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C Magazine

C Magazine Winter 2016 - 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

5 min

Once a year, C Magazine invites a guest editor to take over an issue, and this particular guest edited issue coincides with C’s commitment to re-visiting contemporary feminisms on a regular basis. For c132, guest edited by dance artist, choreographer and educator taisha paggett, and art historian and curator Erin Silver, the editors have importantly broadened the feminist conversation much further than C has in the past. It resonates deeply with the events of 2016, and it offers a series of exchanges and provocations that I’m thrilled to present to C readers at the beginning of my time as Editor. – Kari Cwynar The force of this issue lies in concerns over matter, and what matters, in the face of the political urgencies of 2016. We consider and interject the current place…

6 min
2025: light black years from now

“The dominance of language and writing has come to stand for meaning itself. Live, embodied practices not based in linguistic or literary codes, we must assume, have no claims on meaning…It’s imperative now, however overdue, to pay attention to the repertoire.” – Diana Taylor1 It’s 2025. I’m running, as usual. The time it takes to get to the water station leaves me with little time to get back to the group before our nightly gathering. I really don’t need to sign up for the water shift as often as I do – there are enough people in our pod to share all the tasks. But I love the journey, the time alone to think, to be, to be solo. One of the hardest things about the Changes is the lack of alone time,…

13 min
borrowed lady

Amy Kazymerchyk, curator of the Audain Gallery in Vancouver, BC, talks with Los Angeles based artist Martine Syms about the development of her first solo exhibition in Canada, titled Borrowed Lady, at the gallery from October 13 – December 10, 2016. They discuss the familial, cultural and historical inheritances in Syms’ practice, the conditions of borrowing and the circulation of vocal and physical gesture. AMY KAZYMERCHYK: The centrepiece of Borrowed Lady is an expanded installation of your 2015 video Notes on Gesture. Could you describe this original work? MARTINE SYMS: The first iteration of Notes on Gesture is a single-channel video that looks at the differences between how a person moves naturally versus when they are acting. While I was researching acting techniques I found an index of gestures that was published…

13 min
rocking the running spirit: meditations on sisterhood and occupations

I am hitting a rhythm. Like the ancestors at Igbo Landing, I am hitting a rock, rocking out to sea. I am rocking in my seat, my heels; my body rocks. My ghosts have memories past time of rocking. We’ve caught the spirit, we’ve jigged and jumped, we’ve danced and grooved and broken. Ancient memories of being elevated in a trance, with hands laid upon memory, remembering in sema, swaying in shucklen, and so on – who knows what memories these ghosts hold. In New Orleans, supine with toes up, in close enough proximity to the other Black women here to feel their sweat pool around my shoulders, I begin to rock my heels. I am rocking my heels, my body rocks, memory is activated, I am unlocked. I am…

21 min
feminisms of the future, now: rethinking technofeminism and the manifesto form

“Ours is a world in vertigo. It is a world that swarms with technological mediation, interlacing our daily lives with abstraction, virtuality, and complexity.” So begins the Xenofeminist Manifesto, formally Xenofeminism: A Politics for Alienation (hereafter XFM), compiled by the collective Laboria Cuboniks in 2015. “XFM constructs a feminism adapted to these realities: a feminism of unprecedented cunning, scale, and vision; a future in which the realization of gender justice and feminist emancipation contribute to a universalist politics assembled from the needs of every human, cutting across race, ability, economic standing, and geographical position.” The considerations, in short, of Laboria Cuboniks, or LC, are extensive, taking into account not only the ways in which technology can facilitate pluralistic feminisms, but also the extent to which technology may constitute an interdisciplinary means for revising,…

20 min
flex, conjure, crack. flexibility and the uncertainty of blackness

“today, i passed a mirror and did not see a body, instead a suggestion, a debate, a blank post-it note there looking back. I haven’t enough room to both rage and weep.” Donte Collins – from “what the dead know by heart” What is to be done with the Black body in this time of crisis? When the circulation of imagery of Black people killed, tortured, maimed and left to drown constitutes a deathly hallows to be pursued by the various houses of white supremacists, authoritarian populists, carceral feminists and talking heads, what is to be done with the unacknowledged buildup of anti-Blackness and the existential questions it raises, the unruly and unsightly forms it takes on? The body is a construction that appears through modern modes of knowing and being,…