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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Art

Art diasporas

The French philosopher Henri Bergson defines the present as “ungraspable … the past devouring the future: It’s a conceptualization that suggests turmoil, flux and the idea of “a gap”; or maybe, not a gap so much as the impression of what we construct in place of not being able to “grasp” it. If we exist between “then” and “when” the…

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Contemporary

The National Campaign

Including work by Center for Tactical Magic, Luca Frei, Pia Lindman, Carlos Motta, Duke Riley, Chris Sollars, Allison Smith, Mark Tribe, United Victorian Workers Union, Organized by Creative Time; curated by Nato Thompson, Park Avenue Armory, New York Creative Time’s June–September project Democracy in America: The National Campaign (2008) ended in a ‘convergence’ of over 40 artists presenting artworks, performances,…

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