Friday, December 10, 2004

Free Roadsworth!


In case you haven't read the Montreal Mirror, we got an ugly situation here, an artist who is going to be having a show here in 2005 is currently facing potential jail time, and/ some very serious charges. He has been charged with 85 counts of public mischief. The officer in charge of the case mentioned that the last person she charged got a fine of $50,000, 300 hours of community service in lieu of jail time, and is prevented from stepping foot on the island of Montreal for 5 years. He had been scratching his name into storefront windows. Not exactly the same thing as what Roadsworth does.

Some of Roadsworth's work, can be seen here:
Flickr Photostream, Here 1, Here 2, Here 3, Here 4, and Here 5.

UPDATE: Thanks to Optimuscrime who knows things better than I do, if you would email the mayor's office is: maire@ville.montreal.qc.ca, or if you would prefer to, or in addition send letters to the editor: La Presse, Le Devoir, Le Journal de Montreal, The Gazette.

Update #2: Extra Special Thanks to Alexandre over at mnemosyne, for his translation of my blokespeak.

Update #4: 16:12, December 16, 2004. For the most recent news with regards to Roadsworth, click here.

[Update June 3, 2006: There is an extensive interview (text & audio) with Roadsworth now available, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four.]

Dear Mayor Tremblay,

I was asked by Chris Hand of Zeke's Gallery to view photos of Roadsworth's work. After viewing them I feel that you are incorrect in charging him with 85 counts of public mischief. His work is most definitely art, and should not be considered in the same category as common vandalism.

Recognizing the transformative nature of his work, and then considering the references and allusions he makes to contemporary urban life is more than sufficient to make one realize that the work Roadsworth does is art. As the Canadian Charter of Rights guarantees the freedom of expression, I respectfully request that the city drop all the charges against Mr. Gibson immediately.

Yours Truly"

En francais:

Chris Hand de Zeke's Gallery m'a récemment demandé de regarder un dossier photographique de l'oeuvre de Roadsworth. Après l'avoir regardé, je crois que vous faites fausse route en déposant 85 chefs d'accusation de méfait contre lui. Son travail devrait être traité comme de l'art et ne devrait pas être mis dans la même catégorie que le simple vandalisme.

La nature transformationnelle de son travail et les allusions à la vie urbaine actuelle qu'il contient devraient rendre évident que l'oeuvre de Roadsworth n'est pas du vandalisme. Puisque la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés garantit la liberté d'expression, je demande à ce que les chefs d'accusations qui pèsent contre Roadsworth soient abandonnés.


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