EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Art & Architecture
C Magazine

C Magazine Summer 2020

C Magazine provides rigorous and thought-provoking coverage of contemporary art practices in Canada and internationally. Publishing culturally engaged essays and reviews by both new and established writers, as well as artists’ projects, C Magazine is widely recognized as an essential platform for critical debate about contemporary art.

Country:
Canada
Language:
English
Publisher:
C The Visual Arts Foundation
Frequency:
Quarterly
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4 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
from kate monro and jaclyn bruneau

Dear Reader, Before you turn the page to find yourself inside this issue, we wanted to briefly share a few things about how we—Kate Monro, Publisher; Jaclyn Bruneau, Editor (the extent of C Magazine’s fulltime staff); and, the board’s Equity Committee, Karie Liao, Annie Wong, and Vicky Wong—have been reflecting on this moment: unto itself, and as it pertains to our organization’s ongoing efforts towards anti-oppression, equity, and inclusion, and the ways we want and need to grow. Racism, especially anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, is a problem across the world, including in Canada and in our nation’s art sector. You’ve likely heard this too many times to count in past weeks, but we see the repetition of this acknowledgement as part of ensuring that it can never again be ignored. Our content…

4 min.
letters

Dear C, I’m a young writer who has recently entered the field, but already feel demoralized by an exponentially-expanding list of personal grievances I have about art criticism. Reading issue 145, I was reassured to see that many other writers shared my grievances, despite all the supposed progress in the field. In the editorial note, Merray Gerges contextualized these grievances by posing the question: “is visibility directly proportionate to power?” The International Transgender Day of Visibility just recently passed, which reminds me of the times I’ve seen words like “visibility” and “diversity” paraded around by institutions in place of the actual work needed to produce meaningful structural change. I feel similarly about the so-called progress that has been made in the field of art criticism, which has left marginalized artists exhausted with…

11 min.
humour

We have been taking the important, aggrieving and revolutionary events that began in the wake of George Floyd’s death incredibly seriously, understanding that his horrific murder was one in a string of more than four centuries’ worth of anti-Black discrimination and violence, including lynching. While police force epitomizes some of the most overt manifestations of systemic inequity, the effects of white supremacy are omnipresent, including in the arts. C Magazine’s latest organizational message—including actions toward anti-oppression in our workplace and in our approach to content commissioning, past, present and future—can be found on page ten. We considered dramatically delaying this already delayed issue themed on “Humour,” first in light of the pandemic, and then in light of the Black Lives Matter uprising: two sources of exceptional individual, community and collective grief,…

7 min.
no laughing matter

It is day six of my 14-day quarantine and the couch cushions have finally yielded to the demands of conformity, marks furrowed into the foam like a defeated countenance. The loneliness of solitary isolation is almost tempered by the casual acquaintance I’ve made with this shadowy impression of a permanently reclining figure. The surrounding apartment is undergoing a metallurgical transformation all its own, with aluminum building up in every corner; three times a day the accretions mount in a clanging jumble of cylinders and serrated disks. Stripped of soggy papers that picture radiant climes, the canned peaches, tuna and beans become indistinguishable—but so do many of the things I once considered important, as life comes to a frightening standstill. Twenty-eight years ago, the United States was weathering a different kind of…

8 min.
laughing at power, laughing as power: on mike bourscheid

The depth of what we share can often be expressed in a joke; laughing at the same joke usually implies a sense of camaraderie, for better or for worse. A joke can also mock, deride or parody. In his performances, Mike Bourscheid uses humour, absurdity and play to critique structures of capitalism, patriarchy and heteronormativity, and reminds us of the importance of building alliances through laughter at a time when it is most seriously needed. In 2017, Bourscheid represented Luxembourg at the Venice Biennale, where as part of his exhibition Thank you so much for the flowers, he performed Goldbird Variations (Pas de deux) (2017), a take on Johann Sebastian Bach’s seminal compositions (Goldberg Variations, 1741). Instead of musically harmonic, Bourscheid’s Variations were gestural. In a peculiar handmade costume summoning another…

11 min.
healthy, complicated relationships: an interview with madelyne beckles

Madelyne Beckles does not take herself too seriously. In her video work, sincerity and irony work in tandem to deliver a message that lets you in on the joke enough to laugh but, at the same time, delivers a faint punch to the gut. Gendered labour, targeted consumerism, pop culture and a canon of feminist theory are playfully subjected to her low-brow camera and prop work. Beckles doesn’t spare herself when it comes to her firm but fair style of roasting, acknowledging her active participation in every avenue of culture that she aims to debunk; “With today’s brand of feminism, you no longer have to compromise looking cute!” she exclaims while posing in a negligee in Womanism is a Form of Feminism Focused Especially on the Conditions and Concerns of…