Proof that Canada is the centre of the known art universe
Still: Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg
I was speaking to Sarah Anne Johnson yesterday. She was in Paris, where La Maison Rouge, a clever little private museum founded by a wealthy French collector named Antoine de Galbert, has just opened Plug-In ICA's show My Winnipeg. Named for Guy Maddin's film of the same name, Johnson's one of 70 Winnipeggers in the show, which includes such notables as Noam Gonick, Wanda Koop, Marcel Dzama and Adrian Williamson.
There's no denying Winnipeg's remarkably active role in contemporary Canadian visual culture; as a native 'pegger myself, I couldn't be prouder than to have that community representing our home and native land. As if the show wasn't enough, it comes complete with a four-day kick-off, Festif Winnipeg, including one of Paul Butler's collage parties. Cool.
Anyway, be that as it may, Canada -- not just Winnipeg -- will be getting a major international airing next spring when MASS MoCA's -- in North Adams, north of Boston -- much-anticipated survey of Canadian contemporary art opens in May 2012 (though Dzama, Johnson, Gonick and Koop are in that one too). Curator Denise Markonish has spent much of the past three years criss-crossing the country -- ours, I mean -- to assemble a show that seems destined to become the most comprehensive survey of contemporary art in Canada, possibly ever.
It's all right to blush; Mass MoCA's an A-list institution -- 105 of Sol Lewitt's huge wall drawings are installed there for the next couple of decades, in the broadest showing of the works, ever -- and the fact that it's giving over such a significant portion of its real estate to examine the artistic production of our funny little country is both flattering, and well-deserved. I fully expect some careers to be made through this; Peter Schjeldahl, Roberta Smith, meet Terrance Houle, Kristan Horton, Kelly Mark, Micah Lexier, Shuvinai Ashoona, BGL? Not so far fetched. Stay tuned.