Magazine

From the Archive: UNRAVELLING THE PRANKSTER

James MacSwain Canadian Artist Spotlight at the 24th Images Festival, Toronto, On, April 1st, 2011

MacSwain is a prankster, with a wicked sense of humour and a voice-over, which is idiosyncratic in its tone and timbre. The Halifax-based filmmaker initially worked with puppet theatre, and that aesthetic is evident throughout his more than 20 films made over a 30-year period. Collage has always been central to MacSwain’s practice as well — certainly with his animation films, but also with his “documentary” and even dramatic works.

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Rogue, Rebellious, Ill-behaved, Black

Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art

Poet and artist Sylvia D. Hamilton’s multimedia installation of images, objects, and sound is heard and carried throughout the powerful exhibition Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax, which inspired the title of the group show. The creation of this exhibit occurred within a specific...

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Before Demolition: Tides

“You could really feel the cold. Not just the climatic cold, but the coldness of being out on a fishing boat in the wind and the rain and pulling up fish from icy waters,” says Neufeld.

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Sovereign Acts

The exhibition Sovereign Acts includes the work of Indigenous artists Rebecca Belmore, Lori Blondeau, Dayna Danger, Robert Houle, James Luna, Shelley Niro, Adrian Stimson, and Jeff Thomas as they explore various aspects of artistic performance as an act of cultural resistance.

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Keeping the Lights On: Will Gill, Pepa Chan and Mike Gough

There is no exclusive formula that dictates whether a person is a Newfoundland artist. There is no set milestone one must reach to attain such title. For me, it’s simple: does this artist have a lasting and respectful relationship with this place? Do they speak with the place rather than at the place? Do they want to be here?

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Flowing Into Bonavista Biennale

Seawater churns white as the beginning of a storm throws waves into the cove far below my feet. I can’t see anything in the foam at first. Then a green kitchen chair appears, perfectly still on a flat, rocky outcropping, as if someone has just pushed it away from a table. In a moment it’s...

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All These In-betweens

Logan MacDonald on how to reclaim what has been lost

MacDonald tells me that “this work is sad. It is about contemporary mourning and historical mourning, but it is also a call to action and to empathy.” In these betweens there is also a generative tension that illuminates hope and possibility.

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Ketu’elmita’jik / They want to go home

Jordan Bennett

When you first walk into the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia’s exhibition space holding Ketu’elmita’jik, created by Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland) artist Jordan Bennett, the colours and designs flood your senses. They enter you like some otherworldly creation that has seeped into your brain and started playing music you can’t quite hear. This site-specific work fills the...

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You Are Not Here

Juan Ortiz-Apuy draws power through imitation

Juan Ortiz-Apuy’s Fountain Mist is disorienting, like the moment a dream snaps into a nightmare. You are not here. A spectre haunts the mixed-media installation, stalking through the sheen of blues, oranges, and yellows—the spectre of someone else’s dream being imposed on you, also known as advertising. The dream is at its eeriest in a...

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#callresponse : conversation & action

Artists Christi Belcourt, Maria Hupfield, Ursula Johnson, Tania Willard, and Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory collaborated and conspired with Isaac Murdoch, Esther Neff & IV Castellanos, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Meagan Musseau, and Tanya Tagaq to create a series of site-specific works that have continued to evolve as an ongoing project, and result in unique gallery exhibitions and across the country. Engaging with the hashtag #callresponse—perhaps the most ubiquitous symbol of a modern form of conversational structure and organization—viewers are invited to peek into a much larger and more expansive meta-dialogue.

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Kym Greeley’s Highway Sightlines

Greeley uses the car windshield as a frame, and the highway as a major compositional element in her paintings. Objects often cropped out of tourism brochures, such as road signs, guardrails and lane markings, become significant features. The aesthetic of the highway is reflected in her refined style. Like the graphics used on highway signs, each element is clear and readable. Layered together, however; they create intricate compositions and complex, open-ended narratives

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The Most Important Thing

Art and the Rural Renewal of Fogo Island

Unlike standard economic development, Cobb illustrates an arts-and community-centered approach can only move at the “speed of human trust,” which means that it presents unique barriers. When Cobb and her brothers pitched their proposal to the provincial and federal governments for funding assistance, they heard back that the idea was “not normal, practical, reasonable, or rational.” Cobb said that this was the moment that concretized her faith in Shorefast, which was formed in 2006 and has been an overwhelming success since.

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