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C Magazine

C Magazine Autumn 2017

C Magazine, established in 1984, is an essential platform for critical debate about contemporary art. With an emphasis on Canadian practitioners and international contexts, each thematic issue engages with emergent perspectives through original art writing, criticism and artists’ projects. C is committed to facilitating meaningful, pluralistic, interdisciplinary, historically-engaged and imaginative conversations about art.

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C The Visual Arts Foundation
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3 Issues

in this issue

11 min
fabiola carranza and steffanie ling on ling’s nascar

Steffanie Ling is the author of two books, Nascar (Blank Cheque, 2016) and Cuts of Thin Meat, (Spare Room, 2015). She writes criticism and essays on subjects that range from contemporary art and cinema to professional wrestling, microwaves and the K-pop awards. Her latest work, Uber Everywhere, is a short play commissioned by the 2nd Kamias Triennial in the Philippines. Ling has worked as a curator at CSA Space and as an editor of Bartleby Review. She writes a monthly Vancouver arts column for Akimbo, organizes a reading series with Emma Metcalfe Hurst (LIT LIT LIT LIT), and co-edits a new journal (Charcuterie), which she founded with Bopha Chhay. I spoke with Steff about her most recent book, Nascar, sometime in December. It is now June and Blank Cheque has…

6 min
adrian villar rojas: the theater of disappearance

It’s a 30-degree June day in Athens, Greece, and we are climbing a long, winding path to the Hill of the Nymphs in anticipation of a large-scale site-specific installation by Argentinian artist Adrian Villar Rojas. The Theater of Disappearance is the result of a multi-year collaboration between the artist, a state institution (National Observatory of Athens) and a local non-profit contemporary art foundation (NEON). Villar Rojas mounted two monumental installations under the same title earlier this year, one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and the other at Kunsthaus Bregenz in Bregenz, Austria. In this third iteration, the artist continues to mine the fraught and complex processes of preserving, recording and interpreting histories, transforming the National Observatory of Athens and its grounds into sites of inquiry. The…

10 min
making us look

Internationally recognized for writing, directing and producing films about Black Canadians in sectors ranging from sports to culture to activism, Charles Officer works mostly in Toronto these days. It’s the city where he grew up and one he’s come to hold politically accountable. His conscientious scrutiny is evident in recent work, specifically Unarmed Verses (2017), which profiles Toronto’s soon-to-be-developed Villaways neighbourhood through conversations with its youth, and The Skin We’re In (2017), a documentary about anti-Black racism in Canada structured as a long-form conversation with Desmond Cole. This past June, amid the fervid afterglow of Unarmed Verses’ success at the Hot Docs festival, I spoke to Officer about the challenges and rewards of working in Canada. During our conversation, Officer remarked upon the complex dynamics of pitching and producing films for…

10 min
the past, the present and the same

THE PRESENT It’s the morning of the James Comey hearings in America and hordes of people, young and old, are passively anticipating the change they have been so desperately seeking. Even though I’m living in the land we call Canada, I am by all free trade agreements a byproduct of American imperialist media. This will be important later when we think about Deanna Bowen’s representation of Blackness in Canada. Also keep this note in mind the next time white Canadians cry afoul, but are unwilling to make any changes themselves. I’m half listening to the Comey live stream on my phone and half trying to get out the door to meet Deanna for this “interview.” In all honesty, I don’t really know how to interview anybody anymore given that I have…

6 min
julian hou: milman parry’s waiting room rhapsody

We do not look forward to sitting in waiting rooms. What amenities are in place to abate our boredom? An inoffensive selection of general interest magazines await captive bodies, confined minds. Articles about burning fat, supernatural encounters, sugary cocktail recipes, a life-affirming human interest piece. Oh god. How time slips like a slippery and bone-addled fish. Nothing to sink our teeth into anyway. Julian Hou’s solo exhibition at Artspeak, Milman Parry’s Waiting Room Rhapsody is a waiting room constructed against this purgatory of waiting, because we are stripped of knowing for what it is that we wait. A room with artwork is as much a testing ground for patience, a site prior to some sort of vaguely imminent, Beckettian non-arrival, be it diagnosis, consultation, or meaning of the work itself. But…

5 min
katherine mckittrick and rinaldo walcott on walcott’s black like who?,

Katherine McKittrick and Rinaldo Walcott re-visit Black Like Who? (1997), Walcott’s seminal examination of Black culture in Canada, at a time when it continues to resonate loudly. This issue of C Magazine focuses on voice, so I would like to begin there. As you know, the question of voice is central to Black Studies and practices of liberation: the longstanding histories of racial capitalism and racial violence have generated different kinds and types of Black voice; the question of being unheard or illegible is underpinned by different modes of speakability. In Black Like Who?, you analyze a range of Black voice – enunciated through film, poetry, fiction and more. In many ways, the book theoretically voices Black Canada. Can you talk about your work in relation to Black voice, Black voices…