Culture: K’Naan, Robert Adams, Tear the Curtain

K’Naan waves his flag, Robert Adams ?captures America, and Jonathan Young ?and Kevin Kerr tear down the curtain. Music // K’Naan

knann-wavin-flag-troubadour_5.jpg

K’Naan waves his flag, Robert Adams 
captures America, and Jonathan Young 
and Kevin Kerr tear down the curtain.

Music // K’Naan

In the plus column, a celebrity-laden re-record of the song raised millions for Haiti earthquake victims; in the minus column, the song got co-opted by Coke. Regardless, “Wavin’ Flag” will go down as one of the defining anthems of the summer of 2010, especially after its heavy global rotation during the World Cup, for which the song was translated into (at last count) 18 different languages, including Spanish, Arabic and Chinese. The Somalia-born Toronto resident is touring in support of his 2009 album, Troubadour, which features collaborations with Adam Levine, Mos Def and Damian Marley, among others. Sept. 22, Malkin Bowl at Stanley Park.

Art // Robert Adams

As far as 20th-century American landscape photography is concerned, the work of two men named Adams dominates. However only one of those men, Ansel Adams, turned into a household name, with his romanticized perspective of the American West – full of pristine glacier-fed rivers and snow-capped mountains – becoming fodder for calendars, posters and coffee-table books. Robert Adams, by contrast, took the road less travelled, challenging the romantics’ view by focusing on natural landscapes encroached upon by civilization. The VAG show, The Place We Live – Adams’s first large-scale Canadian exhibition – looks at the New Jersey native’s interest in the environmental effects of suburban development. Sept. 25, 2010 to Jan. 16, 2011, Vancouver Art Gallery.

Theatre // Tear the Curtain

A bit of a surprising debut for the Stanley’s 2010-11 season, which tends to rely on safer fare. Here, the venerable Arts Club company is teaming up with the avant-garde Electric Company’s Jonathan Young and Kevin Kerr for a commission specifically designed for the Stanley stage. Written as a screenplay, the piece reflects the 80-year-old theatre’s heritage as both a former movie house and current playhouse, with an interspersion of live action and film clips and a tickle-trunk-full of film noir clichés, including a mob boss, femme fatale and hardboiled detective. The plot is a secondary consideration here; come for the spectacle. Sept. 9 to Oct. 10, Stanley Theatre.