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BeatRoute Magazine BC Print Edition February 2018

BeatRoute Magazine is a monthly arts and entertainment paper with a predominant focus on music – local, independent or otherwise. The paper started in June 2004 and continues to provide a healthy dose of perversity while exercising rock ‘n’ roll ethics. Currently BeatRoute’s AB edition is distributed in Calgary, Edmonton (by S*A*R*G*E), Banff and Canmore. The BC edition is distributed in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. BeatRoute (AB) Mission PO 23045 Calgary, AB T2S 3A8 E. editor@beatroute.ca BeatRoute (BC) #202 – 2405 E Hastings Vancouver, BC V5K 1Y8 P. 778-888-1120

CITY TAKASHI MURAKAMI:

CITY TAKASHI MURAKAMI: THE OCTOPUS EATS ITS OWN LEG ICONIC ARTIST’S FIRST RETROSPECTIVE IN CANADA COMES TO VANCOUVER LUIZA BRENNER Photo by Maria Ponce Berre Takashi Murakami has collaborated with the likes of Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and Louis Vuitton. It might still be rainy season in Vancouver, but the Vancouver Art Gallery is already blooming. Starting on February 3, the gallery will welcome Takashi Murakami’s first major retrospective in Canada. Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg showcases over 50 works spanning three decades of the artist’s career. The touring exhibition, first conceived and presented by Michael Darling, the James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, “offers unique and dynamic insight into the visual world of Takashi Murakami,” describes Diana Freundl, Associate Curator, Asian Art at the Vancouver Art Gallery. “One that mines the cultures of folklore, comics, anime, manga, fashion as well as both Japanese and Euro/American art histories.” Even if you’re not an art aficionado, you’re probably familiar with Murakami’s work outside the museum realm. The artist’s cartoon-like flowers and monsters are printed in Louis Vuitton bags, on Kanye West’s 2005 Celebration album art, and on Supreme skate decks, to name a few. “Both he [and his work]effectively blur boundaries between vernacular and fine art,” says Freundl. For that, Murakami’s work seems to be more relatable and democratic than most contemporary artworks. Visitors can expect massive sculptures, paintings from his earliest mature work to his recent large-scale projects, including a newly created five-metre-tall sculpture and three multi-panel paintings designed exclusively for the Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition. In talking about the hardships of installing a show of this magnitude, Freundl says that the “energy and effort required to finish one artwork should be considered when mounting it, and hopefully that gets translated when visitors walk through the exhibition.” A range of events will also accompany the show. There will be a now sold-out lecture with Murakami, and a much anticipated Murakami’s Birthday Bash on February 2. Celebrating both the artist’s birthday (on February 1) and the opening of his exhibition, the evening will begin at the Vancouver Art Gallery, with an exclusive exhibition preview with the artist, followed by a seated dinner and after party at the Commodore Ballroom. Grab your bag, blast Kanye on your headphones, hop on your skateboard, and head to the Vancouver Art Gallery, because this show will be an epic one! Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg runs at the Vancouver Art Gallery from February 3-May 6. COASTAL FIRST NATIONS DANCE FESTIVAL FLYING GWITCH’IN FIDDLER TELLS TALES OF THE YUKON ERIN WARD Boyd Benjamin picked up the fiddle for the first time at 14-years-old. With the melody of a song played at an old-time dance in Old Crow still running through his head, he sat down to try and recreate what he’d heard. That experience — sitting with the fiddle, learning to play a song that was played nowhere else — launched a life-long passion for fiddle music and for sharing the story of his home. “It’s a unique way for me to express myself because that’s sort of who I am,” he explains. “It’s my upbringing and where I come from. I was taught that our culture up North is precious and [playing fiddle music] is a way to keep that going.” Known as the Flying Gwitch’in Fiddler, Benjamin, along with singer/songwriter Kevin Barr, has performed his music across the country. This March will be the first time the duo has performed as part of the Coastal First Nations Dance Festival at the UBC Museum of Anthropology. The festival, which runs from February 27 to March 4, will celebrate the songs, dances, and stories of the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast of North America. Benjamin explains that Old Crow, a small 6 community just below the Beaufort Sea in Northern Yukon, is known for its fiddle music. Continuing this tradition, he says, is a way to keep the culture of his community alive and vibrant. “Some of the music we play is only heard in Old Crow, and some of the dances we do only happen in Old Crow,” he says. “We speak Gwitch’in, and the language is fading, so my contribution to that part of culture is the music that I play. I’m contributing to our culture in a way so as to keep that alive musically.” With his music, Benjamin is telling the story of the cultural tradition of fiddle music in Old Crow, of the dances and songs unique to his community. In telling that story, and in sharing his fiddle music, he keeps those traditions alive — not just by playing some of the old-time songs he’s heard since childhood, but also by making new ones to continue that legacy of bringing community together over fiddle music. The Coastal First Nations Dance Festival runs at the Museum of Anthropology from February 24-March 4. Boyd Benjamin keeps his heritage alive through the cultural tradition of fiddle music. Photo by Gary Bremner Photography February 2018

Yoko Ono March 1 to March 31, 2018 MEND PIECE, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York City version, (1966/2015) | ceramic, glue, tape, scissors and twine | dimensions variable Rennie Museum | 51 East Pender St | Vancouver

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