Visual arts critic gets roasted over Traffic
Robin Laurence accuses the curators—who number four women out of six art professionals—of shoddy research into women involved with conceptual art in Canada [“ Traffic runs gamut, reveals gap”, October 4-11]. She should do her own.
My essay in the catalogue identifies the figure in Rebecca Singleton’s photographs as Margareth Kluka and not the artist. If Laurence had looked to the artist’s biography, she might have calculated that Singleton was 28 years old at the time and did not intend to assert “the reality of her plus-size, middle-aged body”. Singleton worked with Kluka to achieve the work. Collaboration as much as body image were basic to the project.
Further, if Laurence recalled the 2008 Vancouver Art Gallery presentation of WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, she might remember that something like 20 out of the 120 artists in that exhibition were linked to conceptual art—the ratio she applies to attribute a deficit of women in Traffic.
Traffic represents years of top-level research and curating, which indubitably addressed the representation of women and confidently focused on conceptual art in Canada. Traffic is unaffected by feeble and ignorant accusations of misrepresenting a “fertile ground for women artists”—which was strongly, as well as ambivalently, encouraged within predominantly masculine conceptualist precincts: A Space in Toronto, Véhicule in Montreal, NSCAD in Halifax, and the Western Front in Vancouver. See Traffic and learn of artworks that still befuddle the Georgia Straight.
> William Wood / Vancouver