Susan Briscoe has been shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award and the CBC Literary Awards, and has won the Lina Chartrand Award. She teaches English at Dawson College in Montreal and divides her time between the city and Quebec's Eastern Townships.
Time. It seems always in deficiency when we catch up with friends. We speak colloquially of needing more of it — “Where has the time gone?” It runs off when we aren’t looking. But what if we were to look at it, relentlessly, with nearly unblinking attention? Could we hold onto it then?
Susan Bee's paintings were discussed from the period between 1982 and 1983 in terms of the difficulties of getting this work shown. Griefen and Bee also discussed the formation of the feminist art movement in New York including at Barnard College and A.I.R. Gallery in the 1970s and 1980s. There were personal anecdotes about the struggle to be taken seriously by dealers. Also a discussion of the influence of the artists' parents, Miriam Laufer and Sigmund Laufer, who were also artists. The death of Miriam Laufer in 1980 was a turning point in Bee's evolution as a painter and marked a return to figurative painting from her work in abstract photography, photograms, and painting. Her work was also discussed in terms of the fusion of abstraction and figuration in these paintings. There was an examination of gender roles through a potent synthesis of competing modes of figurative representation and abstraction, along with provocative art historical and pop cultural allusions. For instance, "Portrait of the Artist as Young Pig" incorporates a trickster alter ego figure of the artist in the cartoon character of Petunia Pig. The fighter paintings were talked about as an examination of the struggle between women that characterized that phase of feminism. The painting, "Doomed to Win," which is based on a film still, alters the lead figure from a male boxer, to a possibly pregnant self-portrait of the painting. The issues and experiences that led to the creation of this body of work were discussed.
Spoiler: I’m a coward because I wanted to be sure to leave happy.
The other night I went to see a comedian who appears on a TV game show. As I’d been let down before I was a little cautious. A few years ago, another very funny guy who was a regular guest on a satirical news show was unable to transfer his little asides and dry one lines to an evening of live entertainment. We had been looking forward to seeing what he had to say. The funniest thing that evening was the queue for the men’s toilets. All the women commented on how they had never seen men waiting in line before. How we chuckled. I think some of us took photos.