Contemporary

The past is always inseparable from the present

The past is always inseparable from the present. Its dialogue is a circuitous exchange. The present moment is one in which continued forms of colonialism are reared in every national institution–education, labour, health, trade and agriculture. In the time we spent together, Allen never missed an opportunity to connect the production of these cloths to a global awareness of transnational…

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Contemporary

Some of the best and purest video art

“Some of the best and purest video art … is being made by complete morons.” So writes Meesoo Lee, a video artist from Vancouver, a city on the art world radar as a hotbed of slacker art made by artists such as Damien Moppett, Steven Shearer, Geoffrey Farmer and Myfanwy MacLeod. For his Toronto screening at Pleasure Dome in January,…

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Contemporary

Cloth is a distillation of politics

Cloth is a distillation of politics across the diasporic experience. It reflects issues of growing concern that impact the political, social and economic lives of the many communities that cohere around its symbolism. Spending time with Allen I learned that he also moves–in the sense that he readily takes on the critique of social messages that many of these politically…

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Contemporary

Hooded sweatshirt with Maurice

Imagine you saw someone (let’s say me, for argument’s sake) wearing a hooded sweatshirt with Maurice. Would it matter that one of the Caribbean’s political revolutionaries was blazed on cotton and being sold to a mass audience for mass consumption? Okay, except for the bit about mass distribution, actually doing this is impossible, for a very strange, 21st-century reason: I…

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Contemporary

Canada, locate yourself!

It is often pointed out to me that people from Canada can’t stop talking about the place. This is doubly true if you come from Toronto. Although I’ll leave aside the anecdotal evidence for now, I know that I indulge in this habit. It’s a weird condition, suggesting that the country lacks definition in the minds of its inhabitants. Another…

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Contemporary

Light magic

Samuel Roy-Bois is a Vancouver-based artist, by way of Quebec City, Montreal and New York. His practice spans architectural installation, drawing, performance, literature and music–each intertwining with and breathing life into the others in varied, intimate combinations. His practice contemplates carving out welcoming places in our built environments while illuminating the porous imaginary offered up by daily life. I had…

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Art History and Culture

Biography, Memory, and Metaphor in Octavia’s Portico

Biography, Memory, and Metaphor in Octavia’s Portico. Artwork in the Porticus Octaviae celebrated feminine ideals by evoking Octavia as a contemporary representative. But more than the art inside, features of the building added by Octavia, specifically the libraries, represented acts of maternal duty expected of the Roman matron at the death of a family member. Dedicated to the memory of…

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