The myth of Pandora presents a portrait of woman as a beautiful evil who, consumed by her own curiosity, opens a jar and unleashes all of the ills of society onto the world, only to close the lid before Hope can escape. Pandora’s Box, a touring exhibition curated by Dunlop Art Gallery’s Director/Curator Amanda Cachia, proposes that there is not one, but several modes through which this enduring parable can be reclaimed as a powerful feminist allegory. Cachia seeks to address the pluralities that contribute to present-day conceptions and enactments of feminism, featuring artists who “add diverse, poignant, independent and intersubjective voices to an evolving polylogue of what it means to be female.”
For anyone who has worked in a community or institution for a long time, there comes a point when one recognizes that the cycle of forgetting shapes our histories as much as our memories. Perhaps in an attempt to make something new, to further progress, each generation of practitioners enacts a sort of willful blindness to history. Yet this cycle slows our movement forward, as new leaders often work in a historical vacuum, reinventing the wheel ad nauseam, without critically challenging earlier attempts at the same thing.
The centerpiece of Brendan Fernandes’ exhibition Haraka Haraka is Nyumba ata Choma, a makeshift hunting village composed of six camouflage sniper tents, each housing a small television screen that plays a looped video of a Yule log superimposed on an archival news still from the torching of three million dollars worth of illegal ivory seized by the Kenyan government in 1989.
During the month of January, artist Pamela Masik installed a selection from her project The Forgotten in the exhibition space at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library. The Forgotten consists of a series of large-scale paintings depicting the 69 women who have disappeared from Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. Upon entering Library Square, I first found the work as I looked down through the glass railing towards the basement. I walked downstairs to get a closer look.
Photography is often considered an accurate record and representation of reality, with the truths that the camera produces seemingly forever affixed to the subjects that exist beyond its lens. Curator Okwui Enwezor has often written about the conflicted relationship that the continent of Africa and members of the African diaspora have had with photography, noting that Africa has been presented as a “wasteland of the bizarre and the insane,” a site outside of time or a site of unending struggle and upheaval.
At 35 years old, Will Munro has been a fixture of the Toronto scene for over a decade, and his visual art practice is inseparable from his long-standing involvement in queer community activism and in creating alternative spaces for queer subcultural expression: punk, artfag, youth, sex-radical, anti-capitalist. In addition to working for a number of years with the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Youth Line, Munro founded and programmed the famed Vazaleen live rock parties before he and Lynn McNeill bought the Beaver Café on Queen West, which has become a hub for the local queer art scene.
“…The Red Guards Come and Go, Talking of Michelangelo” is Allan Sekula’s personal reflection on the possibilities for a radical synthesis of social and art history, one “reformulated from below.” A key contribution to the recently published book Condé and Beveridge: Class Works, the essay is divided in two parts. The first part covers a series of personal anecdotes from New York in the 1970s interwoven with an exposition on Robert Koehler’s painting The Strike (1886) — a influential piece of “working-class art” that Sekula saw one November afternoon and that appears in Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge’s project Class Work (1987-1988).