Hazel Meyer is an artist and sports enthusiast based in Toronto. Committed to both a socially engaged and material-based practice she negotiates these primarily through creating installations that become environments for performance, workshops, and amateur athletics. She has an MFA from OCAD University, is the junior sports correspondent for the Ponytail Theory/Ponytail Express broadcast, and was artist-in-residence at Toronto high schools through The Pedagogical Impulse this past winter. Her recent exhibitions include Schlaegermusik with Annesley Black for Zukunftsmusik in Stuttgart, Walls to the Ball at Struts Gallery and artspace, and All Hands on the Archive : An Audience of Enablers Cannot Fail, with Logan MacDonald at F.A.G. Upcoming projects involve taking Walls to the Ball to St. John’s and Saskatoon, exhibiting What I Talk About When I Talk About Weaving at WARC, and a forthcoming comic book Pattern Slander: A semiautobiographical account of disease, shit and repeat-patterns.
She is presently in Montréal for four weeks developing a version of Walls to the Ball for Galerie La Centrale, which opens on Friday. Walls to the Ball A-Z, an abecedarian inspired talk about the project, will take place June 9 at 3pm.
1. The objects of le Printemps Erable
Having been in Montréal for the last three weeks, I’ve totally had my eye-on-the-prize of fighting the neo-liberal austerity-loving oppressive powers that be, but can’t help having the other eye on the not-so-secret life of textiles and kitchenware in this amazing uprising. The red square is everywhere, in all sorts of manifestations: felt, tape, vinyl, knitted, crocheted, towels being hung out of windows, bedspreads tied to balconies, etc. An article in the Toronto Star at the beginning of May described how many downtown stores that sold red felt were out of stock! Walking through the streets banging on my favourite combo of cheese grater and ladle for a nightly “casserole”, I couldn’t help but think about walking into a thrift store some years down the road and finding an assortment of pots and utensils all with dents and a bit bent out of shape: material evidence of le Printemps Érable, the spring Montréal banded together to create the loudest most inspiring uprising.
The NBA playoffs are happening right now and the Oklahoma City Thunder is the team to watch in my humble opinion. About three years ago OKC was the Seattle Supersonics, so if you don’t recognize the name that might be why. There are three OKC players that I enjoy watching the most: James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant. They are awesome, young powerhouses who can also orchestrate the most fluid and graceful plays that make me shriek at the computer unlike anything else. If they win tonight (June 6, as I write this [Ed. note: They won.]) against the Spurs, they are onto the finals, hopefully to meet up with the Miami Heat, who, let me remind you, spent an astronomical sum of money to put together a “superstar trio” of Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron James two years ago. Although it is a HUGE oversimplification, I want to see OKC and the Heat go head to head as the basketball version of good versus evil!!!
3. Wednesday night basketball at Duff Grove Park with my girlfriends
I’ve been away for the last two months so my longing for these nights is even stronger, but playing ball with a bunch of radical gals who are equally talented/clumsy/competitive/chill is definitely a highlight of my summer. I am a big fan of “thinking thru moving” and I think we do this really quite well, with such newly invented games as “free-market ball” and “word-ball/loser’s letters” to prove it.
4. Sister Corita Kent and Phil Jackson walk into a bar...
As a way of working through ideas, I like to imagine fantastical meetings of people, often using the “…walk into a bar…” joke trope to situate it. The people that “meet” are usually a pretty unlikely match, either because one of them is dead or the discrepancy between their contexts in the world is such that a meeting would be simply very unlikely. In the past I have “introduced” Gertrude Stein and Jane Fonda as a way to think through ideas about repetition, and, more recently, Anni Albers and Dirk Nowitzki to help tease out a relationship between textiles and basketball. My new fantasy meet up would be the radical screen-printing, activist, and teacher Sister Corita Kent (RIP) and former NBA coach, player, author, and Buddhist Phil Jackson. Sister Corita’s “rules” and Jackson’s philosophy of “mindful basketball” is where I’d like to start a wild conversation between art and sport pedagogy!
I love this stuff! A homeopathic cream that soothes aching muscles and nasty inflammation! I use it after rough squash games, or when I’ve yet again banged my leg into the corner of that table, or cut fabric for six hours and my forearm feels like concrete, or find myself playing basketball with some hormone raging teen boys and get my finger caught in one of their power passes… Take it topically or internally (pill form) for mega healing. I’ve been on the Traumeel love-train for many years. I cheaped out a bit last month and bought regular arnica cream, which is an ingredient in Traumeel, but really, it didn’t cut it. So I’m back, slathering Belladonna, Hamamelis virginiana, Millefolium and other lovely sounding things on sore spots.
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