Monday, December 13, 2004

Art History - or the more stuff stays the same


I'd be the first to tell you that I don't know diddly about Art History, but I am doing my darndest to learn as quickly as I can. As a consequence of "L'affaire Roadsworth" I discovered that the city did the same sort of thing back in 1976.

There was an article printed in Le Devoir back in 1999 written by Francine Couture, which goes on to explain that when there was a TV series on Drapeau, they completely whitewashed l'affaire Corridart.
Mais pas un mot n'a été dit sur un autre événement lié à la tenue des Jeux olympiques: l'affaire Corridart, une exposition d'art contemporain qui devait se tenir sur la rue Sherbrooke et dont le maire ordonna le démantèlement quelques jours avant l'inauguration des Jeux. Le maire avait fait ainsi acte de vandalisme car la majorité des oeuvres de l'exposition furent abîmées, sinon détruites.

Cette omission est d'autant plus étonnante que le démantèlement, ainsi que le procès intenté contre la Ville de Montréal par les artistes de l'exposition, avaient fait l'objet d'une couverture importante par la presse écrite. Celle-ci avait dénoncé avec vigueur ce malheureux événement. Un nombre important de journalistes avaient alors relevé que pour prendre une telle décision, le maire avait cavalièrement écarté la compétence administrative et artistique des personnes responsables de l'organisation de cette exposition et qu'il avait ainsi fait un geste antidémocratique.
Then, if you would like to listen to some stuff about l'affaire Corridart, click here.

In 1996, Quartier Ephemere did an exhibition on Corridart, in 2001 the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery of Concordia University also did an exhibition about Corridart. (and here, too)

As you can see from the photos below, (Maclean's Art Sign project, 2001, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) it looked like the city was getting better. Maclean was hauled before the cops, but they were sensible then and decided not to press any charges.

Yes it is my bad for not knowing about Concordia's exhibit (I was busy with Maclean at the time...) but I can claim that I wasn't in the art biz back in 1996... (like it'll do me any good...) and I wasn't even in the city during the summer of 1976. From what little I've been able to see it looks like it was a kick-ass show. [click on "LXVIII and LXIX" to see one piece of work from Corridart]

But it is utterly shameful on the city's part to continue pressing charges against Roadsworth.

If you would like more info on Corridart, try here, and here. If you would like more details about Maclean's art project, contact me, or him.

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