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Canadian Cultural Policy: A Problem of Metaphysics (1999), 2023

Published in Canadian Art 16, no. 3 (fall 1999) A quip from former Canadian prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King (1874–1950) contends that too much geography rather than too little history afflicts Canada. Add to this the racial and ethnic diversity of the Canadian population and the problem of how to forge and project Canadian culture becomes […]

The Difference Between Art and Fact (1995), 2023

Published in Camera Austria International 51–52, 1995 Formalism teaches us to consider every visible aspect of art as significant. Social history teaches us that a consideration into context and an analysis of the historical environment of a work of art can provide insights into the underlying factors contributing to meaning. We have all become as capable as […]

The LondonArt Diaries, part 1, 2023 1999–2000 June 1999 I am on the train from Wroclaw to Warsaw. Earlier, a desperate looking man fled down the passageway of my car in an attempt to dodge the ticket enforcers. He was carrying a small bindle, much like the one Charlie Chaplin’s tramp character carried in City Lights. At the end of the […]

On Board The Raft of the Medusa (1999), 2023

Published in Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art no. 10 (spring/summer 1999), Duke University Press Towards the centre a rising, mounting movement begins. Here some of the shipwrecked (among them an Arab), have awakened from their apathy, and with lifted hands push excitedly towards the horizon, where the rescue ship appears. Then the single stream of […]

Six Vancouver Modern (1998), 2023

Published in Canadian Art 15, no. 2 (summer 1998) Not only has art within modernism been rife with contradiction, it has been propelled by it. Calls for a new beginning in art have frequently been issued in unison with calls for the death of art. By rejecting representational modes predicated on realism, non-objective, or abstract, art aimed […]

Review of DAK’ART 98 published in NKA Journal of Contemporary African Art, 1998

There are no necessary links between the cosmopolitanism of Western art discourse and the practical participation of non-Western art epistemologies. This is not because the worldly aspirations of Western art discourse represents little more than empty rhetoric but because its language was never meant to be aimed beyond the imagination of the Western ego. Much […]

The Ambivalent Gaze of Thomas Ruff, 1998

Published in the National Post, 20 November 1998 During the politically traumatic yet economically prospering period of the 1920s, a debate ensued in Germany about the role art should play in social affairs. The debate was only in part about the potential of art for political agency. It was mostly about defining the correct proximity of […]