Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Bit of Better G20 Art News: ADAC Installing at Convention Centre & Deerhurst Resort

No sooner did my G20 fake lake art post go up than I got notice from the Art Dealers' Association of Canada about their plan to install a collection of Canadian art at the political venues for the upcoming G8 and G20 summits: Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. (But not, sadly, that "Experience Canada" pavilion where 3,000+ international media are due to convey Canada's story--or at least its b-roll--to the world.)

A list of works and artists is not yet available, but ADAC manager Johanna Robinson says the works will be installed throughout each venue. Lenders for the project are ADAC members, and the project is curated by William Huffman, Associate Director of Visual and Media Arts at the Toronto Arts Council. A press release says,

the development and installation of the Canadian Collection is being conceptualized as a national exhibition – providing an important Canadian, visual narrative for the numerous visiting international leaders. In exchange for its involvement, ADAC Foundation will receive a financial contribution. These funds will form seed capital for a developing endowment within the Foundation, aimed at providing its membership and individual artists with additional professional and developmental resources.

This is the kind of collaboration that I was talking about in my last post, some kind of joint venture between a professional arts organization and summit organizers that would have been a great idea for the media pavilion.

Overall, I'm relieved to hear about this project. At least it could lead to some quality works getting out there to represent Canada because the people involved generally have many years of art expertise between them.

At the same time, I don't think I'll be able to pass full judgment until the list of works and artists is released—it's not like I love every show ADAC members do, and they're quite a varied bunch in terms of what they exhibit. Also, in an ideal world, this would have been a job for the National Gallery, though I'd suspect getting loan permissions for their works that need specific climate control (ie. non-fake-lake humidity levels) could have been a stumbling block.

So... I'll watch for more detailed information to come out at a related press conference that's slated to happen just before the summits begin. But for now, relative to the information I was dealing with yesterday, this does come as a bit of happy news.

Image of Deerhurst Resort from BlueCMI


sally said...

I was in the audience at an order of canada investiture in Rideau Hall earlier in the spring. It was weird being in downtown Ottawa with banners celebrating war dangling from all the poles. Then into the GG residence where a GIANT Morriseau graces the wall in the uber-princessy ballroom. So jaw was dropping in a Wow-art-is-cool kind of way. Then after the ceremony they opened up the place so people could wander around and look at all the amazing art on loan from National Gallery and Art Bank. Each room showing major works, lots contemporary, with educated docents and pamphlets with bios and blurbs on all artists. The whole thing was so weird oddly gendered, like great Canadian art belongs in the gracious, private girly home of the GG but our PM can't bring himself to acknowledge its value in any kind of public way. Would be wonderful to see some solid federal endorsement at G20. but at the same time its a weird uncomfortable feeling of complicity. artists-as-national-treasures. it all makes me itchy.

Anonymous said...

nice that ADAC Foundation will receive a financial contribution - but word has it the artist's presenting works will get no exhibition fee

Leah Sandals said...

Hey guys,

Thanks for your comments.

Yes, anonymous, I had wondered about the artist fee. That's sad to hear.

Sally, wow, I can't imagine how art looks in these governmental spaces. And yes, I think I can see how the issue of complicity is an icky and tricky one. I think sometimes it depends on the pointedness of the art. Can you imagine some Laurence Paul Yuxweluptun or Carol Conde and Karl Beveridge work at the summit venues? I think that would be amazing, and pretty hard to read as supportive of the status quo, regardless of context.

On the GG front specifically, I've been struck how supportive she is of the arts compared to the PM. I've posted or tweeted before about her "Art Matters" initiative ( something I suspect the PM would never get close to. In a way, it sucks that her power is mainly symbolic, but at the same time I'm glad she uses it to support this cause even when the PM has been so clearly opposed.

sally said...

There is a pretty great series of photos on the installation of the Morriseau here. The juxtaposition of the painting with the princess party decor is just so surreal, but it works.

Leah Sandals said...

Hey Sally,
Cool, yes I think I saw some install shots of that.
I wonder what will happen when the next GG comes in in the fall?

Leah Sandals said...

Hey also just as an update, Andrea at View on Canadian Art has posted some pics related to the G8/G20 political-venue exhibition -