C Magazine

C Magazine Autumn 2019

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.

C The Visual Arts Foundation
3 期號


2 最少
70,000 veils

“To speak of a veil is to speak of a barrier preventing the viewer from seeing what lies beyond it,” a scholar and translator of Sufi teachings wrote. The veil, in Sufi philosophy, he explains, is “any barrier that bars the intending seeker from what is intended and sought,” which is the divine. To reach it, one must pass through 70,000 veils of light and darkness, a process known as kashf—or “unveiling.” “Unveiling” is used as a verb in the Qur’an 14 times; I lost count of how many times Sameer Farooq used it in our discussions of this artist project. Within the collection, the veil can be: a banker’s box, a folder, a shroud, a plastic drape, a bag, a roll of masking tape, a sorting tool, a label, a…

5 最少

Dear c magazine, I am writing on behalf of the Chinatown Anti-Displacement Zen Garden located in the outdoor courtyard of Chinatown Centre, in Toronto, organized by the community arts centre Tea Base and its friends. The garden is located in a semi-circular concrete container that used to be a fountain (removed by mall management due to a conflict over its feng shui). We planted and named the garden after the struggles that people in Chinatowns all over North America face, in terms of real estate developer recklessness, unaffordability, non-consensual destruction of ways of life, all of the general crushing pressures on low-income racialized people. Someone commented on an Instagram post about the garden: “How can a garden stop gentrification?” At first, I thought the answer is obviously in the people who care…

4 最少

“I found my drive to diversify permanent collections. They are the beating heart of the art world. If you can change the collection, you can change the public story of art,” curator Helen Molesworth has said. I used this quote in a draft of an investigative piece I worked on for over two years—a draft that is no longer my intellectual property—in which I look at a skeleton in the closet of Canada’s largest collecting institution. I examine what its presence says about the omissions that persist in the gallery’s collecting practices and policies, despite its claims of inclusion. The quote encapsulates the recent upswing of attempts to change the “story of art” that collections tell, of reconsiderations of the space allotted to overrepresented artists in order to make space…

11 最少
the market will never catch up

When we say it—the art market—we pretend we know what we are talking about, or at least we assume that we are all talking about the same thing. I am mostly not sure. The market can refer to the economic processes of supply and demand, encompassing sales, fairs, auctions, private collections, public museums, small galleries, established galleries—the list goes on. Perhaps all contemporary neo-liberal markets abandon the human by abandoning the haptic, preferring instead the shiny fetish over the social relation. But the art market is both particularly opaque because private sales data is not publicly available and particularly important because the relationship between auctioneers, dealers and collectors contributes to what gets sanctioned as worth collecting—and therefore what gets remembered in normative art history. One thing I do know for…

10 最少
getting our belongings back

Being born First Nations means that you’re born into politics—that’s the reality we face in this country. My father became chief of Siksika Nation after he was our tribal administrator for 30 years, so I grew up in a political household. For me, understanding the process of fighting for our rights and for our ways of life to be honoured and respected through diplomacy and politics all goes back to Blackfoot traditional values of humility. For as long as I can remember, we have been fighting for our rights. In 1990 I ran for council here at the Siksika Nation, and during the 10 years that I held that position, I worked on a number of different portfolios of the nation’s affairs, like education, finance and culture. In that time,…

10 最少
collecting forever? on acquiring a tino sehgal

In 2012, during my tenure as chief curator at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MACM), I initiated the acquisition of a work by the artist Tino Sehgal that brought about a discussion within the museum itself on the issue of the permanence of the collection. For the museum, founded on preservation and inalienability, what are the implications of acquiring a living artwork whose radical immateriality resists its own conservation? Sehgal’s work problematizes the idea of permanence, and in that sense, it undermines the modern and Western conception of the museum: to preserve the past in order to build the future. This Situation (2007) is a “constructed situation,” as Sehgal calls most of his works, and it brings together six intellectuals to engage in a philosophical discussion. It is composed of…