Zoilus by Carl Wilson

Vernissage sur l’herbe

October 7th, 2010

I’m a minor character in two of these interrelated artworks (movie, novel), and have been an investor in and booster of the third (album). So you don’t have to take my word for it. But I did all those things because I believe so strongly in these three artists. After years of work, next Thursday will be a night for great celebration. Come join us.


Press release
The Production Front is pleased to announce MFA: an upcoming co-release on the night of Thursday, October 14th, of Sheila Heti’s third book, HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE? Tomboyfriend (led by Ryan Kamstra)’s first album, DON’T GO TO SCHOOL; and Margaux Williamson’s feature-length movie, TEENAGER HAMLET.

Margaux, Ryan and Sheila feel pretty lucky to have been born into a time when artists don’t need to leave home in order to try to make good art. They took advantage of their contemporary luck, and used each other as teachers and subjects. They effectively created their own MFA program right in their neighbourhood, learning only what each other, the internet, and Toronto could teach them.

Sheila’s tape-recorded conversations with her friends ended up forming the structure of How Should a Person Be?, an enjoyable, funny and experimental novel that pulls fiction and truth out of life.

The poppy, magisterial album Don’t Go To School is the result of Ryan’s using non-professional musicians around him to form his band, Tomboyfriend, composing songs based around the band members’ talents.

Margaux left her painting studio to see what meaningful thing existed at the heart of her community, and found Teenager Hamlet, a surprising and critical take on the difference between being an actor and taking action.

Many of the same people appear in these these works — as performers and characters — people drawn from a loose community of Toronto-based artists and writers, such as the painter Sholem Krishtalka, the music critic Carl Wilson, and the illustrator Marlena Zuber.

Sheila, Margaux and Ryan are characters in How Should a Person Be? and all three “acted” in Teenager Hamlet. Tomboyfriend contributed songs to the movie and Margaux made a video for the band, which The New York Times praised as “one of the best things to see on a screen in 2008.”

The album, book and movie together create a vivid picture of art, love and democracy, and explore the exalted limitations of living your own life, in your own neighbourhood, among the people you find there.

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  2. Tea With Chris: Everyday Tastes « Back to the World says:

    [...] Also, the part about Henry Miller as Heidi Montag. (Sheila’s book, How Should a Person Be?, launches in Toronto with Margaux’s movie and our friend Ryan’s band’s album next [...]

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