Going back over all these comments, I am very touched. Impossible to know when you initiate a project, what impact and ramifications it will have. It begins in curiosity – and then takes on a life of its own. I am most grateful, to Margaret of course, for her candor and forthrightness, to Evergon for being open to an exercise that was bound to reopen certain wounds, and to all those who helped me to bring the film home. Your responses to the film will encourage me in future endeavours.
Hmm, being almost 80 years old,( losing my last comment here because of computer lack of understandings), being a mother, being a nude artists’ model, what do I have to contribute here? What people think is normal is, for instance, going to war and killing people you don’t know, have never spoken to, out of some ancient belief that this will make you and your countrypeople more safe. Let’s change what is normal to being children and parents who love each other and people who are willing to be naked. As an artists and musician, I don’t pretend to know what art is about – just that many of us have fun doing it and experiencing it being done by others. Thanks to everyone who planned and participated in this event – a meta-art space.
Dear Dr. Cornett,
The experience for me was both humbling and exhilarating and for Margaret it was a grand time.
Near the end of the presentation, I felt breathless and even elevated/liberated.
I had not talked much about Margaret throughout the summer in such an intense manner over a prolonged time.
As always there was the support of my long time friend, Don Winkler and I was glad he was there. I was glad of his foresight to make this film.
I was particularly intrigued by the possibility that Margaret is a stigma. I would like to talk further on this subject and will seek it out.
It was a relief and pleasure to discover the gentleness and wisdom of Dr. Jaswant Guzder. I have always been leery of … but I knew we would bond when we both settled into the body consuming chairs on the other side of the room.
I also want to applaud the audience for their well thought-through questions and statements.
Finally, I would like to give a grand thanks to Dr. Norman Cornett.
At the end of the seminar, my gallerists and I went for lunch and beer. We ended up talking about the other two players in the family, my father and my younger brother. The buoyancy of the afternoon was lost.
FYI. There will be a co-showing of Margaret’s paintings and my photographs at dc3 art projects opening on October 12th in Edmonton, Alberta.
When you wrote about the gentleness and wisdom of Dr Guzder I was striked by the fact that if I should describe you in two words, these are the exact words which would come to my mind thinking of you. Apart from “creative”.
When you reminisced about the relationship between your father and Ron, it was revealed to me that this PSTD victim was harboring a very delicate sensibility which he shared with your younger brother. Hiding it must have been a very challenging endeavor especially while being exposed to the worst of behaviors on the battlefields of WW2.
And we are right not to forget to thank the master in Dr Cornett for he his a very special vehicle of community education. Probably thinking of John Lock, Dr Cornett recently mentioned that “Tolerance comes with education” and both of you have certainly been successful at transmitting this message.
With all my gratitude in the fellowship of the Spirit,
Un grand merci pour ce film qui soulève tant de questions importantes, qui, toutes, sont pourtant essentielles.
Parmi elles, la vieillesse et la beauté : Don Winkler nous met vraiment face à notre condition réelle, condition niée constamment, par la mise en avant de la jeunesse, les visages sans rides ni taches et la performance physique ou intellectuelle. Toujours plus, et toujours plus vite.
Mon oeil d’artiste a aimé les photos de Margaret ; les volumes, les ombres et les lumières sur les collines de son corps, la texture de sa peau et enfin son intelligent visage.
D’abord, je tenais à remercier Don Winkler pour le regard sensible et généreux qu’il a posé sur Evergon et Margaret qui transpire dans son film. C’est un document exceptionnel qui nous permet d’entrer dans l’intimité de ce couple atypique et profondément touchant. Merci à Evergon pour la candeur et l’honnêteté avec laquelle il a participé à l’exercice et au Dr. Jaswant Guzder dont toutes les interventions ont été pertinentes et empreintes d’un grand respect et au Dr. Cornett de nous avoir permis de partager ce moment.
Ayant été proche de Margaret dans les dernières années de sa vie, ayant eu la chance de connaître cette femme d’une force inouïe, c’est avec beaucoup d’émotion que j’ai écouté les témoignages et l’impression qu’elle a laissée sur vous, de son rapport au monde, à sa famille, à Evergon évidemment beaucoup. À travers toutes ces interventions, nous avons retrouvé l’essence de ce qu’était Margaret, passionnée, généreuse et intransigeante. C’est magnifique de voir qu’elle continue d’être une inspiration et un modèle pour ceux qui la découvrent maintenant.
Merci Hugo… ” Frère d’arme tu es, frère d’arme tu resteras “.
Vous n’êtes pas seul.
Nous ne sommes jamais seul au sein de la fraternité de l’Esprit, très cher Diego.
Durant ces quelques heures, Margaret était sans aucun doute notre mère à tous. Sans complaisance, naturellement compatissante, dans toute sa nudité douairière, sa dot étant celle de toutes les femmes, un mari disparu… mais toujours trop tôt, des fils qui sans le vouloir sont devenus des figures de proue, fracassant le tumulte hypocrite des conventions pathétiques. Dans ce combat pour une compréhension édifiante du sens de l’existence, que tous nous nous devons de mener, Evergon est notre frère d’arme! Tout comme lui, nous sommes provisoirement orphelins d’une vérité originelle que nous tentons de nous réapproprier ici… par l’Art.
Merci de votre lucide et courageux commentaire où vous n’hésitez point à nous mettre devant les faits tels qu’ils se présentent aujourd’hui. En effet, notre post-modernité matérialiste athée aura ainsi réduit la voix des âmes en une seul pan de l’expression humaine: l’Art; l’Art qui devient ainsi le seul médium où nous pouvons communiquer notre émotion devant le Mystère sans craindre d’être accusé de tous les maux de la planète!
Aujourd’hui être chrétien est devenu une tare au même titre que bien des crimes qui font la manchette de nos journaux de faits divers.
Cependant, (et c’est là que je m’identifie en tant qu’ “orphelin d’une vérité originelle” depuis belle lurette perdue de vue), la symbolique déficiente de notre société actuelle, axée presqu’uniquement sur des rapports de production-consommation, aura réussi à rabaisser, là aussi, l’Art … à un simple niveau de divertissement.
Au sein de ce combat sur le chemin de la fraternité de l’Esprit,
Le moment que j’ai trouvé le plus marquant de la discussion fut lorsque Evergon qualifia sa relation avec sa mère de ”normale”; C’était un moment superbe, où Evergon paru si naturel, si à l’aise. Normal. Au fond, nous le sommes tous, même dans nos étrangetés intérieures.
J’aime la formule d’une interaction entre les créateurs et le public.À cause d’une maladie je n’ai pas participé vocalement au dialogue avec les invités. Et, étant assise à l’arrière, j’ai eu quelques difficultés à entendre les participants. Aussi le sens de quelques témoignages m’a intellectuellement échappé. Pour avoir été souvent ignorée en tant que personne âgée dans une réunion sociale dont les participants étaient majoritairement jeunes, je souhaite vivement que ce film soit largement diffusé afin de susciter une prise de conscience et ainsi créer un lien intergénérationnel. Car, à mon avis, si les vieux d’ici sont ”parqués” dans des établissements c’est que ce lien est absent. Le vieillissement et les conséquences sur les proches et la société sont les réalités auxquelles chacun doit faire face. J’ai fait mienne une maxime que j’applique dans plusieurs domaines: ”Mon maître est la réalité”. Merci d’avoir établi ce dialogue hautement nécessaire. Au plaisir….Lucie Desjardins
Dear Dr Cornett,
As usual, participating in one of your seminars proves itself to be a challenging but most rewarding experience. You are a true master and I have a lot to learn from you, me being only an apprentice in the fellowship of the Spirit.
Donald Winkler’s film about this most touching story revealing Margaret’s compassionnate life, her sons and other “protégés” proves itself to be a milestone among all productions about intergenerationnal relationships.
Although I can understand why some people, thinking of one’s life getting closer to the final “au revoir”, saw this story as being frightening, I humbly think that they missed the very important point which is that by involving Margaret on such a project, Evergon as given her the chance to live some of the most meaningful years of her life for through this endeavor, she was able to confront and overcome with boldness the traumas of her past!
Love and companionship through the ages are the theme of this film coming out of Evergon’s magnificient artictic pictures. A true gift of free love. What a beautiful thing to do for one’s own mother! An example to be followed in our own ways.
A must film to be seen everywhere by everyone (by the way, please contact Roland Smith of “Le Cinéma du Parc” at firstname.lastname@example.org to let this film have a greater audience. It is a repertoire film for everyone to enjoy.)
Again, thank you Dr Cornett for letting us into your “dialogic” universe. I’m a fan and will continue to be one as long as you will be around.
The latest Dr. Cornett’s ‘Margaret and Evergon’ seminar provoked me to think about a definition of art what I never tried to do earlier as a ‘technical person’ after many years of practicing in narrow engineering fields that made more smooth my left part of brain. It will definitely sound trivial, but it came firstly to my mind that the art can be also labeled as a willingness+ability of presenting something considered as common/ordinary or not worth of paying attention in our always busy lives like somewhat interesting and important to notice for not fully explained reasons. That is why good art works catches human attention for a longer time as instead of only simple revealing/showing extraordinary things it rather forces for deeper reflection/’digestion’ about their themes. Definitely this trio: Margaret, Evergon and Donald Winkler can be considered as not only artists, but the outstanding artists able to penetrate human thick skins and hard sculls directly into their minds with certain messages. Fruits of their joined efforts resonated more than well with the audience as Dr Cornett had to be brutal and limit spontaneous eruption of induced by them (and the quests’ presence) discussion.
Without Mr. Winkler’s impulsive idea of making this film many people would never have a chance to see something extraordinary, and worth of sharing with a wider audience, in life of this family. The problem is that in our world is present many more of such lives worth of seeing by many people, but we do not have enough talented directors to register it and … not enough time in our own lives to watch remarkable lives of others. 🙂
My point is that we should consider ourselves as acting models, photographers and film directors playing such roles at the same time during our fascinating individual lives that are equally worth of registering/documenting. So far only our Creator is able to use different ‘filters and recording devices’ to see the most meaningful elements of our ‘films of life’ to enjoy and ‘profit’ from it. Yes, profit as we similarly to Him (He’s able to see even more) felt emotionally and intellectually enriched after this meeting. The questions are for me, as the engineer, which driving forces in human personalities with what kind of key ideologies and with what the most pronounced elements from whole/individual history should be used to encourage/mobilize ‘ordinary people’ for becoming/feeling as the most confident masters/artists that enjoy registering and directing their own ‘films’ about their own lives? These rhetoric questions definitely sound like mysterious alchemy in a long history of science, but today we can transform base metals into the noble metals in some laboratories on a symbolic scale. The same is feasible to achieve today with our minds, but let me stop here now to provoke for a short moment our valuable guest, Prof. Jaswant Guzder, by formulating above such bold claims touching her professional field (and also nerves –haha!) what I will clarify after a few months.
thank you to dr cornett and guests for bringing this film to the dialogue sessions. it was a pleasure to meet both evergon and donald winkler, to explore this special documentary and to have open a commentary on margaret’s life experience ,at least what we think or imagine we know about it. indeed as our filmmaker says the mystery of margaret is not to be found in her nakedness. we spoke of the important voices of our elder citizens, our living treasures and the place of aging in our society that are issues shaped by our collective values but also by our unique humanity within families. margaret’s spirit was evident in the celebration of a birthday at 80 with a housebound elder who filled the party with a hundred people in a new city , she offered us a story of transformation and identity. she was defiant and confronting , stood her ground for her values and her loyalty to those she loved. she was modelling her belief in compassion. by sharing her thoughts on life and love, she was able to drop conventional masks, and speak to some more essential issues_ a woman,s life with a man broken by trauma, a husband who could no longer be the intimate partner who had left for war, as a mother declaring homosexuality had nothing to do with her attachment to her sons, that surviving the death of child ( one of the most catastrophic traumas) could expand her devotion to others and set her on a path to becoming an artist.it seems this was one of margaret’s secret as an installation artist, she was training as an artist with evergon for many years, and really “came out” when released by the death of her husband , a turning point in her life that allowed her to become herself. the stories we heard allowed us to reach for the transformation within margaret as she offered herself as son’s model_defying all taboos. the story of the toronto art show by her gallery colleagues was especially moving. Again margaret wanted us to look into the mirror and see ourselves with the filmmaker and the photographer as were partners in the adventure. margaret was not a mere subject, she became a muse, an agent of change, a mirror, a history, a statement. one of the audience thought she evoked the image of stigmata, that she evoked the sacred , the primeval venus, the rotting flesh, the compassionate mother, the disintegration of narcisstic embodiment, etc. margaret invited us to project our unconscious and reflect on what we projected. evergon and donald winkler with their generosity and vision as artists have taken us into that world of mirrors and shared margaret’s unique qualities with us.
Thank you Professor Cornett for organising this really stimulating event. It was a great pleasure to listen to both Donald and Evergon speak to the film and to the photo series of Margaret, as well as to share their personal memories of Margaret. I thoroughly enjoyed the dialogic process, the personal written reflections that we were asked to do as well as the follow-up discussions a week later. I found listening to the other participants views facilitated further insights for me on the subject of aging. Despite the fact that I was quite surprised by some participants view of seeing aging as something to fear as opposed to celebrating, I can understand why it might be thought of in this way. Thank you again, for a very interesting afternoon’s discussion in extremely convivial company!
For a filmmaker, it is a great pleasure to see his or her film given a thoughtful, stimulating reception. On that score, this afternoon’s proceedings were quite wonderful. Most of the participants had seen the film the previous week and reflected upon it, and that was clear in the reactions they had and the questions they posed. And it gave me new insights on how Margaret’s story can affect people. Professor Cornett guided the discussion with skill and enthusiasm. I thank him for the experience, and the opportunity
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