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News in Brief: Guerrilla Art Causes a Stir in Calgary and More

This rogue project aims to draw attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women in the context of Canada 150—and hopes to tour the country

Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.

A guerrilla artwork that resembles a dead body wrapped in a bloody sheet appeared unannounced at various locations in downtown Calgary last week. The life-sized corpse shape lay on a carpet next to warning signs about the work’s potential triggering effects. Disposable Red Woman was conceived by Destin Running Rabbit, who is from the Siksika Nation, and Iman Bukhari, with support from the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation. They hope to draw attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women and instigate a call to arms. “This piece is meant to evoke empathy and urgency,” Bukhari told Huffington Post. Before the action, the artists consulted with Indigenous women. “It’s just trying to help get the word out about this thing that a lot of Natives have to grow up with that a lot of Canadians don’t really see or care about,” Running Rabbit told the CBC. Running Rabbit and Bukhari planned the guerrilla artwork to coincide with Canada 150 celebrations. They are raising funds to tour the piece to cities across the country.

Pop Montreal unveiled the fall line-up of programming for Art Pop, the visual arts component of the Montreal festival, which runs September 13 to 17 at various locations throughout the city. Robb Jamieson, who has curated Art Pop for the past 3 years, will bring together more than 30 local and international artists to participate in exhibitions, installations, performances and artist talks. “It’s a space where we can show art to a public that maybe doesn’t go to see contemporary shows, or maybe art at all,” Jamieson says. Art Pop’s activities include a performance by Detroit artist Maya Stovall, whose work was shown in this year’s Whitney Biennial, an artist talk by New York artist Baseera Khan, and an exhibition curated by Celine Bureau Artist Residency. Writer Fiona Duncan curates a special edition of her LA reading series Hard to Read for the symposium. Readers include Michele Nox, Alix Ferrand, Jacob Wren, Monique Palma Whittaker, Durga Chew-Bose and Trevor Gould.

Carolyn Warren has been appointed new director general, arts granting programs division, at the Canada Council for the Arts. “I am a passionate supporter of public funding to sustain a flourishing arts community,” she says. Warren has had a long career in the public arts sector. Recently, she was senior arts advisor at the Banff Centre. Previously, she worked in various positions at the CBC for nearly a decade. These included manager of cultural programs and executive producer for television and radio programming. Warren steps in for Jacques Vezina, who led the orchestration of the council’s new funding model, implemented  this spring. Warren begins her new position on October 10.

The Power Plant has announced the appointment of Nabila Abdel Nabi to the position of assistant curator and Alex Borkowski to the position of individual giving and membership officer. From 2016 to 2017, Abdel Nabi was the RBC curatorial fellow at the Power Plant. Her new position was previously held by Julia Paoli, who, as was previously announced, is headed to Mercer Union.

Hamilton artist Brandon Vickerd’s sculpture Sputnik Returned 2, which consists of a replica of the Sputnik satellite smashed into the top of a car, was almost towed this week from its location on a downtown Charlottetown street. The work was a part of the 6th annual festival Art in the Open, co-curated by Becka Viau and Pan Wendt. “When you see a satellite crashed into a parked car you might be a bit alarmed,” Viau acknowledged to the CBC. Though they festival had secured permission for the street installation, the curators had to intervene when a tow truck attempted to remove it. It turns out there was some confusion between the festival organizers and the municipality with regards to the permission dates given for the public art.

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