Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rafael Lozano Hemmer to lecture @ CAFKA

Just got a note that Montreal-based artist Rafael Lozano Hemmer will be lecturing at the University of Waterloo on Thursday, March 12 at 7 p.m. It's co-sponsored by CAFKA, which is going to have Lozano Hemmer included in its fall 09 edition. Good on CAFKA for getting this guy. He's just becoming bigger and bigger all the time. The photo above shows his work from Pulse in Madison Square Park in spring 2008.

Also, despite a paucity of Canadian artists seen at ARCO in Madrid, Lozano Hemmer had a work showing at Haunch of Venison's booth. It's in part controversial that Haunch of Venison is even here, owned as they are by auction house Christie's rather than a dealer. (I've been told Haunch is banned from Frieze for this reason.) But their booth is definitely a popular one and I'm sure many are seeing the work.

All this also relates to a discussion I recently commented on over at View on Canadian Art. We were discussing whether the newly announced $25-mil-fed-cash-infused Canada Prize for the Arts really is a good thing for Canada, and whether it will offset the gov's sudden obliteration of hugely important gallery travel and trade programs in Summer 2008. From what I've seen in Madrid, very little Canadian art is recognized or represented. I will present a full list from my notes in a later post, but it's really a handful-- Royal Art Lodge, Rita McBride, maybe a couple others.

Also, part of the difficulty is that when Canadian artists exhibit here, they are identified by the country of their birth rather than the country of their residence. At a museum show in Madrid, Jana Sterbak was identified as Czech, with no mention of Canada, even though she repped us at the Venice Biennale in 2003. Lozano Hemmer, for his part, repped Mexico at Venice even though we in Canada try to claim him as one of our own.

Art is increasingly a migratory endeavour, so maybe this is just par for the course internationally. But it is interesting to me that Canada has no immediate--or positive--connotations here except for maybe Quebec, as in "Oh Toronto? I know some French Canadian collector/artist/gallery." This in itself is evidence that it could be fruitful for the feds to follow Quebec's longstanding travel and promotion programs it it is serious about making Canada an internationally known art name.

Image of Lozano Hemmer's Pulse Park 2008 from his website


Gabby said...

Hey Leah,

It's interesting to hear about the lack of recognition for Canadian artists in Madrid. Do you think the small amount of recognition for Quebec-based artists and gallerists/dealers might also partly have to do with language? Since European nations seem to value bi- or multi-lingualism, do you think the fact that Quebec arts professionals can speak French as well as English might influence their ability to connect with their European counterparts?

Just wondering...

Leah Sandals said...

Oh yeah, good point... I should have mentioned it too... not quite the language but I would say Quebec has stronger ties to Europe in general than anglo canada, just because of the whole France thing.

Still, I think the fact that it happened a few times is telling. Maybe things would be different at Frieze? Guess I'll have to wait and find out.