Erotica Short Fiction Contest launched

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Here at Guerilla, we are doing our darndest to heat up the frigid months of January and February with the Guerilla Magazine Erotica Short Fiction Contest. The winning story (or stories) will be published in our special Erotica Edition coming in late March. Thanks go to the contest sponsor, the Ottawa International Writers Festival. Here are the details:

The Contest

• Entry deadline: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 5 p.m.
• Open to all residents of the Capital Region
• No entry fee
• Winning entry published in the print and online editions of the Guerilla Erotica special issue (March 2011)
• Honourable mention entries may also be published
• First-place prize: $250 and a festival pass to the 2011 Ottawa International Writers Festival
• Winning author retains copyright but grants first publishing rights to Guerilla magazine for a period of three months
• Winning author agrees to furnish a photograph for promotional purposes and to acknowledge the contest should the winning piece be published elsewhere

The Fiction
All entries must:
• Be 750 words or less
• Be previously unpublished
• Be clearly recognizable as fiction (not poetry or prose poetry)
• Be e-mailed as a Microsoft Word (.doc) file to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 1, 2011
• Include the entrant’s full name and a phone number for entry verification

The Judging Committee
Neil Wilson – Founder of the Ottawa International Writers Festival
Nigel Beale – Guerilla contributor, literary critic and broadcaster
Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm – Spoken-word poet and erotic activist
Tony Martins – Editor of Guerilla magazine


In the thrall of the Gatineau Godess

Friday, December 17, 2010

Post by Gatineau Godess stylist Ashley McConnell  /  Photos by Dan Ziemkiewicz


Everyone knows there’s going to be a party at the end of the world. And at the epicentre of this fateful event will be none other than the Gatineau Godess.

High above the crowd like an angel, glowing a shade of orange that doesn’t fool anyone, she is made of things not of this natural world: plastic and silicon, acrylic nails, dyed hair, aerosol spray.

The Whore of Babylon, warned the Book of Revelations, will be the last woman standing after the apocalypse, “dressed in purple and scarlet, and will be glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls.” The Revelations forgot to mention that she’ll also be puffing a cigarette, dialing an 819 number on a rhinestone cell phone, and speaking in a Quebec-Quaa tongue foreign to most ears.

On Saturday, December 11, party-goers and Guerilla readers caught a glimpse of what’s in store when it all comes crashing down as two Gatineau Godesses were unleashed upon the heathens at the Mercury Lounge as part of the GuerillaLIVE event celebrating the magazine’s latest edition.

Inspired by I (heart) the Gatineau Godess, the debut installment of Kirk Finken’s new Layercake column in Guerilla #26, this roving Godess spectacle shone a bright light on the extravagant breed of females living just over the bridge.

With help from photographers Dan Ziemkiewicz, John Smith, Mark Prest and John Flynn, the multi-talented Hilary Seymour and models Chelsea Wager and Shannon Pappas from CoverModels Management, we celebrated all that is the mighty Godess: suggestive clothing, shameless vanity, and an unapologetically ballsy attitude.

Smashing around like they owned the place, highly sexual, wildly dressed, inappropriate, and all-around bad, the Goddesses stole the spotlight, the show, and of course a few brazen kisses. While some in the crowd were not pleased with the Godesses’ bold attitude, these creatures are not here on earth to make us feel warm and fuzzy. No, when the rules were made, these Godesses weren’t considered.

As Finken’s column points out, you can usually find her at the mall, le Pigale, or Caberat Taboo, but for those who never venture across the river, here we offer a peek into her flashy, fleshy world.

Now bow down to the mighty Gatineau Godess. You know you want to.

Mayfair's sexy film fest to heat up February

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Lee Demarbre and the Mayfair Theatre are trying to make February just a little bit warmer with another edition of Painted Lips and Lolly Licks: The Sexy Film Festival. This collection of big-screen naughtiness returns to the Mayfair Friday, Feb. 11, 2011—and locally made shorts films will be featured along with international selections.

In a recent call to local filmmakers, Demarbre encouraged submissions of “any film that explores themes of sex, romance or the erotic—provided it's 10 minutes or shorter and submitted by February 4, before 6:00 PM.”

“Everybody has their own idea of what's erotic,” says festival director Demarbre. “We want to show as many of those ideas as possible. Some are funny, some serious. Some are live-action, and some animated. Some feature nudity; others don't. But they're all guaranteed to turn the audience on.”

Previous years' festivals have included erotic short films and cartoons from around the world, the adult-film parody Not Another Porn Film by Doug Sackman (The XXXorcist, Re-Penetrator) and a (non-porn) film directed by adult film star Sasha Grey, who judged the festival in 2010. It also featured a screening of the Ottawa-made independent film Mad Lieutenant: Port of Call Orleans, a sordid tale of sex and corruption set in the city's suburbs.

This year, film entries will be judged by a celebrity to be revealed at a later date.

To learn more about the festival's past and what's coming up, visit official Painted Lips and Lolly Licks website:


Electric Fields brings media arts power surge

Monday, November 1, 2010

Technology + (creativity x artelctro music) = Electric Fields Festival

Post by Sanita Fejzic

Meet me at the intersection of digital art and sound at Electric Fields 2010, November 3 to 7. This year’s eccentric line up includes more than 90 artists from across the country, including local talent as well as visitors from Montreal, the Yukon, Edmonton, and Toronto with installations, audio-visual presentations, and new music performances. Artists from France and the Netherlands will add an international dimension, further assuring quality and diversity enough for all tastes.

Ryan Stec, artistic director of artengine and also Electric Field’s artistic director, says “this is a ripe time for digital arts to be brought to people in Ottawa.” The city will find its mundane Rideau Centre walls come to life—literally. Or should I say artificially? “There is a work called Philosopher Cube which will be projected onto the side of the Rideau centre,” explains Stec. “The cube will be at least 20 feet high, and using text, will ask passers-by basic life questions, like what is love, what is fear?”

In this installation created by Anthony Scavarelli the audience will interact by responding to the life questions through Twitter and/or text messages. Responses will be displayed and a computer will attempt to gather meaning amidst the responses by picking up key words.

“People expect digital art to be interactive,” adds Stec. “This year they can also see screen-based technology and live 3D video.” Here Stec refers to the 3D Frenzy party at Babylon nightclub (November 5 at 11 p.m.) where attendees will receive free 3D glasses upon entering! It will feature This Is Not Design from Montreal, Ottawa’s Mathew Cameron, plus four turntables with DJ Illo and DJ Drastik.

I’m amazed at the line up of artists and am bewildered that a festival of this calibre is in a town such as ours.

“We are a small city,” Stec concedes. “We don’t have the depth to support the variety of festivals big towns have to offer and we don’t have an audience that is used to seeing this kind of work.”

“If you look at Montreal, it has seven different festivals that relate to what we’re doing,” responds Stec. “Montreal is in some ways a global leader and definitely a North-American leader in digital art.”

Nevertheless, Electric Fields is in its eighth year and growing strong. Initiated in 2003 by SAW Gallery, the event became the purview of SAW Video before finally landing at artengine in 2008. It is, in the words of Stec “a huge collaborative effort,” that includes participation from the Canadian Film Institute, Axe Néo7, the University of Ottawa, and The Ottawa Art Gallery among many other organizations and individuals.

A few of the many events that might blow your senses:

Thelivingeffect—curated by Caroline Seck-Langill and held at the Ottawa Art Gallery—features new media artist Norma White’s quest at capturing what he refers to the “living effect.” It’s a beautiful homage to the subtle energies and forces inside every living creature and it marks the official opening of the festival.

Prototype at the Karsh-Masson Gallery on Sussex, featuring artists nichola feldman-kiss, Donna Legault, Gordon Monahan, Andrew O'Malley and Catherine Richards. “These are all local artists we approached in collaboration with the City of Ottawa,” says Stec. “It’s sort of half way between a contemporary art show and a non-traditional museum show.”

This ensemble of artists will showcase works in progress or in their prototype phase. “It gives the audience a view into how artists are producing their work,” Stec explains. In the case of Andrew O'Malley’s work involving micro-processors, you’ll see how he recycles them for different purposes. Spec’s analogy enlightens me: “It’s similar to sculptors and painters who master a specific technique and use it over and over again.”

Quick profile: Gordon Monahan has been doing work since the 70s in Canada and his most notorious work is called Speakers Swing. It consists of three people literally swinging speakers. “He uses frequency modulation to change the sound,” says Stec. “So as audio technology has evolved, so has the work.” Monahan will present a video about this process.

Saturday night’s Electric Fields finale puts a spotlight on Montreal’s Elektra festival. This event will feature Trame 00, Dust, and A B C D Light. I’m particularly eager to see Dust’s video performance, inspired by Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray’s collaborative work, Élevage de pussière (Ray is one of my favourite photographers). “The work vibrates between the visible and invisible,” said Stec. “In essence it’s layers and layers X-ray photo; it’s spectacular.”

“The connection through all,” says Stec of the entire festival, “is the idea of the cross over between sound and vision; the physicality and feeling to sound, of pure frequencies that are manipulated and the particular way of visualizing that.”

$15 for each night; $10 if you buy in advance or if you are an artengine member or a student.

The Visual Arts in Ottawa; A time for change?

Saturday, October 30

Summary of panel discussion which took place on Friday October 22 at the Enriched Bread Artists studios in Ottawa, Canada. The four panelist were Peter Honeywell (E.D. Council for the Arts in Ottawa), Patrick Mikhail (Patrick Mikhail Gallery), Heather Anderson (a curator at the National Gallery of Canada) and Andrea Fitzpatrick (assistant professor at the University of Ottawa).


Contributed by Prof. Yves M. Larocque


It  is true that Ottawa’s visual contemporary art community is currently at a “threshold” as Andrew Morrow well put it in his introduction notes of the timely panel “The Visual Arts in Ottawa; A time for change?” Four main issues were raised: 1) The funding needs and the negotiation capacity of Ottawa’s visual arts community vis-à-vis  the federal and municipal levels; 2) the impact of globalisation on Ottawa’s visual arts scene; 3) Ottawa’s art and galleries versus the interests of local art collectors; and 4) The role of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa’s visual arts scene. Allow me to sum up the discussion from my perspective as I was asked just before the panel.

First, what we have heard was said before! Second, it all comes to the notion of Arthur Danto’s “Artworld”. An Artworld (let’s say the Ottawa Artworld) is composed by its excellent visual artists, their works, its public, and “dispositifs véhiculaires” (transmission tools). The two last components create feedback to the artist. Let’s be honest! Here, Ottawa’s Artworld in not New York’s nor London’s.

The relationship between the contemporary artist and his works on the one hand, and the beholder\public on the other still constitutes the major flow of any Artworld. Our problem here is the public; the notorious, “conservative Ottawa public”, “highly educated”, young and mostly “old” (or “old and young at the same time”) of our “multilayered unique population” in prey of economical, qualitative and quantitative indicators — Federal government and services being the main employers of our beloved city. Our population is still exploring, if not searching for the “experience of art” (John Dewey), still shedding the old and well entrenched notion of painting-above-the-couch-between-the-two-coffe-tables. The visual artist community (which “has to stay in the city’s downtown core”) has to carry on its unrelenting mission of educating Ottawa’s receiver/spectators, who, we have to admit, are still at the Impressionists level. Duchamp’s urinal remains a mystery; and let’s not forget the Voice of Fire controversy!

As for our National Capital, the two major ivory towers speakers from the University of Ottawa and the National Gallery of Canada, repeated, I regret to say, the same old discourses that we have heard before on the dissemination of art and the NGC mandate. We already knew that we live in a globalisation context; we also knew that we are able to find the NGC mandate on its Website. However, to be honest, I believe that Prof. Fiztpatrick mentioned that these exchanges should start at a “person-to-person” level, a concept with which I totally agree. I would enhance by saying that with only a telephone and will, it is possible to move a mountain; I did it with Parisian artists Fred Forest and Sophie Lavaud who crisscrossed Ontario by car while sipping Tim Horton’s coffee. They were educating the Franco-Ontarian people on Internet and Sociological Art. When they said “yes” on the phone, it was very easy to involve the institutions (such as the NGC) and work out the budgets. All we need is “will” (“la volonté” in French) to change things!

There is a lot of catching-up to be done with the major Canadian cities as Peter Honeywell and the very professional gallerist Patrick Mikhail underlined. “The time of the status quo is over” and Paul-Émile Borduas was conscious of this in his native Québec. Post-modernism changed everything; art is not done the same way, not shown the same way, not disseminated the same way… and moreover post-modernism is dead!

In this time of “hyper-modernism” (N. Bourriaud) or “transhumanism” (me), we certainly have to look and live differently, to find new ways, collaborative ways to educate our public on contemporary or actual art. Time for discussion is over; time for building a new awareness in our public is now necessary… and building among ourselves, artists and our transmission tools (galleries, artist run centres, periodicals, institutions, etc.) new relationships. I must end with these beautiful lines by Borduas, written in 1948, not 2010…

To break definitively with all conventions of society and its utilitarian spirit! We refuse to live knowingly at less than our spiritual and physical potential; refuse to close our eyes to the vices and confidence tricks perpetuated in the guise of learning, favour, or gratitude; refuse to be ghettoed in an ivory tower, well-fortified but too easy to ignore; refuse to remain silent […]

Make way for magic! Make way for objective mysteries! Make way for love! Make way for necessities!

To this global refusal we contrast full responsibility.

The self-seeking act is fettered to its author; it is stillborn.

The passionate act breaks free, through its very dynamism.

We gladly take on full responsibility for tomorrow. Rational effort, once in its proper place, will be available again to disengage the present from the limbo of the past. (Refus Global)

As for me, I am ready to get involved to make way for magic! Who is joining me?

Friday panel probes state of visual arts

Wednesday, October 20

Painter Andrew Morrow invited me to attend the free panel discussion he has organized for this Friday at 7 p.m. as part of the Enriched Bread Artists (EBA) annual Open House festivities. The topic—The Visual Arts in Ottawa: A Time for Change?—was intriguing but seemed quite open-ended, so I asked Andrew to elaborate. Here is our email exchange:

What gave rise to this panel discussion?

Since arriving from Toronto three years ago, I have found myself often trying to define the visual arts community here in Ottawa, particularly in relation to other centres where my practice has been based (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver). And in talking about this with others, I've noticed that I'm not alone. Also, there seemed to be many recurring themes in the conversation ... such as lack of opportunity, absence of a serious collector base, a small group of overexposed artists, etc. etc. My personal feeling is (and this can be backed up by empirical evidence) that Ottawa is currently in a renaissance, and is emerging as a competitive, and exciting artistic hub full of potential. I think that we are in the middle of a moment and that certain opportunities have to be seized. So, my hope is that this talk will result in some of the usual topics being laid to rest, and others being raised.

How did you go about selecting the panel?

Heather Anderson is there because we needed a voice from the NGC. I have yet to meet Heather and was interested in learning a little bit more about her particular perspective in relation to the gallery. Patrick Mikhail is there as an art dealer and gallerist. I am represented by him, and know that he is ambitious, outward-looking, and is certainly interested on bringing Ottawa art to a broader public. Andrea Fitzpatrick, an art theory professor at the University of Ottawa, is a dynamic speaker, a massive intellect, and approaches her writing and teaching with a determinedly global perspective. She was also involved in the NY commercial art scene before coming here, and so is able to compare the two communities. Lastly, Peter Honeywell ... is Peter Honeywell. As the executive director of the CAO he knows everything and everybody, also, he was recently involved in a study that compared the arts in Ottawa to what is taking place in other capital cities around the world.

What are the major trends/specific topics with which the panel will grapple?

Questions asked will be:
1. "Does the stereotype of Ottawa as boring and conservative apply to the its visual arst community? If this is the case, is there still the possibility for good work to come from this?"
2. "Is the recent globalization of the visual arts reflected in Ottawa? Should it be?"
3. "Is there an emerging collector base of young, professionals interested in challenging and intelligent artwork? If so, are they being served? If not, how can we better connect them to the artistic experiences they want?"
4. "What is the official position of the NGC in relation to the local visual arts community?"
5. "Based on Ottawa 2020, a new MFA at the U of O, Festival X, a possible 2011 Capital City Nuit Blanche, etc. it can be said that Ottawa is currently emerging as an exciting arts community. If this is true, how would it be characterized, and will this emergence benefit the community as a whole or just the usual cadre of community regulars?"

I'm going to be encouraging a lot of audience participation, so I imagine there will be lots of other questions not included in the list here.