Arts Commons accused of censorship for removing LGBTQ artist's work - Canadanewsmedia
Connect with us

Arts

Arts Commons accused of censorship for removing LGBTQ artist's work

Published

on


Arts Commons is being accused of censorship after it took down a public art installation due to complaints the organization said it received about nudity and coarse language.

Beck Gilmer-Osborne's three-channel video piece titled A Thousand Cuts was set to run in The New Gallery's window in a downtown Calgary +15 walkway until Sept. 28.

But instead, Arts Commons — which owns the window space that The New Gallery curates — sent the gallery a letter on Aug. 29 saying the piece would have to be edited to remove the objectionable content, or it would be taken down.

"I found that kind of strange because for starters there's not really that much nudity or swearing in the piece," said Gilmer-Osborne. "I did not feel comfortable with changing the piece … so it got taken down."

I'm not necessarily saying they don't support trans or gender variant artists, but I don't feel supported in the space.– Artist Beck Gilmer-Osborne

The Montreal-based artist said there are maybe seven to eight profane words displayed in the piece, and a three-second, grainy clip is shown of a nude woman wearing a prosthetic penis.

The work is composed of clips from movies and television shows that show transgender characters portrayed by non-trans actors. It can be viewed online here.

The gallery said it also offered Gilmer-Osborne a private space to exhibit the piece instead — just not the public gallery.

Gilmer-Osborne wrote an open letter that was posted to The New Gallery's website, criticizing Arts Commons' decision.

"To Arts Commons: I implore you to deal with complaints against challenging art work (especially when the content deals with marginalized communities and bodies) in a more constructive way, rather than shutting down a conversation before it can begin," Gilmer-Osborne wrote.

The piece, which was supposed to run in The New Gallery's space in Arts Commons' +15 walkway, has been turned off. (CBC)

The window gallery is one of nine Arts Commons has provided for free to local artist-run groups to run since 1992. 

While Arts Commons owns the spaces, each gallery curates their own content.

"Arts Commons has programming agreements in place with each of our partner organizations, who curate the galleries, with the understanding the work curated is 'sensitive to the fact that the Plus 15 is a public pathway open to all ages and that viewers will experience the work without having made the choice to participate as they would upon entering a gallery,'" Arts Commons programming director Jennifer Johnson said in an emailed statement.

"While Arts Commons believes the piece, A Thousand Cuts, has merit, the language and images contained in the video and audio component are not a fit with our commitment to creating a public space for all."

The organization did not provide details about how many complaints were made, or what part of the work people found objectionable.

Not 1st time Arts Commons has 'censored' trans art

In 2006, Arts Commons — then the Epcor Centre — also was criticized for censoring a transgender artist, when the venue put up a wall in front of a Plus 15 window gallery without first speaking to the artist or gallery that curated the space.

The work, titled 'Gaylord Phoenix in the Flower Temple' by Edie Fake, depicted a cartoon of a gender-fluid man, touching his genitals — drawn as a noodle with paisley patterns. 

At the same time, posters were displayed in the same venue that depicted a photo of a nude woman, and there were nude male and female steel sculptures in the main lobby. Neither were censored.

The controversy that erupted at the time was part of Arts Commons decision to establish programming agreements with the galleries, the organization said.

Gilmer-Osborne is frustrated that instead of talking about their art — which is intended to provoke discussion about violence against transgender people by showing inauthentic representations of them in media — discussion has centred on the controversy.

"I feel like the merit of the work is, it's very important," they said.

"I'd like to see moving forward some different rules or regulations in their windows spaces so they can show confrontational work because I don't think there's anything wrong with that. The censorship is just a little exhausting."

Double-standard?

Gilmer-Osborne also questioned why their piece was censored when a controversial lecturer who has been criticized for supposedly transphobic views was allowed to speak at Arts Commons this summer.

University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson delivered a lecture at Jack Singer Concert Hall in July. 

The professor, who is also an author, has spoken out about Bill C-16, which provides protections for transgender Canadians. Peterson made headlines a few years ago when he criticized political correctness on university campuses and refused to use gender-neutral pronouns.

More than 400 artists signed a letter calling for the cancellation of the event.

"Arts Commons supported him being there based on the idea of free speech. So I find it kind of strange and a bit hypocritical … I'm not necessarily saying they don't support trans or gender variant artists, but I don't feel supported in the space," Gilmer-Osborne said.

The New Gallery director Su Ying Strang plans to meet with Arts Commons Tuesday to ask them to reconsider the decision to take down the work, but Gilmer-Osborne said they're not holding their breath.

With files from Colleen Underwood.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Arts

Opinion: City council’s bold investment in the arts will elevate Calgary when we need it most – Calgary Herald

Published

on

By



Not only does increased arts funding make Calgary more vibrant and livable, but it also boosts the economy, say columnists.


Postmedia/CPO handout

Times are tough, but Calgary’s city council got moving with a game-changing investment that positions its arts sector to lead nationally.

We recognize the political risk inherent in the decision to elevate Calgary from one of the lowest arts funders per capita — behind Edmonton and Winnipeg — to one of Canada’s leaders, alongside Vancouver and Toronto.

It’s a bold move, and not a moment too soon.

Calgary needs big wins and must strengthen its creative industries, break out of the current downturn and grow the economy in the years ahead. In cities that have faced similarly daunting challenges — from Chicago to Miami to Denver — the results are clear: Developing an international reputation as a vibrant arts hub attracts and retains North America’s top creative talent, which in turn acts as a magnet for business.

We need look no further than Calgary’s experience bidding for Amazon HQ2 to understand the competitive landscape. Calgary not only lost the bid, it didn’t even make the final round. The only Canadian city on Amazon’s short list? Toronto. Mayor John Tory attributed Toronto’s success to its creative talent, quality of life and vibrant civic culture. The data backs up the claim. Toronto is a champion of the arts, funding artists and arts organizations at $5 to $10 more on a per capita basis than comparable Canadian municipalities.

By nearly doubling funding for the arts in 2019 and increasing funding to an estimated $15.9 million or $14.60 per capita by 2022, the City of Calgary has closed the municipal arts funding gap.

We know the immediate impact this funding will have on arts organizations and artists in the city. At city council on Nov. 26, representatives from Glenbow Museum, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Quest Theatre for Young People and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra described how additional municipal support will enable dynamic new programming, increasing paid attendance, drive memberships and attract new philanthropic support from the community.

Beyond these immediate benefits, arts organizations fuel Calgary’s creative sector and deliver economic returns. It is estimated that $1 invested in the arts returns $1.90 in direct spending and $2.60 when you consider increased tourism benefits. In Calgary, creative industries employ over 50,000 people. Each year more than 4,000 students graduate from the city’s four major schools with creative industries-related degrees and diplomas.

Perhaps most significantly, the arts transform lives, making our city more livable, interesting and inspirational for everyone. Children grow and achieve their full potential through lessons, classes, performances and creative interactions. Each year, hundreds of thousands of children and youth participate in arts education events across Calgary.

To realize the opportunity presented by the city’s strategic arts investment, it will take a co-ordinated sector-wide effort. We know that Calgary’s artists, arts executives, philanthropists and city builders are ready to do the heavy lifting because they have been the driving force behind the non-partisan Creative Calgary campaign over the past year and, together, we have achieved historic results for the sector. The group convened in early 2017 around the audacious goal of positioning Calgary as a national champion of the arts. Since then, we have worked collaboratively with city agencies and institutions to find win-win strategies to help move Calgary forward. Over 60 civic representatives signed Creative Calgary’s pledge to work with council and Calgary Arts Development to close the municipal arts funding gap. In response, city council showed real leadership and vision by more than doubling its arts funding commitment by 2022.

The time is ripe for growth in Calgary. Let’s get creative and seize the opportunity presented by the city’s bold investment in the arts when we need it most.

Irfhan Rawji, CEO of Calgary-based tech startup MobSquad, and Mary Rozsa de Coquet, president of the Rozsa Foundation, are co-chairs of Creative Calgary.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Arts

New home for Creating Space community arts studio in Peterborough – ThePeterboroughExaminer.com

Published

on

By



Top Stories

Top Stories

More News

More News



Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Arts

REVIEW: Arts Club's Pemberley is a Christmas gift to Vancouver – Vancouver Courier

Published

on

By


One of the Arts Club Theatre’s Christmas gifts to Vancouver this season is their production of Christmas at Pemberley, a modern imagined sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

One of the stars of this show is the immediately charming set by set designer Ted Roberts.  It creates a large, elegant mansion atmosphere in the small confines of the theatre on Granville Island, with its open gazebo ceiling over the large drawing room and huge glass windows onto an outdoor scene.  There’s also a tall Christmas tree and even a view to part of the rest of the house. 

article continues below

The dialogue is witty and entertaining, and the actors stay very much in character with the original novel. Staid and prim Mary is now revealed to be bright and yearning for a wider life, excellently portrayed by Kate Dion-Richard, with a mixture of intelligence and gawkishness bringing the character to life.

Matthew MacDonald-Bain is equally awkward and believable as her hopeful suitor, and the rest of the cast bring the other original Austen characters to lively Regency life in elegant costumes by Amy McDougall.  Baraka Rahmani is just as giddy as the original Lydia, and Carmela Sison is the reincarnation of her snobbish mother, Lady de Burgh.

A guaranteed entertainment for mind and eye, with suspense – as true love does not run smoothly – but with a welcome happy ending for  this festive season.  The show runs till Dec. 30.  

See www.artsclub.com for information and tickets.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading
Arts9 mins ago

Opinion: City council’s bold investment in the arts will elevate Calgary when we need it most – Calgary Herald

News16 mins ago

Organized crime behind surge in Canadian vehicle thefts, auto insurance fraud: experts – Global News

News18 mins ago

Suspect in custody after RCMP close highway near Berwick for ‘unfolding situation’ – TheChronicleHerald.ca

Business20 mins ago

Tesla testing out new Autopilot features like roundabout navigation – MobileSyrup

News20 mins ago

What are the most frequently stolen vehicles in Alberta? – Global News

Politics57 mins ago

Climate Politics Hypocrisy At COP24 In Poland – Forbes

Economy1 hour ago

IMF warns storms clouds gathering for global economy – The Globe and Mail

Business1 hour ago

Ford's F-350 is the top choice for Canada's thieves: Report – BNNBloomberg.ca

Technology1 hour ago

The Galaxy S10 could be Samsung’s last flagship with a headphone jack – The Verge

Science2 hours ago

‘Zombie bacteria’ found miles beneath Earth's surface hint life might have begun in the depths – Yahoo News

Science2 hours ago

The Morning After: 'The mother of all demos' – Engadget

Science2 hours ago

The brightest comet of 2018 will be lighting up night skies this week (PHOTOS) – Daily Hive

Technology2 hours ago

OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition brings 30W Warp Charge, 10GB of RAM – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

Technology2 hours ago

Groundbreaking Infinity Blade removed from App Store, hard to support – SlashGear

News2 hours ago

RCMP close Highway 101 at Berwick for 'unfolding situation' – CBC.ca

Trending

Copyright © 2018 Canada News Media

%d bloggers like this: