And, but ...
A little coda to last night's Matthew Teitelbaum love-in. In today's Star, my colleague Martin Knelman reports that the AGO will be the only Canadian institution to host "Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs," an exhibition of ancient artifacts either from or tangentially relating to the Egyptian boy king.
"It's definitely the right show at the right time for us," Knelman quotes Teitelbaum as saying. Oh? And here I was thinking that the new AGO, opening with such promise, was an art museum, not a spectacle centre for ancient aesthetic history's greatest hits. Nothing against the exhibition; I'm down with the ancients as much as anyone, and I'm sure it's fascinating. But when I mentioned, just last post, that the summer's shows would bear out how much about the "new" AGO is really new, well, I'm afraid we've just been told. And it's not the news I was hoping for -- nor would anyone with a senibility of and sensitivity towards current, trenchant, relevant art.
King Tut will fetch good gate, and in these belt-tightening times, I can certainly respect that. But the reinvention of the gallery, at least in my view, was the perfect opportunity to sharpen its hazy priorities. Given the opportunity to declare itself and make a statement about what it will be going forward, this -- an import, somebody else's idea -- being chosen as its first big summer show leaves it in as dense a fog as ever, in my mind.