t be bothered with…” – prof
– *Put her hot dog vid in my sketchbook.
– “In the absence of clearly defined goals we become enslaved by the day to day.” – prof
– “Love is that condition where another persons happiness is essential to your own.” – unknown
– “In any kind of erotic attraction your expectations aren’t realistic.” – prof
– Hair shadows, over pages of books, your face, peoples faces, walls.
– “It’s all Madonna’s fault, all of it.” – prof
– “There’s always going to be someone who pushes it over the edge, and that person should be you.” – prof

Purgatory Between Two Lives.

I’m at the Edmonton airport right now on a layover between Montreal and Regina, it feels a lot like purgatory.

Airports remind me of the internet, almost place-less and glass tiled and filled with light and sort of freakishly open in some places but packed in others, so many different kinds of people and things inside, but themselves just feeling like framework to hold.

I have a pound of smoked meat in my carry on bag for my mom because she likes it so much, I declared it at the baggage check in just in case, and because I like saying it, “Meat. MEAT Meat Meat.”

I’m drinking a XL 4 hour old cold coffee. And I haven’t slept for more than 3 hours at once in over two days. Also, there are some ten year old girls hired to sing pop songs in the terminal? See, purgatory right? I’d for sure pack meat with me for purgatory, just in case, no access to flesh would really be the true torture.

I was so sad to leave MTL because everything is so sunny and all parks and all wine, all the time there right now. But, I said goodbye to a few of my closest friends for varying amounts of month long trips this week, so it seems like the right time to go.

I’m on route to the Queen City to work for/with Lisa, my boss lady/life partner who owns SEED Sustainable Style, for couple of weeks. She has designed/created her own collection for Saskatchewan Fashion Week (next week), and we’re also throwing what will be a super rad after party event called FORM at The Artful Dodger next Friday.

DIY hair dye. #glamor #gettingrunwayready

I’ll probably be the everywhere girl, which is how I often felt working for her for over two years before moving to Montreal, (and really like, variety!). Translating art vision speak into audience readable statements, social networking all over the place, preparing the clothes + anonymous tasks for the shows, modelling and performing for the shows + hopefully some photo shoots, and of course having soooooo much fun, and also drinking a lot of wine, hanging out with Liam (her unicorn greyhound) and wearing a lot of lipstick.

I’ve been feeling a little nervous about Regina itself because hometowns are dramatic. But, the closer I’m getting to actually being there, the more I’m looking forward to it and remembering the many things I love about the place (in contrast to all of the reasons why I left). To be honest though, now my number one concern over the next couple of weeks is who am I going to makeout with in my hometown?! Seriously. (male models hopefully?)

(another sad reason to leave MTL, flesh. FLESH Flesh Flesh. Wish I could have packed cuddles for purgatory. I’ve actually never been kissed in an airport so there’s a life goal.)

Oh well, only four more hours till I’m in the body of the beast. Raaawrr. ha.

Must Blog even when Happy

I haven’t been blogging! (obviously) and this is a problem!

In the wrath of the end of the semester I totally fell behind on posting about the projects, adventures and art that I’ve been creating/having/exploring. And then I fell straight from that extreme (the school haze chaos) to another (not being home for more than 3 hours for days and days at a time, all parks and all substances and all the makeouts etc.)

and for that I deserve a slap on the wrist. which I am administering to myself right now as in actually I’m just drinking coffee and eating pizza like usual.

Blogging for me is a way to monitor my productivity/progress/projects – to maintain a goal I have of creating/working on creative projects everyday, so that it becomes second nature/a way of life. I have a bad habit of falling into rabbit holes, recently having realized that I am so presently minded I sometimes can’t even remember what happened last week and I can barely see more than a few days in advance. I’m also, a possibly dangerous blend of introverted and manic-social, so I can very quickly end up down down down the rabbit’s path into some sort of ‘might be an opium den, might be a thursday afternoon’ and I haven’t slept in my own bed for three nights in a row and I forgot that I’m an artist and also where I stop and you begin and I need to be creating or else I go insane!

The thing that blogging helps with most is that each post has a date on it, so I can clearly see how long it’s been since I sat down and really invested enough time to finish something. (I am getting pretty consistent with writing daily but they’re often scattered and left unfinished in word documents, my notebooks, and digital post it notes on my phone, these days written on the walk from one lovers kitchen to another. Blogging is a way to hold myself accountable, to myself, to practice writing a lot and fleshing out ideas and to keep moving, always forward.

BUT also, SPRING! and there’s been so much happening! so many wonderful and new and varied things and people and experiences (cliche mascot over here) in my life right now! I’m even thinking that maybe my happiness can be measured by how often I blog per month (although this hasn’t been scientifically examined) because I haven’t really done much of anything on here in ages but I’ve also been really happy lately.

“Happy” – an umbrella term for I like my life and myself and my friends a lot.
(and we have a lot of fun) (Montreal knows how to love well!)

***MUST WRITE/CREATE/BlOG EVEN WHEN HAPPY***
So basically this is a non-update update rant to get myself back in the flow of posting!

ALSO though! I’m done my first year of university and it went surprisingly well. I had really encouraging feedback from all of my profs, who all said very similar things, which was basically that they think that I will do/create/go very interesting things/places and that I have a really striking presence, should do more performance work and continue to push myself, just more-bigger-farther, but that I seem fairly scattered and unorganized and that this hinders me, which I really appreciate and agree with. (what this post is about basically)

^This is a picture of me (that I like, looking so happy, how I feeeeeeeeel), taken by my friend Simona while we were giggly and waiting for the Parc Ave bus on our way to the loveliest dinner party I’ve been to so far this year. so there you have proof!

In Which I Rant (and everyone is shocked).

Couldn’t stop LOLing and nodding (and loving her!) while reading this ‘rant’ by a really great friend of mine, Sonia Stanger. We met in Kindergarten, and have been talking loudly to each other ever since. She was in fact just here in Montreal last weekend for an NDP youth conference and we had hell of an adventure hang night (although I’m a bit worried she still might be pissed at me for breaking one too many beer bottles on the dance floor, ha woops!) But seriously, this sentence! “Women, as a collective, are like the sublime and unfathomable and unknowable goddamn raging ocean.” …

Stanger Than Fiction

Oh why hello there! Fancy meeting you here. What’s that you say? Shouldn’t I be studying for a certain stats final just now? I think you and I both know that that’s why I’m even here, so I wouldn’t complain if I were you.

Just a little procrastination soapbox time for your Tuesday eve’. I should probably write a post about my weekend and Montreal and how much I adore the city and how Canadians need to battle against mounting cynicism, but that sounds altogether too timely and logical, and rather unlike me. Just go back and read my post about Amsterdam, and insert “Montreal” where it says “Amsterdam”, and you’ll be set. TO THE SOAPBOX!

Today, I read a comment online that I wish I could say was shockingly uncommon. Instead, it left me groaning and face-palming by its sheer, disheartening echoiness through the ages:

“I just like…

View original post 476 more words

Connections Between Consumerism and Women’s Rights

I recently wrote a piece for SEED Sustainable Style’s blog! this is an excerpt:

Living in the age of ‘the first world’ and what a friend of mine has referred to as ‘a million waves’ of feminism, doesn’t mean that we can expect to just sit back and enjoy the ride, as if everything will be alright. Many institutions, including corporate advertising companies, and *Ahem*, our current Canadian government, are in a pretty constant effort to push back the gains previous waves of feminism have made. For the same reason that companies and politicians continue to sign off on the use of ecologically damaging products and practices, because they are more immediately profitable; I personally feel that it’s crucial for us to recognize that the oppression of women’s sexualities, self confidence and personal right to a sense of worth free of a husband or child(ren), is profitable in our current first world – capitalist economy.

… read the rest here.

Me, “Maybe I just cry at everything.”

Friend, “Artists are antennas for the future, that’s why they have to be so sensitive. You’re just a well lubricated antennae” – a very comforting, although perhaps ‘egotistical’ thought, I can work with that, this really helps my soul!

I need a ‘the world is your oyster’ guide/menu?

I’m just letting the universe*** know that I don’t know what I want to do with my life over the summer, aka the whole 4 months currently hanging aimless between the comfort of two grounding school semesters.

Some current options are pretty obvious things like, go home for a bit, stay in Montreal and work, sleep all day, drink all night, lay around in parks wearing short shorts and feeling all young-like in the sun, ect. Many of those things may/hopefully happen, but nothing has that ‘yes this totally feels right’ feeling yet.

And! it’s a little early but, I’m also looking for a new home in Montreal starting July (city wide annual moving day) – and I’d like to live with roommates! maybe in a loft? maybe with studio space? (and/or I’m also looking for studio space, ha) – preferably plateau/mile end.

***so please let me know of any life choices/ directions/ jobs/ internships/ homes/ workshops/ classes/ opportunities/ ideas/ places/ festivals/ roadtrips/ collaborators/ ect. that you feel would be fitting to (however it is you perceive) me – (I need a ‘the world is your oyster’ guide/menu?)

I really believe that the internet is serendipitous, so it’s worth a try!

Another Artist Statement Draft:

Madeleine Black grew up in the prairies (Regina),
chasing bad boys and sunsets.

Now based in Montreal,
she’s chasing her highly unrealistic and foolishly girly dreams of being
an interdisciplinary artist, with a truly fulfilling and richly creative life.

(making art about the (beauty in) fooling around and girlyness).

She can most often be found trying to remember where she scattered
all of the pieces of herself, and/or crying about gender barriers and/or
re-applying her lipstick without a mirror on the bus.

Colors break her heart everyday.

Artist Statement Draft:

Madeleine Black is a girl with all strings and no strings at once.

She is a marionette on fire.
A firefly in a mason jar.
A discontinued edition of mock barbie dolls,
accidentally equipped with hearts for brains and vice versa.

Colors break her heart everyday.
And probably, so do you.

She wrote this drunk sitting on the floor of some dark basement (dungeon) show.