C Magazine

C Magazine Spring 2020

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


6 最少

Dear C, I am fascinated by Erika DeFreitas’s encounters with Jeanne Duval’s spectre in arriver avant moi devant moi. How to approach Duval at all, when she is largely canonized as Baudelaire’s “Black mistress”? She was also a dancer, an actor and, by way of Haiti, she deeply influenced Baudelaire’s writing. DeFreitas is careful not to “recover” or “recuperate” Duval (her marginalia, so caring, rightfully asks: “What does it mean to tell the story (tale?) of someone who hasn’t told it themselves?”). Instead, we see DeFreitas inhabiting and dwelling in Duval’s few traces. At one point, Duval is superimposed onto the figure of the Black maid from Manet’s Olympia (the maid, too, offers another Black spectre in the canon). I am compelled by how DeFreitas refuses recuperation, and instead sits with…

7 最少
criticism, again

The stakes of criticism have drastically changed since C Magazine’s 2015 issue on the topic. The increased visibility of the output of artists, writers and curators who’d been marginalized by the art world has shifted its cultural landscape in a handful of years. The demographics have evidently changed, but have the power dynamics? And how has the practice of criticism, and publishing as an industry, responded? The 2019 Whitney Biennial featured more BIPOC and womxn than previous iterations, but initial reviews from predominantly white critics dismissed much of the work for its derivative lack of aesthetic “radicality,” and evaluated it according to the Euro-American canon. In response, critic and author of The New Black Vanguard (2019) Antwaun Sargent tweeted: “The consistent voices at [The Times] and everywhere else are entirely…

7 最少
curating, criticism and care, or, “showing up” as praxis

The singularity of an event geared specifically towards Black Canadian curators cannot be overstated. The inaugural Black Curators Forum, held October 25–27, 2019, in Toronto, was one of far-too-rare instances congregating Black arts professionals from across Canada, and aimed to foster networking, support, collaboration and mentorship among us. The three-day event included a reception and dinner at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, a day of workshops at the Art Gallery of Ontario, a private viewing of Denyse Thomasos’s paintings at the Olga Korper Gallery, a BIPOC-focused tour of Art Toronto and a talk by scholar Denise Ferreira da Silva. The workshops—which focused on the challenges of institutional access and equity, tools for career progression and strategies to consolidate alliances moving forward—served as a think-tank for peer-to-peer sharing and intergenerational…

14 最少
tell us what you really think: a survey on the landscape of canadian art criticism

“Do you think anyone will read it?”“Okay, but did you actually like the show?”“Have you gotten paid yet?” Like any niche scene, art criticism and critics exist in tangled webs of camaraderie, competition and other contextual factors. Though we deeply value the role of peer-reviewed essays, journalistic exposés and first-person texts in exploring the stakes of art criticism, we also note the ways that the Canadian art world’s claustrophobia can sometimes restrict frank public conversations. As such, rather than pontificate ourselves, we wanted to hear from participants in the field: what are their (your!) gushes, gripes, inspirations and frustrations? Inspired by the vulnerability and tongue-in-cheek tone of Seventeen magazine quizzes of yore, we hoped to create a space for honest, informal reflection via an online survey. Invitations were shared with C Magazine…

16 最少
writing about indigenous art with critical care

With arms crossed, a Métis curator contemplates Kent Monkman’s The Scream (2017) at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The history painting dramatizes Canada’s seizure of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children for incarceration and assimilation in church-run Indian Residential Schools. The tragedy roils in a sunlit yard between a modest rural house and the viewer. Two black-cassocked priests, a pair of wimpled nuns and seven men in scarlet tunics swarm a reserve to separate 10 children from their families, homes, language, spirituality, culture and dignity. One of the Mounties is armed with a rifle. Another, supervising from the porch, gestures to a trio of fleeing teens, but his comrades are preoccupied with easier game, smaller kids who variously run, buck or are paralyzed by terror. A bride of Christ takes possession…

9 最少
the limits of empathy: criticism and editing across borders

As an editor who works primarily with art critics, perhaps this comparison is simply too tempting: a piece of writing will likely never have a closer reader than its most committed editor, just like an artwork will seldom have as close a reader as its sharpest critic. What drives the comparison for me is a burr that embedded itself when I read this quote from novelist and line editor Jayne Anne Phillips: “[T]he line on the page is the rock solid basis of it all, completely obvious and present, unlike the murk of intention, which is so often only what we think we know about what we’re trying to write.”1 Like Phillips, I think it is the job of editors and critics alike to cut through the “murk of intention”: first…