Editorial 15: Veneer

This May-June 2011 issue of NMP scratches away at the surface and explores the theme “veneer.” For us, “veneer” is a theme that implies the superficial only to expose it. Artists and activists featured here give us insight into how the thin layer of veneer is decorative, but deceptive, a facade torn down in a number of contexts ranging from political turmoil to fandom.

By definition, veneer means:

• a superficially valuable or pleasing appearance: “a cruel person with a veneer of kindliness”;
• to face or cover (an object) with any material that is more desirable as a surface material than the basic material of the object; revet;
• to give a superficially valuable or pleasing appearance to;

• aspect séduisant et superficiel : c’est ainsi que nous sommes, dès qu’on gratte un peu le vernis : de petits barbares;
• revêtement avec une matière qui est plus désirable en surface que le matériau dont est constitué l’objet;
• vernir : revêtir d’un aspect séduisant et superficiel.

This 15th issue of NMP presents a wide array of works, including four exclusive interviews. Each of these interviews makes visible the layers of meaning, dismantling first impressions, and divulging identities.

Cover photographer for this issue, Aydin Matlabi, is interviewed by NMP’s Dayna McLeod. A lucky few got a chance to see Matlabi’s photos printed large at the Fofa Gallery (Montreal) last month; a selection of these amazing photos accompany Matlabi’s incredibly raw and honest interview… definitely more than a snapshot moment in the press.

Renuka Chaturvedi interviews author Nairne Holtz on her novel The Skin Beneath and her collection of short stories, This One’s Going to Last Forever. Buy your copy online right now, right here.

Joannie Veilleux speaks with Velma Candyass–activist of the Save the Main Coalition and active member of the burlesque troupe Dead Doll Dancers–about the controversial development project in Montreal, Quartier des Spectacles. Go Cleo’s Go!

New Brunswick-born Jeremy Freeze (of pop band the Silly Kissers) interviews Constellation Record’s Don Wilkie about the label’s role in fostering an artistic community.

This issue of NMP also invites back two of its favorite writers: Fiction writer Farzana Doctor presents an excerpt of her latest novel, Six Metres of Pavement reviewed here, here and here. And, NMP regular contributor Yasmin Nair reminisces about her childhood fascination with comic book character Modesty Blaise.

New voices, visionaries, and videographers in veneer include:

Hamilton-born, Montreal-based artist, Cam Matamoros’ Untitled Landscapes is an ongoing archive of prints produce by the artist’s chin hair waxings.

Originaire de Kitcisakik, une communauté algonquine située en Abitibi, Kevin Papatie interpelle sa propre Nation avec un film-manifeste Nous sommes suite à sa rencontre avec les Zapatistes au Mexique. Ce projet fait partie du Wapikoni mobile.

Dans l’ombre est une réalisation de Catherine Boivin de la communauté Wemotaci de la Nation Atikamekws. Ce film a aussi été réalisé grâce au Wapikoni mobile, un studio ambulant de formation et de création cinématographique et musicale pour les jeunes des communautés autochtones.

“The Wapikoni Mobile is a traveling audiovisual and music training studio, has been visiting Quebec’s First Nation communities over the last 7 years. […] The Wapikoni Mobile gives young Aboriginals the opportunity to express themselves through video and music, to expand their horizons beyond their usual surroundings and allow them to shine in their own communities as throughout the world. While encouraging the emergence of diverse talents in Indigenous youth, the project facilitates exchange and communication between these young people and helps reduce their isolation.”

I was lucky to catch Julie Lequin’s I Am Your Biggest Fan programme at La Centrale this winter. NMP asked her to reflect on the experience and give us an extended curatorial statement explaining her selections and the themes that connected the works to each other so beautifully. Lequin is Laval born and LA based

Thank you to all the contributors, editors, copy editors who make NMP run smoothly. Special thank yous to M-C MacPhee, Dayna McLeod, Tamara Sheperd, and Momoko Allard.

Stay tuned for issue no. 16, July 2011, for which the theme is “motive”… an issue in which we at NMP also question our motives and make several significant changes to NMP that have been a (too) long time coming. Stay tuned for details or just check back to the site often and you’ll see what we mean.

You may now pitch us ideas for 2012 issues by consulting our submit page. Note that issues are now booked almost a year ahead of publication, so contact us now!

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Dear readers, we are still and always committed to bringing forward a profound and multi-layered magazine bimonthly.

Mél Hogan