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May. 20, 1970

'Gentle art' petrifies


It is safe to safe to say there is no gallery on this continent like the Vancouver Art Gallery.

At the opening of the Intermedia dome show Tuesday night, the large Emily Carr room resounded to the eerie screams and resounding thuds of members of the Vancouver Judo Club. The five men and one woman performed — if that is the right word — under demonstrator- director Udo Werner, third degree black belt, who on Saturday won the silver medal at the Canadian championships.

The hour long display of 'gentle art' held onlookers petrified, despite assurances that "it doesn't hurt; it just sounds like it."

Later another strange performance took place as two men in cardboard boxes. A middle-sized box was on their head, a large box around their waist and small boxes on their hands and feet.

Like helmeted knights from some theater of the absurd, they sparred to the rhythm of sticks beaten together or on cardboard boxes.

Later the lyrical mood prevailed as those attending, the majority, having faithfully obeyed the injunction to wear white, whirled in improvised dance to the Krishna-like music of flutes.

Later, 350 happy dancers poured out of the gallery on to the sidewalk.

What looked like a small riot turned out to be a small orchestra of flute and drum as brightly clad youngsters mingled.

"It was meant to happen inside" said one of the organizers.

"We handed out 100 instruments to the people so they could do something here. They just went outside where there was, ' a colored flare sculpture' and it happened there.

Picture caption: MEMBERS OF The Vancouver Judo Club perform at the Vancouver Art Gallery
Picture credit: Dave Looy


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