Challenge Accepted: Underwater Photos And A Rasputin Puppet | Exhibitionists S03E17 Full Episode

Challenge Accepted: Underwater Photos And A Rasputin Puppet | Exhibitionists S03E17 Full Episode

♪ ♪ In today’s episode we’re
exploring the stories of artists who are faced
with challenges and through their art have declared
‘challenge accepted’. ♪ ♪ That was the moment that I
just realized that there was a whole new world of
possibilities available. Welcome to the Indian
Truckhouse of High Art special edition. He was the evilest
man in history. [maniacal laugh] ♪ ♪ Hello and welcome to
CBC Arts Exhibitionists,
the show that gives you a
30-minute inside peek into the innovative and imaginative
world of Canadian art. I’m your host
Amanda Parris. Challenges come in
different forms. They could be trials
that you are faced with, obstacles to overcome, or a
challenge you set for yourself. Today we’re going to take
a closer look at several artists who use their art
to rise to the occasion. Surgeons, they don’t
have it easy. Long hours, high stakes,
constant stress. All the perfect
ingredients for burnout. This doctor found an
unusual artistic outlet to deal with the pressure. And now he has 114,000
followers on Instagram. Meet Lucas Murnaghan,
surgeon by day, underwater photographer
by night. [water bubbling] Going back to when I was a kid,
I can remember that feeling of being underwater and
imagining different worlds. It was a place where I really
felt an incredible sense of calm and quiet. ♪ ♪ [water splashing] ♪ ♪ My name is Lucas Murnaghan.
I am an orthopedic surgeon. I specialize in pediatric
orthopedics, with a sub interest in pediatric and adolescent
sports injuries. The type of surgery I do
is arthroscopic surgery. So that’s minimally invasive
surgery through small incisions into joints. Most commonly the
knee or the hip. This is the camera that I
use to perform arthroscopy. This particular camera here
has a very small tip on it, so we can do this in a
minimally invasive way, in order to repair damaged
structures or to reconstruct and create new ones. Being a surgeon is
a stressful job. I usually do anywhere
between 4 and 8 operations a week electively, and I’m
seeing easily 100 patients in clinic during
a week’s time. ♪ ♪ We’re going to try to
take advantage of this giant pool we have
here in front of us, so we’re going to do some
stuff with an umbrella. We’re going to do some
stuff with some balloons. Which I’m not sure how
that’s going to work, but we’re going to try to
get a whole bunch of them in the water. There’s tremendous parallels
between the two worlds. I mean, in reality, when
I’m in the operating room I’m taking
photographs underwater. We fill the joint with fluid,
and I’m moving a camera around in a water-filled
environment. Doing underwater work is
really just a larger body of water. The shot that kind of
a little light went off in my head, or I just
had my ‘aha’ moment was just a shot in the bottom
of a pool with a swimmer looking straight ahead. And that was the moment
that I just realized that there was a whole new world
of possibilities available. And I wanted to
explore it more. I get asked a lot about
my selection of subjects. I try to shy away from
the word model because I think it kind of
devalues who they are or maybe where they’re
coming from and whether they’re subjects or
artists or athletes, and some of them
are models. There’s a certain
athleticism that’s required to do the kind of
shoots that I do, so there’s a bias there. We have to go to the bottom of
perhaps a 5-metre deep pool. We need to hold our breath
for a period of time. Many people who feel very
comfortable that have a relationship with water
from an athletic standpoint. So perhaps it’s that
understanding of the human form, it’s that understanding
of the importance of athletics and physical performance
that I try to weave back into my photography. [water bubbling] When I move underwater
all of the distractions, all of the demands,
all of the stresses of the world fade away
for maybe as little as 30 seconds,
maybe a minute, But it’s that moment of peace
that allows that clarity in order to create. ♪ ♪ I can remember wanting to
be a doctor from when I was probably 4 or 5 years old. Maybe I had blinders on or
didn’t have my eyes open to other possibilities. For me, at this point in
time, it’s finding my artistic voice and finding
something inside me that I didn’t know that I had. And that’s really exciting
to do in your forties. Throughout this episode, in
between each of our stories, you’re going to see some
really interesting graphic typography. It was all created by our
exhibitionist in residence, an artist whose work we’ve
chosen to showcase this week. I’d like you to meet
Tim Singleton. Hey, I’m Tim Singleton,
and I’m your exhibitionist in residence this week. I’m an artist from Toronto,
and you’re about to see some GIFs that I’ve
made digitally. Everything you’re about
to see is inspired by retro typography,
vintage neon signage, as well as iconography
that takes inspiration from both nostalgia
and colour. All of these pieces are
inspired by past personal experiences and their
humourous and colourful takes on those. I make everything out of
my humble studio/jungle right here in Toronto. Take a look. ♪ ♪ He was said to be the downfall
of the Romanov Empire. Coming up, we meet
the artist tackling the legend of Rasputin, the
man with the dirty hair, brilliant eyes and very
large… influence. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ Musicians, filmmakers,
novelists and poets have all been inspired by the
mysterious tale of Rasputin. Can you really blame them? He was a Siberian peasant
turned holy man who used his powers of seduction,
healing, and hypnotism to work his way up to the centre
of Russia’s royal family. Rasputin’s story is
larger than life. It’s got war, sex,
assassination, revolution, and even a mythical
giant penis. It’s a big challenge for
any artist to tackle. Jamie Shannon is trying
to tell this massive story with puppets. Oh! Hello, I’m Jamie Shannon
and I make puppet stuff. This is my workshop
on Toronto Island at Artscape Gibraltar Point. I’ve been doing
this for 27 years. I made a short film
about Gregory Rasputin and the Russian Revolution. Moi? ♪ ♪ I hate him so much! Whoops, Johnny,
whoops, Johnny. I’ve heard you
have great gifts. [laughing] This short film just
touches on a theme of how media, you can kind
of read about the same person and the same situation and
get completely opposite takes. And same with Rasputin. His whole life people are kind
of like ‘he was a saint’. I know I just
exude manliness. A bunch of people are like
‘he was the evilest man in history’. [maniacal laugh] Most of the books portray
him as sort of evil. Funny enough, Rob Ford was
my inspiration for Rasputin. Man. Rasputin was very interesting
and enigmatic to people and they were just like
‘who is this guy?’ He’s very photogenic, you
know, with scary beard. Same with Rob Ford,
he was just red-faced and just always you could
see what he was thinking. He became infamous for,
you know, his behaviour and doing evil or he
must be doing great. No one really knew,
but they just loved to talk about him. And there are so many
characters in the news today that we love
to talk about. I was like there’s so many
Trump puppets out there, I was like why don’t I
just do wind-blown Trump. I started with doing
stuff for kids and even pre-school,Nana Lan’.♪ ♪ So it’s a show
about curiosity. It was also improvised. We did live, just
improvise to camera for 3 minutes. So it has this really
loose feel, and I think that’s why it’s been this
crazy, popular thing. Nana! Oh, hi there,
Sweet Pea. There’s some
in the bowl. Yeah, there’s
one flake. Well, lunch is
served, huh? Because ofNana Lan’,
we created a show calledMr. Meaty.Mr. Meaty was kind of
like a conceited teenager. I was talking like,
‘that’s Josh right there’. Dude… Where’d
you get it? Dude, there’s Leanne,
there’s Leanne. What do I do?
What do I do? Just ask her
out already. This guy… Hi there, I’m the puberty
fairy fromMr. Meatyabout 10 years ago. What d’you think of
that, huh, big mouth? Here’s my pirate hat. Because I get here
by boat every day, and I used to have a
boat, so, you know… What else do
we have here? Oh, here’s something. This is fromNana Lan’.This is actually
my Nana’s house, and I kind of recreated
it in a model — Hey, you’re supposed
to be talking about me! None of that little
cutesy crap! Sorry. Rasputin is an evolution
to me being able to do, like, more adult themes. Which I have always
wanted to do. Puppets are classically
political. They’re kind of like
clowns or jesters. They’re the ones who can
speak truth to the king. ♪ ♪ We’ve got to kill
him, Dimitri. ♪ ♪ [maniacal laugh] ♪ ♪ The reason I’m telling
this story with puppets is because I’m making everybody
aboutthisbig, and buildings are onlythistall, I’m able to
recreate in this extravagance. I look very handsome
in that light. When you’re working with
puppets, you appear as the puppet does. You just need to be
able to kind of like give yourself over
to the object, and then the object will
imbue some kind of life. I’m going to
kill you now. Okay, ready? [muttering] Haaa! When you go on a trip you
often bring back souvenirs, trinkets that carry the
spirit of where you’ve been. But it’s not often that
you’re asked to think critically about what you
spend your dollars on. That’s where Ursula
Johnson comes in. She has a
challenge for you — should you choose
to accept it. To consider how you may
participate in cultural commodification without
even knowing it. Take a look. [applause] Thank you so much. Welcome to the Indian
Truckhouse of High Art special edition. So our first testimonial
is from somebody whose life is forever changed because
of the Indian Truckhouse of High Art. I recently found out my
great-great-grandmother was one quarter Cree.
I mean Navaho. So I bought this
bone choker. As a former white person
it’s really helped me connect with my roots. My name is Ursula Johnson,
and I’m an inter-disciplinary visual artist. The easiest way to explain
my work it’s often not what people initially
think it is. So in 2011 I did —
it was kind of like a guerilla-style performance. They set up this
little booth, but the booth was stocked with
a bunch of things that I had collected. I went to all of these dollar
stores and discount stores where I would purchase
anything that remotely looked like it was Indian,
and then I attached these little pieces of yarn that
had a little tag on it. And the tag said “This
object is 100 percent authentic Indian
High Art. Made in Mi’kmaki.” And then it had my status
card number on there. And on the reverse side of
the tag, there was prices. And the prices ranged
from $17.20 to $17.90. Which are all dates of
the treaties between the Mi’kmak and the Crown. ♪ ♪ So I’m taking this Indian
Truckhouse of High Art and will be mounting it as
a full installation with video and audio components
at Central Art Garage in Ottawa. I’m looking for some…
some culturally appropriated Indigenous trinkets
or something. ♪ ♪ Oh, look at
this one! Whoa! Big huge eagle
head on that one. Some fancy looking
turquoise beads here. A broken little slingshot
and a wolf on there. And Ottawa is also a very
loaded place with regards to consumption of Indigenous
commodified objects or cultural objects. ♪ ♪ In my practice I often
look at these notions of responsibility. Who’s responsible
for what and why, and at what point in
time do we share that responsibility or the burden
of that responsibility? One thing that I’m really
hopeful for when people come into my installation
and performance space is they think about their own
role with regards to that notion of
sustainability. Like what is their
responsibility, what role do they
have to play? Do they come in and just
say ‘this is too much. I don’t want anything to
do with it’, and then they just leave. Or are they going to take that
notion of an uncomfortable or discomforting
subject matter that I may have put out? What I’m hoping for is
people to say, you know, I see it as a problem, too,
and this is what I can contribute to it and let’s
work together to try to create something
out of it. Coming up, the smaller the
painting, the bigger the physical challenge
for this next artist. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ There are obstacles that
the world puts in our way. But there are also challenges
that we set for ourselves. These are tasks that force
us to step outside our comfort zones and do the
things that we’re not sure we’ll be good at. This next artist has set
up a physical challenge for herself every
time she paints. And her accomplishment can be
found in facing it every day. Take a look. So I painted this…
what vaguely resembles a tiny little beach and a
water scene with a little sun. And I couldn’t believe it
becausethishand that hasn’t worked in twenty
years, I devised — it was like Inspector Gadget. It was like chu, chu,
chu, chu, chu, chu. And that was it.
I was done. I’m Arlene Webber,
and I’m an artist. Alright. Okay, so I started making
these paintings as a means of rehabilitation. To get my hand moving
again, range of motion. Because I’m limited with
the fine motor skills, I consider myself to
be differently abled. Not disabled, not exceptional,
just differently abled. So when I write and when
I do things, it’s apparently very different
from other people. I was young. I was in my thirties. I woke up with a headache,
and then basically stumbled. I just stumbled. Something was
completely off. It’s a small blood vessel. The vein that works its
way up and it bursts inside of the brain. And it was so minute,
but just enough to cause enough damage to where my
hand was affected the worst. [snap] Nope. Broke the damn brush. Look. This happensallthe time. I hate that. After I had my initial
small stroke, I developed dystonia, which is
distinctively different. Dystonia is a neurological
movement disorder. So it’s not anything
that heals over time. If anything, it
tends to get worse. With mine it plateaued,
and it’s been like this for twenty years. I don’t like to
use big boards — to me, this is
a bigger board — because it tends to
be easier for me. And the whole point in
me painting is to get that exercise
in the hand. Sometimes it never turns
out the way I’d hoped. And other times I have a
lot of pictures of rocks. [laughing] Especially when I started, it’s like ‘Ooh,
another rock picture’. Wouldn’t throw it out,
but darn it all, we’d have another
rock picture. [laughing] ♪ ♪ Can you imagine after all
of the different pictures, still the hardest thing
is my simple signature. I’m hoping that my paintings
would empower someone to say ‘I’m going to
challenge myself. If she can do it,
I can do it’. Okay, we’re off to
make a delivery to a little store called
The Makers Keep where they’re selling
my paintings. So last week I
had 9 pictures. Now I have 2. Yay! Ooh, had a
little moment. You know when you try
something and you think well, I’m not expecting
but you’re hoping people would like it? Then when it actually pans
out that people are liking it. Unless we’ve got a high
theft problem here… Do you think we have a
high theft problem? Disability, something
taken away, to me is just a negative term. So I’m hoping that that
word eventually in this new generation of people
is completely changed. If there’s an artist
you think should be onCBC Arts Exhibitionists
let us know. Send us a message on Twitter,
Instagram or Facebook. Our handle is: I’ll be back next time
with even more artists from Hay River
to Deep River. Until then, keep creating
and innovating. But before I go I’m
gonna leave you with a time-lapse video by
Newfoundland-based artist Elena Cabitza, as she
creates her paintingTears of Kwame.Just wait for the eyes. Peace. ♪ ♪

2 thoughts on “Challenge Accepted: Underwater Photos And A Rasputin Puppet | Exhibitionists S03E17 Full Episode

  1. Hey CBC Arts, Neverthink team here! 👏

    Just wanted to let you know that we really loved your video and it has been selected to be featured this week on the Creativity channel on Neverthink:

    Please keep on making amazing videos! 💎

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