Brick Writers on the Best of 2022


We asked our issue 110 contributors to let us know what’s captured their attention over the past year. Here’s what they shared:

 

The best painting I saw this year was by Ben Reeves at Nicholas Metivier Gallery in Toronto. I really like what Reeves does with the figure in a landscape. It’s a big pink painting of clam diggers framed in flat, blue leaves. There’s distance, and out-of-focus elements, and then these physical gestures of the clam diggers—sort of ephemeral and yet how you see the body at a distance. Some blobs of paint are so thick you’d think they’d stick out and become the foreground, but they stay hemmed in there on the beach beyond the work of what looks like a family outing. The colours are life-affirming and the flat passages of paint are efficient and joyful and give off more energy than it took to apply them. 

— Michael Winter

Clam Diggers (Pink), 2022 by Ben Reeves, from Nicholas Metivier Gallery

 

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Detouring from a translation engagement, I travelled to Xitlitla to find Las Pozas, the surreal and visionary compound that Edward James spent his fortune and forty years constructing in the jungle. Made mostly of concrete, the vast dreamscape, his life’s work, is gradually disintegrating, relinquishing itself to the green surround.

— Forrest Gander

Photo courtesy of Forrest Gander

 

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Five minutes into Peter Strickland’s bizarre, hilarious, outlandish new film, Flux Gourmet, my partner turned to me and said, “This is your favourite movie, isn’t it?” And I said, “Yes—yes, it is.”

— Pasha Malla

 

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My favourite book of the year was Almost Beauty: New and Selected Poemsby Sue Sinclair (Goose Lane, 2022). This collection, drawn from over twenty years of Sinclair’s published poems, blasted the mothballs out of many a neglected corner of my mind.

Rob Taylor

 

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I rediscovered Anni Albers, and particularly her book On Weaving (first published in 1965, reissued by Princeton University Press in 2017) a masterclass in achieving variation within pattern. Fides Krucker’s book Reclaiming Calliope: Freeing the Female Voice through Undomesticated Singing taught me so much about voice as inhabitation. I fell for the character of Sabi in Sort Of (from co-creators Bilal Baig and Fab Filippo). What a beautiful, wise series.

— Kyo Maclear

 

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Three Minutes: A Lengthening, a documentary by Bianca Stigter excavating a few fragments of footage shot by a visitor from America in a Jewish town in Poland in 1938, dissecting and simultaneously demonstrating the alchemy of film. 

— Alissa Valles

 

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Melbourne poet Emma Lew has a poem that begins “You, me, money, and fear,” and one that ends “Maybe I should have toyed with her more.” The spooky authority of her voice resonates all through Crow College: New and Selected Poems.

— Chris Andrews

 

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I would choose Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit; the filmography of Lucrecia Martel (and also her interviews); and On Being, Krista Tippett’s podcast. 

— Mariano Vespa

 

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A book I enjoyed recently—it’s new to me but not new: The Silentiary by Antonio di Benedetto, translated by Esther Allen.

— Sarah Moses