The Canadian Art Database

CCCA Academy 2013 Project

Global Engagements in Contemporary Canadian Art:
Thirty-Nine Exhibition Essays and Fifty-Five Artists

ccca academy

Global Engagements in Contemporary Canadian Art: Thirty-Nine Exhibition Essays and Fifty-Five Artists is the second project conducted under the banner of the CCCA Academy and the first e-publication of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art, Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University. The curatorial essays collected here contribute to the discourse on global art from a Canadian perspective. The writings are based on research conducted by graduate students in Concordia's Department of Art History in 2012 for the seminar Envisioning Virtual Exhibitions. In contrast to the website that inaugurated the CCCA Academy in 2012, the 2013 curatorial project was to create an on-line catalogue of virtual exhibitions (course syllabus).

Under the supervision of Dr. Loren Lerner, the students investigated how globalization and increasing mobility of artists and artworks have impacted Canada's field of contemporary art. They researched the work of Canadian and Canada-based artists who work and exhibit their artworks in multiple locations both inside and outside Canada. Working at the intersection of the local and the global, their objective was to reveal how the global's social, political, cultural, and aesthetic connections are reflected in contemporary Canadian art. Simultaneously, the participants explored how the global's broad cultural, geographical, and temporal perspectives on Canadian art could be translated into virtual exhibitions in order make their findings accessible to diverse audiences outside the physical space of the white cube.

The CCCA Canadian Art Database, now permanently housed at Concordia University, served as the main resource for this endeavour. Over twelve weeks, each student developed three exhibition proposals with a concrete theme and focus on transnational Canadian art. In the first part of the class, students curated a virtual exhibition with the works of artists who were already part of the CCCA Database. For the second exhibition the students researched Canadian artists and artists active in Canada who were not part of the CCCA Database, and with their curatorial statements in hand, recommended to the CCCA that these artists be included in their repository. The third and final exhibition project consisted of an exhibition with one artist from the first and second exhibition, and a design for an online exhibition. Rich and diverse in content and form, the students' curatorial statements and exhibition concepts draw attention to the current state of mind in contemporary Canadian art, and embrace the World Wide Web as an alternative exhibition space.

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