Saturday, February 24, 2018
Friday, February 23, 2018
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Unlike the Governor-General's Literary Awards, the relatively-recent Governor-General's Award in Visual and Media Art is focused not on a single work (like a book published in the year the award is given), but a body of work. This is as it should be, I think.
It took a while for the Governor-General's Award in Visual and Media Art to establish itself. At first the award seemed to be given willy-nilly; now it is generally given to those later in life.
As for the nominating process, anyone can submit as long as the artist agrees to it (in many cases the nomination is initiated by the artist). I assume that some of this country's better-known artists have not received the award because they have not consented to their nomination (Janet Cardiff, Stan Douglas, Rodney Graham, Jeff Wall, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun...).
What is notable about the award is that it honours "Curators", "Critics" and "Contributors" as well as artists. This week, a Vancouver-based "Contributor" received the award -- the grunt gallery's Glenn Alteen.
In her nomination, artist Lorna Brown wrote:
"Glenn Alteen has spent his career building a community through the consistent, respectful and ethical inclusion of artists, curators and cultural workers from diverse backgrounds. He has insisted on establishing – in grunt gallery – an artist-run centre that is more about artists than objects.”
Long before the participatory art revivals of the late-1990s (relational and social practices), the grunt was stressing networks over exhibitions, a tendency that continues to this day with relatively-recent artist-run centres like 221A, who have taken the current federal Liberal government's emphasis on "infrastructure" to the nth.
Something I would like to correct in the Georgia Straight's announcement of local award winners (which includes Sandra Semchuk): that the Mainstreeters documentary Glenn produced was not "created" by Mainstreeter exhibition curators Allison Collins and myself, but by Allison, myself and Krista Lomax.