In this issue of FUSE we encourage oozing. Some may see us as victims of our own hedonistic wound-licking. In this issue, writers, performers, comic artists, and students indulge in confessional narratives, licking to their hearts’ content.
The concerns and positions of the articles that FUSE has published over the last twenty years are always diverse. This issue of FUSE is no different. Articles ranging from the consideration of art practices in Turkey and Argentina; to articles discussing the challenges that exhibiting artists must deal with; to articles investigating the tensions between ethnic absolutism and hybridity in Native cultures; to the return of performance art; to book reviews, CD reviews and reviews of various festivals, this issue of FUSE is filled with considerations of various communities.
It seems appropriate to preface any given interview with a caveat in the spirit of Magritte: This is not a spoken conversation. An interview is a translation from spoken to written word and ultimately must succeed in the latter form.
In keeping with FUSE’s tradition of covering the arts and their cultural context, this issue considers how a sense of place and location is now dominated by an all-consuming surge toward globalization. A dislocation of artists’ practices ensues from these conditions.
At this time of year when temperatures are at their lowest and the sun peeks only half-heartedly over the southern horizon, many minds and some bodies in Canada turn to the south. At the same time, many people in the Caribbean look longingly, if ambivalently, toward North America. The International Monetary Fund and other branches of global capitalism’s police force have fostered large-scale un- and underemployment in the Caribbean, and have torn mercilessly at what little safety net existed.
This issue of FUSE is in keeping with our attempts to pay special attention to Canada, while not being limited by any too easy assertions of national borders.
Antonia Zerbisias’ rant in the June 1998 issue of Masthead thrashed not only FUSE, but Geist and Borderlines, threatening the already tenuous position that alternative magazines hold in relation to government granting agencies. The decision by the OAC to limit funding to periodicals that only address and include poetry, fiction and visual art commentary, precariously and narrowly envision ways that art and culture are defined.
The current issue of FUSE closes out the century with a site-specific theme. Margot Francis shows us how Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan’s Lesbian National Parks and Services Project (which made a partial appearance as an artists’ project in vol. 21, no. 3) unsettles the Canadian tourist site par excellence – Banff National Park – and problematizes the figure of the kindly, helpful park ranger.
In this issue, most of the texts share concern, anxiety or frustration with the limits and borders of collective identity. Such contested terrain is the location of some of the most pressing concerns of this new decade, and is prime FUSE territory. As usual, our writers don’t hesitate to ask hard questions, revealing not only vexing problems of identity, but provocative alternatives to conventional models.
One thing that sets FUSE apart from other magazines covering similar territory is its consistent, continuous attention to issues that get short shrift elsewhere. One case in point is the pleasant overlap between the last issue and this one. Adrienne Lai’s essay in vol. 23, no. 1, “Renegotiating the Terms of Inclusion,” is a thought-provoking critical analysis of Jin-me Yoon’s A Group of Sixty-Seven.