Conte D'Amour - which ends it's run tonight at Harbourfront Centre has been the cause of much chatter on the internet. From a zero-star review in the Globe to reviews not worth linking to, with lots of Facebook stuff thrown into the mix.
If you like this discussion, you might like the CopyCat Academy that's happening at Luminato this year. A pretty great opportunity. Applications are due Monday.
Personally, first I spent an afternoon writing 2,200 rambling words about why I didn't want to see it (excerpted below) and then I went to see it and then I made a mind map in Scapple. (updated for this post)
I still have artistic and social differences with the ensembles approach which I will try to clarify at some point, and bunches of Cultural Industry issues with everything about the current creation and presentation modes of large scale ambitious work in Toronto and Canada that I also hope to continue to work out (some of which is happening with Adrienne Wong at the SWS Podcast.)
But Conte D'Amour is a serious and rigorous work that is well aware of it's own horror and boringness and problematics – and is more aware than anything I've ever seen in Toronto about the problematics of northern white male liberalism and the construction of privilege and the projection of fantasies on the Other (whether people or continents.)
Written Wednesday pre-show:
so I wasn’t going to see Conte D’Amor and I was going to write about why.
I’m still going to do that - even though I now know I’m going to see it tonight.
I’m going to see it because a) Lilya from the Theatre Centre posted on Facebook about an extra ticket and I thought “She will make the experience better.” B) It was a comp. I’m broke and impacts the amount of shows I see. And is breaking the way I see shows, especially shows like Conte D’Amor. But more on that latter. And C) because I thought I might write about and so should see it or risk being told I wasn’t qualified to comment.
Why I wasn’t going to see it:
It’s been a hard winter contributing to pretty intense case of “the blues.”1
And so, I just don’t want to have my “heart ripped out” or my “guts wrenched” because life is doing that just fine thanks.
I am very well aware of the horror of living in this world and I don’t need to pay $50 to watch a bunch of well funded white artists from Europe being paid a substantial amount of money to “make” me feel.
There’s a lot to unpack in that paragraph. Some about Art - it’s purpose and aesthetics; some about the Cultural Industry in this context; some about Society; and tons of just personal shit that I carry. And all that overlaps and blends together.
- Or depression, if we scrape away the euphemism. ↩