General

Off grid

This issue is organized around the idea of “art infrastructure,” or the systems and structures that facilitate the production and presentation of contemporary art. They include galleries, artist-run centres and temporary exhibition spaces, public art initiatives such as Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, art schools, funding mechanisms and systems of patronage; in short, the economics and machinations of the art world. Art…

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Exhibitions

The Way I Are

Curated by Katie Bethune-Leamen. Featuring Valerie Blass, Anthony Burnham, Robert Fones, Martin Golland, Jen Hutton, Kelly Jazvac, John Massey, Elizabeth McIntosh, Planningtorock, Tony Romano Blackwood Gallery at the University of Toronto Mississauga. The Way I Are, on view at Art Gallery Mendocino this winter, took its title and inspiration from hip-hop producer and artist Timbaland’s 2007 single of the same…

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General

What can an art magazine do?

Since this issue is my last as editor of C, it seems natural to ask what exactly I have been doing these past four-and-a-half years. Having been the editor of two art publications (C Magazine [(2004-2008)] and the now obscure MIX Magazine [(2001-2002)] what do I now believe an art magazine can do? Because contemporary art as a discipline promulgates…

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Contemporary

When is ‘contemporary?

When is ‘contemporary? The arrival of a new editor always invokes a consideration of a magazine’s history and its accomplishments, and a necessary process of re-visioning. In C’s more than 25-year history–which now includes six editors–there are a number of consistent trends. These include: coverage of Canadian and international work that often falls outside the purvey of more traditionally oriented…

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General

PCP: POP/conceptual/psychedelic

LARS BANG LARSEN I’d like to begin by asking you a general question, because I am curious about your motivation for working with the psychedelic as one of your main subject matters. Psychedelia is rife with paradox. On the one hand it is over-identified because it lends itself to certain easy fascinations and to cliches about style and behaviour. On…

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Interviews

Installations that explored cultural diversity

On October 4, 2008, the city of Toronto was energized by the arts for the third instalment of Nuit Blanche. This latest edition benefited from a geographical expansion, with new neighbourhoods such as Liberty Village included as sites of activity. In this location, curator Haema Sivanesan programmed seven installations that explored cultural diversity. Among them was Brendan Fernandes’ Future (……

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Contemporary

Art pedagogy

Nineteen eighty-four, the year this magazine was founded, marked the end of an era. In February of that year Pierre Trudeau announced his retirement; subsequently, Brian Mulroney and the Progressive Conservatives were elected in a landslide. We all know what happened next. The election of the Mulroney government ushered in an era of wildly unfettered capitalism, which may now be…

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Reviews

Do curators need university curatorial programs?

The hyperbole that seems to accompany many negative reactions to new curatorial studies programs is based on one contentious, heavily debated theory: you can’t teach someone to curate. For critics, these degrees are like doing condensed med school studies by online correspondence: Web-conference in on Tuesdays and Thursdays for six months, and we’ll let you cut people open. A curatorial…

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Contemporary

No typical donor

This year, the Power Ball, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery’s biggest annual fundraising event and one described by society pages and fashion media as the “official launch of the summer social season,” added an Artist Ambassadors ticket package to its sponsorship options. A response to arguments that few artists can afford to attend the event at $160 general admission…

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Art

The state of art criticism and critical theory

Oscar Wilde’s famous quip that “The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is unread” partially applies to art criticism. The problem with most art criticism is that it is both unreadable and unread. Paradoxically, however, as an obscure subculture of writing, art criticism appears in a truly large number of venues: several hundred international…

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