"I WROTE A POEM"
John Will, "I WROTE A POEM," acrylic on paper, 22" x 30".
Gallery 1C03 & CV2 The Canadian Journal of Poetry & Critical Writing present A PUTTING DOWN OF ROOTS: 40 YEARS OF CV2 exhibition and symposia, curated by Kegan McFadden and Clarise Foster and featuring visual art by Ben Cove, Edgar Heap of Birds, Divya Mehra, Natasha Peterson, Erdem Tasdelen, Lawrence Weiner, John Will, and Laurel Woodcock. The project questions mainstream notions of anniversaries, longevity in the arts, and cultural institutions in general through the embroilment of visual art that asks "what does this have to do with a 40th anniversary?" McFadden's curatorial tendency is not to illustrate but to complicate the (celebratory) narrative.
The exhibition comprises archival material related to the production of poetry in Canada over the last 40 years mingled with text-based contemporary artworks that, at their heart, grapple with the understanding of time in its multiplicity. The artworks purposely overstate the literary affect used by contemporary artists. From the use of actual text and words to literary allusion, these pieces problematize issues related to larger understandings of how time passes, the placement of the artist in culture, and the relevance to celebratory misreading in particular. Intergenerational and cross-cultural, the artists included in this exhibition represent various starting points to the same end – that of literature and the use of text. Whether through reveries, reference, or repetition, these works are brought together to state an openness to the text. Each of the works are purposely selected to play double-duty in terms of incorporating language, but also some literary reference or underscoring of the history of publishing from the personal to the mechanical.