Monday, July 31, 2017

Destination nowhere?

Even though it was way last week when I attended a panel presentation at the Surrey Art Gallery, I'm still mulling what sort of enlightenment it was supposed to bring. And sadly, I'm still not feeling any more enlightened now than I was then.

I'd understood that the topic, "Reflections on Canada" would offer some kind of vision on what contemporary Canadian Art is, and where it might be going in the future -- especially now that the hoopla over Canada 150 has eased.

The roster of presenters seemed pretty terrific -- a potter, a poet, a musician and an artist. With this in mind, I expected a diverse view of 'art-now'.

Unfortunately, not all of the presenters were there to talk about Canada. One seemed most intent on ensuring we understood she was not 'of Canada' while another spent much of the time displaying a personal C.V. of accomplishments. And as for discussion, there was hardly any. The bulk of the evening had been eaten up by some of the presenters going overtime. Moderator, where were you? Hello...

I was -- and remain -- curious about what constitutes Canadian art. Even in the limited area I know best, literature, it seems to be all over the place.

But maybe place -- the very place each of us stands upon -- is as far as any of can go, whether in understanding or in making art that might (or might not be) 'Canadian'.

Whatever, next time there's a panel on what seems to be a specific topic, I hope it will in some way deliver more on that promise.

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