FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto art critic David Balzer gets melodramatic with the launch of his first short-fiction e-book, containing illustrations by a roster of acclaimed international artists.
April 24, 2012: Art critic David Balzer—a contributor to The Globe and Mail, The Believer and Artforum, among others—launches his first collection of short fiction, Contrivances, on Friday, May 11, at 8pm at The White House Studio Project, 277.5 Augusta Ave., in Toronto’s Kensington market. Brooklyn-based online fiction magazine and e-book imprint Joyland are the publishers—and they’ve approached the project with unconventional panache.
“This is the best-looking e-book we’ve ever seen,” says co-publisher Brian Joseph Davis, referring to the eleven different artist illustrations in the book, one for each story. Marcel Dzama, Oliver Husain, Margaux Williamson and Janet Werner are some of the artists who have contributed work.
The stories in Contrivances are dark, whimsical melodramas—influenced
by Victorian lit, Lifetime movies, fan fiction, Old Hollywood and art-world gossip.
MELODRAMZ: A Night of Contrivances is the name of the party—an inventive approach to launching an e-book "in real life." An art exhibition of work in and related to the book, co-curated by Balzer and Daniel Gallay, is on view for one night only. In the tradition of Ronald Firbank and Pedro Almodovar, literary drag queens and kings do readings throughout the night—including Regina the Gentlelady (Light Fires/Gentleman Reg). After the readings, there’s a dance party with DJs Kevin Ritchie (Big Primpin), Luis Jacob (Love Saves the Day) and reeraw (Sheroes), who curates wall-projected gif-art of classic melodramas, on view throughout the evening. Admission is $8 and includes a copy of Contrivances, downloadable through a QR-coded postcard.
Full list of exhibiting artists: Marcel Dzama (NYC), Oliver Husain (Toronto), Margaux Williamson (Toronto), Sholem Krishtalka (Toronto), Janet Werner (Montreal), Alexandra Flood (London, UK), Emily Stoddart (NYC), Derek Aubichon (Toronto), Alison Fleming (Montreal), Vanessa Rieger (Toronto).
Full list of drag performers: Regina the Gentlelady (Light Fires/Gentleman Reg), Sean O’Neill and Liz Peterson (Events in Real Time), Lauren Bride, Bojana Stancic.
Full list of gif artists: Helen Adamidou (Barcelona), Gaby Cepeda (Buenos Aires), Manuel Fernández (Madrid), Tony Halmos (Toronto), Georges Jacotey (Drama, Greece), Rollin Leonard (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), Grace McEvoy (Dublin), Sally McKay (Toronto), Rea McNamara (Toronto), Lorna Mills (Toronto), Chiara Passa (Rome), Yoshi Sodeoka (NYC) and Giselle Zatonyl (NYC).
For review-copy or interview requests, please contact: Sarah Dunn, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-694-3348, ext. 152 David Balzer, email@example.com or