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March 29, 1991 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-03-29

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily-Friday, March 29,1991

north
by Diane Frieden

l

not U.P. for Pudlo Records

- ML N-w - 14wO w-Iw M 1% . .. WW m IOL %W ALNA.

He wandered around the Museum
of Art, observing the museum staff
setting up his drawings from under
his Michigan baseball cap. When the .
show was assembled, the public
flocked to the opening of the
exhibition in record numbers. Pudlo
Pudlat, the Inuit artist from Cape
Dorset, Canada, brought his only.
United States exhibition to Ann
Arbor. He spoke no English, but
conveyed to the people, through art,
his perceptions of Inuit life and of
the advent of technology in the
frozen Arctic.
Pudlo is among. the first Inuit
graphic artists to win international
acclaim. His earlier works are
drawn mostly in graphite, and they
record the simplicity of life in
northern Canada. Following Pud-
lo's work chronologically, one
encounters three interwoven themes
in his drawings - change, technol-
ogy, and integration of the North
and South. It was these themes that
brought him recognition and
showed other communities that the
Northern Inuit artist could be
aware of the changing world while
still paying' attention to the tradi-
tional lifestyle. They are also the
foc'us of the collection Pudlo:
Thirty Years of Drawing.
The artist recalls his younger
years, etching daily events he and his
brothers saw into igloo walls. "I

especially liked the ice window,"
Pudlo writes in Pudlo: Thirty Years
of Drawing, "but then it was hard to
reach!" Nothing came out of this
pastime, however, until an injury in
1960 halted his career as a caribou
hunter. He then took up drawing. To
make a living, Pudlo produced many
drawings and prints.
The drawings created in the '60s
were done in giaphite and muted
colored pencils. Pudlo focused on
one shape, such as a person or an
animal, whereas in later works, he
concentrated on horizon or pattern
as in his later works. An image of a
tree, in the 1973 "Dogs Tied to a
Tree," is abstract; it looks like a
sapling from Dr. Seuss, as if Publo
were experimenting with the
abstract. The palette he uses consists
of bright, primary colors with black
felt outlines, almost childlike in
construction.
When Pudlo discoverved acrylic
paints, his paintings expanded to
include turquoise waters and pink
skies, intensifying his self-described
"love of landscapes." His acrylics
works consist of broad blocks of
bolder color; in contrast, the line
drawings are kept relatively simple
or are embellished with various
geometric patterns.
Pudlo's growing awareness of
technology is apparent in the line
bridging both halves of Canada in
"North and South," a 1974 drawing.
The interpretative umbilical cord

connecting the embryonic North
with the placenta-like South is rep-
resentational of the Canadian
Broadcast lines that increased the
global village and linked the Inuits
with the rest of the world. The
snowmobile replaced the dog team,
and electrical poles took a firm
place on the horizon of the Inuit, as
in the 1978 drawing, "Modern Life
and the Old Way."
Viewers might initially see the
drawings as simplistically con-
structed, and denounce them as
childlike. But while many of the
earlier line drawings are stark, the
entire collection is full of life and
keen observation, reinforcing
Pudlo's theory that drawing is
thinking on paper.
PUDLO: THIRTY YEARS OF
DRA WING is on display at the
University Museum of Art until
May 19th in the West Gallery.

Continued from page 5
titled "Oomingmak" or "Spooning
Good Singing Gum") restored to
rock the childhood it never had -
floating us back to place blissfully
beyond such juvenile distinctions as
"mainstream" and "alternative."
But if Fraser's songs once were baby
talk, they now sound like lullabies;
she and Guthrie recently had a child.
Fraser's escalating tones on
"Fotzepolitic" uncannily recall the
Pretenders' "2,000 Miles," a song
from another artist changed by
motherhood.
And with Fraser's sudden em-
bodiment of both childhood and
adulthood - her words now betray-
ing signs of English - the elusive
secret of the Cocteau Twins' decid-
edly un-post-punk uplift finally be-
comes clear: a connection to the be-
atific, early 70s melodic reverie ex-
emplified by adult-pop singer/song-
writer Joni Mitchell.
The first clue was the slide gui-

tar on Blue Bell Knoll's "The Itchy
Glowbo Glow," which wonder-
fully recalled Pink Floyd's 1973
song "Breathe"; then, in 1990, a
group called the Sundays combined a
Fraser-influenced vocalist with
strummed acoustic guitar to create
an effect which, if nothing else,
evoked the carefree sound of
California popsters America
("Ventura Highway"). Listen to
the gorgeous reverie of "Heaven or
Las Vegas" and seriously consider if
the Carpenters might not have
sounded like this if they had
founded their career on the technol-
ogy of 1981 rather than 1971.
Like that suit of armor that
crashed upon Wim Wenders' will-
fully fallen angel in the movie
Wings of Desire, the pop conven-
tions Heaven or Las Vegas serve not
so much to constrict, but conversely
channel the Cocteau Twins' spiri-
tual genius - to make it matter so
we understand.
- Michael Paul Fischer
Professor X
Years Of the 9, On the
Blackhand Side
4th and B'Way/ Island
Besides complaining about the
record company's waiting almost
three weeks to send me this album, I
was originally going to preface this
review asking Grand Verbalizer-
Funkin' Lesson Brother J to come
back, come back, wherever he is.
Actually, I still am. Following the
tragic Rebel Soul album, with poor
production undermining the
formidable rap style of Isis, Years
Of the 9 is a travesty, plain and sim-
ple. Avoiding the sterile, perfunc-
tory rhythms and grooves of Isis'
album, Professor X instead walks a
shaky path between the repetitive
and the aloof.
Two tracks, both of which fea-
ture women of X's Blackwatch or-
ganization and very little X, are
welcome additions to the content of
the X-Clan album, innovative, bold
and dynamic. The first single,
"Years Of The 9," stands apart
from the gristle surrounding it,
with Sugar Shaft's third eye watch-
ing the turntables and also featuring
the startlingly penetrating tone of
Isis. "Reality," with vocalist Queen
Mother Rage in the forefront, fol-
lows the trail of "Shaft's Big
Score" in its extremely disarming

juxtaposition of both the organic
and the mechanical.
Basically, without the limitless
science of Brother J keeping him iW
line, Professor X turns out to be
more enervating than enlightening,'
with pointless tracks like "Ahh!"
and "Vanglorious Crib" running on.
for long, painful minutes on end.*
Besides being a waste of money,
Years Of the 9 is simply a poor fo,1,
low-up to a work as inspiring as To
the East, Blackwards, leaving uA
with none of the grace, dignity;
knowledge or sciencehthat
Blackwatch should impart each arid,
every time. Dock the Clan one eye,
for this album.
-F. Green III
Culture
Culture In Culture
Heartbeat
From Burning Spear's histori-
cally-driven call to action, "Do You
Remember the Days of Slavery," to
Bob Marley's futuristic invocation,-,
"Get Up, Stand Up," the best reggae
derives its power from total im- -
mersion or complete commitment.
Culture's dedication to Joseph*
Hill's apocalyptic prophesy of Tw,
Sevens Clash made the harmonies
signify the severity of his,
metaphors for oppression, insteal o
just conveying a political message.
On Culture In Culture, however,
Culture seems to have immersed
themselves in dancehall to acces-
sorize their brittle harmonies with
an unnecessary baggage of pop
hooks. The rough, country grit of
Culture's voices make the synth
bass and computerized drum claps
that appear here and there on the al-
bum seem grossly out of context.
And when the synth shows up as a
steel drum on the anti-gambling
song "Five to One Strip Me," the
ghost of Harry Belafonte is skank-
ing dangerously close by.
With the exception of the songs.
"Praise Him," "This Way" (which
is tainted by the well-meaning but .
ill-conceived language of a 13-year-
old just getting a political con-
sciousness), and "Step Along"
(which is just plain dull), the music
lacks the dark, minimalistic edge
that made Two Sevens Clash and
Cumbolo the stark predecessors of
Linton Kwesi Johnson's Dread Beat
an' Blood.e a
-Peter Shapiro

featuring
Micha el Tilson Tho as
artistic advls
Tickets starting at $14
Rush tickets $7 day of the performance
Burton Memorial 'lower 764-2538 1 763-TKTS

Professor X strikes a beatific pose, even if his fans aren't too happy
with the perfunctory Years Of the 9 album.

- I

DailN

C cassiciecfls

iI

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