Apropos of Contact, I received an email the other day from Winnipeg artist Diana Thorneycroft, whose truly excellent "Group of 7 Awkward Moments" comes to the McMichael Gallery this summer.
The long and the short of it is that the Harper government sits poised to shut down the lovely Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, which has been collecting and showing a breadth of top-notch work in its intimate below-ground galleries in Ottawa since 1992. Not long ago, there was some kind of complaint that the gallery's building was too humid to house the collections after a 2006 flood, but that appears to be bunk, as the government intends to use the building as oveflow office space for Parliament Hill bureaucrats.
It certainly seems par for the course for the Harper government, which would rather spend money on thumbtacks than culture, which it has made all-too-clear that it regards as unnecessary frill. They've also made it fairly clear that they don't really care what we, the Canadian public, think about a lot of what they're up to, but don't let that stop you from signing the petition that CMCP founding director Martha Langford has been circulating recently, and which arrived in my inbox via Thorneycroft.
Here it is, in two venues:
Sign it. I did. But don't hold your breath. Instead, hope there really ARE humidity problems -- the better to mould the stacks of bureaucratic documents destined for what was once a wonderfully intimate cultural space.