The woman in a red dress being blasted by pepper spray in Gezi Park, Istanbul, is not an anomaly. Women are on the front lines of Turkey’s protest movement and were also well represented in the series of upheavals that was dubbed the Arab Spring. But to gain a full appreciation women’s contributions, it’s probably best to look beyond the mainstream news media.
Fearless: Egyptian Women of the Revolution
Photographer and multimedia documentarian Tatiana Philiptchenko has given western audiences a rare insight into the revolutionary role of women through her new book, Fearless: Egyptian Women of the Revolution. The book (Read more…)
At the recent Montreal Anarchist Bookfair, where another (better) world of incredibly inspiring, provocative and boundary-pushing art and media is on display each year, I stumbled upon Eloisa Aquino and her wares – a series of zines on awesome butch dykes, appropriately called The Life and Times of Butch Dykes. The teeny books are what every great zine should be, for me: oozing with the love and devotion the creator, as well as political, punchy, fun, informative, and accessible. It’s a fantastic series—eight and counting—that brings to life the lives of important butch dykes from herstory. Soon after the Bookfair (Read more…)
It’s no secret that money rules our lives.
I think what we’re now seeing is really the final and most ruthless stage of the integration of art and creativity into the capitalist market or, in other words, the final stages of art’s subordination to money.
But I think that almost all other ways of justifying art’s value are crumbling. When art was an elite commodity, say in the 19th century, artists and arts advocates used to be able to express art’s value in terms of some sort of transcendent humanism: art was the key to enlightenment, to compassion and sympathy, (Read more…)
Editorial cartoonist Dan Murphy has created a parody of a Canadian bank note featuring maligned senator Mike Duffy — he of the fraudulent $90,000 in expense claims.
The humourless Bank of Canada, however, demanded the cartoon be removed in an email sent from their “anti-counterfeiting compliance program.” The Bank argues that the parody violated their copyright on the Canadian $50 bill.
Now, section 29 of Canada Copyright Act provides “fair dealing” exceptions for the purpose of parody, and the itself Bank referred to the cartoon as a parody in their own email.
Either the Bank of Canada (Read more…)
Chinese dissident and artist Ai Weiwei will create a new edition of his Forever Bicycles sculpture at this year’s Nuit Blanche festival in Toronto.
The eighth annual event will take place between sunset and sunrise on October 5, 2013 and feature more than 110 contemporary art projects scattered across the city.
The installation by Weiwei, which debuted last year at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, features 1200 interconnected bicycles formed into a spellbinding, three-dimensional pattern.
This new version of the sculpture will be erected in Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, just a few short blocks from the Art Gallery of Ontario, (Read more…)
Whenever I shop for groceries, I’m reminded of our collective obsession with processed and packaged foods.
As someone who makes an reasonable effort to make decisions that are good for both my health and that of the planet, my shopping cart is largely filled with whole foods.
I’m certainly no saint — tubs of yoghurt, cans of legumes, bottles of beer and boxes of frozen pizza all involve unnecessary energy inputs and waste.
But each time I pull up to the checkout and dump dozens of fruits and veggies onto the conveyor belt, I find my selections are in stark (Read more…)
How large of a solar farm is needed to completely power the United States?
The simple answer is that a solar farm 100 miles long and 100 miles wide would be “more than enough to meet the country’s entire energy demand.”
The far more interesting answer, however, is that this hypothetical solar farm could be contained by a 460-mile line of chalk currently being drawn across Arizona by artist and activist Joseph DeLappe.
Project 929: Mapping the Solar, is both a long-distance bike ride and work of performance art. DeLappe hit the road on May 19 with a (Read more…)
The latest work by American artist Michael D’Antuono has once again drawn ire from US conservatives for pointing out the hypocrisy amongst their ranks.
His latest work, The Conservative Christ, depicts Jesus with an AK-47 hoisted into their air, clutching tightly to a pot of gold, and sneering derisively at a poor, old man. By illustrating precisely what Jesus would not do, D’Antuono draws attention to the awkward dissonance between Conservative’s sociopolitical beliefs and their supposed adherence to Christian values.
It was in an attempt to understand this conflict that inspired him to create the work.
It seems like (Read more…)
“Little girls are better at designing superhoroes than you are” is a part-time project of California based artist Alexandria Law.
Of the project she says: “Kids are more impressionable than you, but kids can also be less restricted by cultural gender norms than you. Kids are more creative than you, and they’re better at making superheroes than you. This is a mini art project where I draw superheroes based on the costumes worn by little girls.”
It’s practically tragic that there are so few opportunities to play with gender norms the way we did as kids, when we didn’t (Read more…)
The Raincoast Conservation Foundation had a permit from the City of Calgary to display their travelling art exhibition, Artists for an Oil-Free Coast, at city hall. However, once the show opened, a backlash from conservative politicians caused the city to revoke the permit, arguing the show was too “political” and violated municipal bylaws banning demonstrations inside the building.
Despite the show’s unambiguous title, the city claims they “weren’t aware there was a specific political agenda or cause associated with the art exhibit,” according to Sharon Purvis, the city’s director with corporate properties and buildings.
While the city is (Read more…)
A magnitude 8.0 earthquake shook through Wenchuan County in Sichuan province of the People’s Republic of China on May 12, 2008. Official figures listed 69,197 dead, including 5,335 children, mostly killed as a result of shoddy school construction — a horrible tragedy, particularly due to China’s one-child policy, that caught the attention of a couple of artists, including the now infamous Ai Weiwei.
Ai had courted controversy before by being publicly outspoken about the Beijing Olympics, but his response to the Sichuan earthquake brought him into the sharp focus of the Chinese government. Working with a number of locals (Read more…)
When Tillett Wright began her photographic project, Self Evident Truths, back in 2010 she didn’t expect the groundswell of requests for photographs that she ended up receiving. She originally wanted to shoot 4-5,000 people, but the response has led her to increase her goal to 10,000 people.
“I basically decided to photograph anyone in this country that isn’t 100% straight, which, if you don’t know, is a limitless number of people,” jokes Wright in her TEDx talk posted above.
To date she has photographed around 2,000 people. “This is the civil rights fight of our generation,” says Wright.
Sonny Assu meets you where you’re at. I first came across his artworks as the Idle No More movement began to swell, his dusty blue and red posters could be spotted in protests reading “rise” “lead” “confront” “learn”. Less than a month later, a set of posters on display at the Burnaby Art Gallery caught my attention, and it turned out they were also by Sonny.
Raised in Delta, Sonny first learned about his heritage when he ran home from school to tell his mother about these “cool people that used to exist” that he had learned about — only (Read more…)
Rumours are circulating that British activist and street artist Banksy has been arrested. Fortunately, they seem to be false.
From a suspiciously unattributed press release (update — the web link seems to be down again. Here is a PDF of the release.):
London Police Chief Wayne Leppard held a press conference to answer questions about how Banksy was finally apprehended. “We had a 24-hour Anti-Graffiti Task Force monitoring different groups known to have associated with Banksy. We received word that around 2am a group of individuals left a flat speculated to be one of Banky’s art studios. This group (Read more…)
A new digital media challenge is looking for creative work that addresses the need to improve democracy in the United States.
And as it is with American democracy in practice, large sums of money are at stake — $100,000 in cash prizes will go to “the most fresh and creative submissions.”
Looking@Democracy is a national competition offering a total of $100,000 in prize money for short, provocative media submissions designed to spark a national conversation about why government is important to our lives, or how individuals and communities can come together to strengthen American democracy. Launching today, February 4, 2013, (Read more…)
“History isn’t the lies of the victors … I know that now. It’s more the memories of the survivors, most of whom are neither victorious nor defeated.” – The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
On the last Sunday in the year, the Parisian bourgeoisie were out in force. The queue for the Impressionism and Fashion exhibition at the Musee d’Orsay moved in sudden leaps but still took over an hour to get to the security checks. For the Dali exhibition at the Pompidou Centre, those with pre-booked tickets queued for an hour, those without considerably longer
Meanwhile, (Read more…)
If Josh Keyes’ paintings don’t take a bit of your breath away, I suggest you visit an optometrist. Each one sits as a stand-alone diorama, a moment caught in a fictional time, with beautiful realistic paintings of animals in a world so strange that it is most likely caused by human error.
While his work is often shown along with other surrealist artists gaining notoriety in the west coast pop-surrealism art scene, they carry a completely different message. His peers often site old fashioned cartoons as their inspiration, where Josh has been moved by ecological plights. Ever since first seeing (Read more…)
I’ve been on the hunt for Idle No More related art – illustrations, photography, songs, etc. If you have leads, please send them my way!
In the meantime, the first thing to come across my desk was this drawing by illustrator Stephen Gladue – inspired initially by the news that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has put an end to the environmental protection of a huge number of bodies of water in Canada. “What I read scared the hell out of me.”
“I needed to articulate my thoughts and feelings on this immediately,” explained Gladue of his piece.
. . . → Read More: Art Threat: When It Scares You – Where’s your idle art?
An international exhibition of political poster design, Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age: 2001-2012 is currently on display at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Curated by MassArt professor and Chair of Graphic Design Elizabeth Resnick, the featured work spans nearly three dozen countries and touches on just as many pressing issues.
From their website:
The third exhibition in a trilogy focusing on socially conscious posters, Graphic Advocacy features 120 works from 32 countries including Bolivia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Israel, Kuwait, Russia, and Singapore. As a medium for social change, posters record our struggles for peace, social (Read more…)
It’s 2012 and close to four years after the Lilly ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law in the United States. Surely, the gender wage gap has been closed, right? Wrong.
Even with moves toward equalizing pay between men and women, men still make almost 20% more than women in nearly all industries. This is despite the fact that women receive the same education, with the same tuition price tags and levels of debt upon graduation. The only major differences are that there are more ladies in college and they have better average GPAs to boot. The benefits of (Read more…)
The Anti-Capitalist Resistance Comic Book is the second graphic novel from activist Gord Hill. It is a chronicle of several anti-capitalist and anti-globalization movements over the last two decades, from the WTO protests in Seattle to the recent Occupy movements. Hill also places a great deal of emphasis on the violence that has accompanied these movements, regardless of whether that violence was perpetrated by police or protestors.
As a documentary account of these events, The Anti-Capitalist Resistance Comic Book does a passable job. Hill was clearly involved in many of the movements chronicled in the book and is able to (Read more…)
I’ve been looking for nice ways to start the new year. Typically, I am diligent about making reviews of past years, goals for upcoming years, a handful of resolutions – but this December the time to do this slipped from my fingers.
Shunpo landed in my inbox last week and when I finally found time to watch it today it was, perhaps, a good stand-in for what I was looking for. A short reminder to step away from your box, to explore, to dance, and to imagine.
Shot in 13 locations in Paris and at Tuz Golu salt lake in (Read more…)
About 30 people gathered in Toronto last night to discuss what many hope will grow into a movement for archiving grassroots histories. The public meeting was organized by Ulli Diemer of the Connexions Archive as a way to bring like-minded activists and scholars together to find strategies for preserving the heritage of social movements and marginalized communities in Toronto and across Canada. (Check out #Connexions for the twitter feed from the event.) . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Do grassroots archives have a future? – Exhibition from archive of activist histories
In this 2006 work by Israeli-born, London-based video artist Guli Silberstein, painful footage from the infamous Israeli shelling of a beach in Gaza is juxtaposed with scenes of a happy family relaxing on the sand in Tel Aviv. According to the artist, “the video work refers to the thin line between tranquillity and chaos, and [...] . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Life in Gaza is no day at the beach – Beach by video artist Guli Silberstein
Ethnographic data visualizations of the Skymall catalog made in flight with non-sharp objects. . . . → Read More: Art Threat: SkyMall Liberation: White vs Non-White