Katz and Koffler settle; project to go ahead at later date
Katz and Kim Simon (at left), the project's curator, told me that they've
settled with Koffler, which unceremoniously dumped the project after it learned
of Katz's affiliation with groups that oppose Israel's current Palestine
policy. Moving forward, it seems that Katz and Simon have
figured out a way to mount the project without being associated with Koffler --
a fact, no doubt, that comes as a relief to both parties.
What remains to be seen, however, is
what, if any, punitive measures will be levied against Koffler by the Toronto
Arts Council, one of its principal funders. Closed-door meetings of the TAC
board this month to determine whether or not Koffler violated the TAC's
anti-discrimination policies for its summary dissociation from Katz over her
political beliefs are expected to be made public -- at least somewhat; we'll
probably never know what was really said in there -- in the near future.
they soften it, I do know that the TAC has demanded changes from Koffler as a requisite for it to continue to receive funding from it. I don't know if the other government agencies (the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council) will follow suit, but it seems to be an important precedent not just for Koffler, but all institutions.
However it shakes out, it seems certain that the TAC will sharpen how that policy is applied, as to avoid this kind of conflagration in the future; and if there's anything positive to be gained from this whole sordid affair, I suppose it's that. When I get more details on what's really the most important part of this tale -- that is, the actual mounting of the project, a lovely, gentle-sounding public intervention about interwoven diasporic identities in the multi-culti environs of Kensington Market -- I'll let you know.