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C Magazine

C Magazine Summer 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

3 min

In the months leading up to the issue, the gravity of “land” has been unbearably present: the increasingly barbaric and racist policing taking place along colonial borders; water protectors at Standing Rock risking their lives in the face of capitalist and colonial interests on Indigenous land. Alarming weather patterns have become the norm. Trudeau, meanwhile, has been named a “stunning hypocrite” for espousing environmental actions in the media while supporting and continuing violent resource extraction in Canada and abroad. As printed in the Guardian in April: “Canada, which represents one half of 1% of the planet’s population, is claiming the right to sell the oil that will use up a third of the earth’s remaining carbon budget.” All of this takes place amidst the “celebrations” of Canada’s 150th anniversary of…

5 min
out of season

When I was asked to write this text, I was busy packing my suitcase for a holiday. A holiday is different from a journey. It triggers very specific expectations. Almost seamlessly, everything becomes focussed on rest and relaxation from the so-called “everyday,” which settles like sediment during one’s lifetime. What is beyond the everyday happens elsewhere, in another place. This “Other” is coveted and much sought-after, surrounded by uncountable ideals and visuals. It is embraced by holidaymakers as well as by the economic branch that welcomes them: they nourish and cultivate it, praise it as being manageable. This is very much unlike the current, returning presence of the “Other,“ which is said to have been brought by all these “Others,” who particularly during the last couple of years have come to…

14 min
racialized landscapes: marking territoryacross north america

In July 2012, the town of Stanstead, QC, which sits on the Canada–USA divide, officially barricaded the last of three streets crossing into the town of Derby Line, Vermont. After an uptick in illegal entry into Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police facilitated a joint-agreement with the Integrated Border Enforcement team and local officials from both towns to authoritatively block cross-border traffic on Church Street. Three years prior to this agreement, officials had closed off the other two streets using small, unimposing metal gates but opted to leave Church Street open. This was in large part because the Haskell Free Library and Opera House straddles the borderline at Church Street and has served both towns since 1904. Residents worried that closing the street would restrict access to the historic transnational…

8 min
the cul-de-sacs bulb into dead ends

Pine Point, Northwest Territories – the town and its accompanying mine site – is named after the tamarack tree, a pine tree masquerading as coniferous. In late September, the tamarack’s needles fade to an autumnal hue, creating a jarring visual as vast fields of short, stocky pines appear to be wilting or dying rather than hibernating. Before the first snowfall, these tamaracks stand as bare as the skeletal remains of a carcass. Another mark of another summer past. I fell gracelessly for the abandoned terrain surrounding Pine Point. Scattered rubble and condensed crushed rock litter the earth like a floppy area rug disguising something subtly conspicuous. It was nearly three years ago that I ventured north alone, and my strongest memories pertain to my sonic relation to that place. There is…

18 min

Postcommodity is a transdisciplinary art collective that consists of Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist. The three artists live and work in the American Southwest and, in addition to their work together as Postcommodity, have individual art practices as well as careers in fields ranging from music to public policy to education. Chacon, Martínez and Twist generously spoke to me the day before the opening of their solo show Coyotaje at Art in General and then responded to a set of questions by email in between travelling to present their work at documenta14. Over Skype the artists described their individual practices as well as the intentionality that coheres them within the collective. In response to a question about working together, Twist observed: “I think that has been very,…

16 min
mare liberum

Mare Liberum is a collective of visual artists, designers and writers who formed around a shared engagement with New York’s waterways in 2007. As part of a mobile, interdisciplinary and pedagogical practice, the collective has designed and built boats; published broadsides, essays and books; invented water-related art and educational forums; and collaborated with diverse institutions to produce public talks , collaborative exhibitions, participatory works and voyages. Mare Liberum (ML) is made up of Jean Barberis, Dylan Gauthier, Ben Cohen, Stephan von Muehlen, Sunita Prasad and Kendra Sullivan. ML’s work bridges dialogues in art, activism and science by remapping landscapes, reclaiming local ecologies and observing and recording the overlaps of nature, industry and the polis. The collective’s projects connect divergent constituencies with shared environmental concerns, create waterfront narratives ranging from the industrial…