Synopisis -- Multimedia Reading of Uncle Eddie's Guide to Art Appreciation - Cafe Esperanza Montreal Mile End

THE MULTIMEDIA DRAMATIC READING OF UNCLE EDDIE'S GUIDE TO ART APPREICATION is a monologue in which an angry Saskatchewan farmer, despite himself, takes up the defence of art.

Recorded live in a Montréal café during the Infringement Festival. Uncle Eddie appears as an intruder, thousands of miles and worlds away from the artsy scene. But in the end, he shows us that a seemingly "redneck" farmer and a bunch of urban artists share many connections. For, as with any work of art, the more we get to know Uncle Eddie, the more we understand his significance.

Uncle Eddie goes from angry and drunk, to sober and sensitive. He gives us recipes, tells stories and jokes, but ends up lost in despair. Our contact with Uncle Eddie is privileged; we are like visitors sitting across the kitchen table with him at the best of times and the worst of times.

Uncle Eddie's only other companion is a video-display artwork given to him by his nephew, Donnie. This work seems to respond to his changing states of mind. Its computer generated texts and images sometimes challenge and mock him, while at others supporting and comforting him.

For the first time, writer and director Don Goodes, has taken his own western Canadian Ukrainian and Romanian peasant roots as the subject for his art. Uncle Eddie's Guide to Art Appreciation is an exploration of his post-peasant experience and how it relates to contemporary cosmopolitan culture. Using the tragic immigrant experience of Uncle Eddie, he seeks to find within the hardships and injustices of 20th-century cultural assimilation in Canada fleeting moments of beauty and peasant wisdom.

Veteran Montreal performer Norman Nawrocki more that reads the role of Uncle Eddie, he becomes him. Nawrocki draws on his own Ukrainian/Polish heritage to tap into the frustration and anger of the prairie farmer, delivering a strong and moving performance.

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