War artist Allan Harding MacKay destroys art work to protest Harper government
Renowned Canadian war artist Allan Harding MacKay is going to war himself—against the Harper government.
The Toronto-based artist, who was contracted by the Department of National Defense in Somalia in 1993, and in Afghanistan in 2002, will destroy five original art works based on these war zones to “symbolize a much larger destruction of Canada’s values relating to national governance,” according to a news release issued by MacKay.
“The values of openness, justice, honesty, fairness, and unfettered participation by all MPs is being held hostage by a government that holds the parliamentary system in deliberate contempt and fashions abusive policies impacting, but not limited to, veterans rights, First Nations rights, workers rights, protection of the environment, and foreign aid/diplomatic initiatives,” the news release goes on.
MacKay started his art action yesterday when, live on CBC’s Power & Politics, he shredded a painting depicting the Kandahar Air Field, and went on to decry the Harper government’s policies regarding veterans’ rights and First Nations Rights.
Today, at 3 p.m. EST, MacKay will destroy another four works at Centennial Flame on Ottawa’s Wellington Street.
Destroying art to make a political statement is a tactic that was used most recently in Italy. Last month, Antonio Manfredi, of the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum in Naples, started setting fire to artworks contained in the museum, in a protest against budget cuts. Manfredi vowed to continue burning three pieces a week unless the government made budgetary changes.