This past week Toronto celebrated Luminato, a "ten-day celebration of the arts where Toronto's stages, streets, and public spaces are infused with theatre, dance, classical and contemporary music, film, literature, visual arts, and design." I unfortunately missed a lot of it, but one traveling exhibit that caught my attention is the Red Ball Project. Artist Kurt Perschke places a big-ass red ball at various random places around the city, including city hall, the courthouse, the financial district, a university commons, and so on. Today the ball is squeezed into an alley in my 'hood on Queen St. West. I snapped some photos of it this afternoon.
Its a cool piece of installment art. People either love it or hate it. Lots of folks were standing around going, "What the hell? I don't get it." Little kids tried to climb it or ran up to it and bounced off of it. Others, like me, loved the infusion of something new and radical into an otherwise dull, everyday cityscape. At least it gets people talking about something new, and I think that is the point of art like this. When you see a big red ball where you don't expect it, it gets you thinking about something other than the your miserable job, or the lousy Leafs, or the crappy cold summer. I wish the big red ball would pop up around various places in Toronto all summer long.
The Cyrkle - Red Rubber Ball.mp3
Buy: Red Rubber Ball (A Collection) (2008, song originally released in 1966)
Allmusic has a really good write-up on the history of The Cyrkle. This song was co-written by Paul Simon (of Simon & Garfunkel) and Bruce Woodley of The Seekers, and Simon gave this song to The Cyrkle while they were on tour with Simon & Garfunkel. Supposedly on the advice of John Lennon, the band named itself The Cyrkle with the funny spelling due to the success of The Byrds. This fun, poppy song remains a staple of oldies radio stations.