A very rough calculation (50,000 university students in Alberta paying $10,000 p.a. in tuition) suggests that about half this [provincial funding for research commercialization, etc.] could provide free university education in Alberta ($125 per capita)
“In future, royalties streams could also help fund the budgets of post-secondary institutions”. Thanks Lukaszuk.
The statement I provided for my work at Harcourt House. Yeah it’s weird because the art is 50% text anyway but
people galleries expect these things. I just sent another one off to another gallery for a show that is also largely text-based—this time the statement will be on a take-away card, instead of the art.
In 2010 when I moved to Scotland, I felt like I needed a fresh start. Maybe more than ever before, I wanted to be an artist, but my existing work was so Edmonton and worse, was going nowhere. I started to play music, planning durational performances like the one I made here last year at Dirt City:Dream City, only initially inside the gallery. Despite Glasgow’s idealistic spirit and landscape full of young artists and MFA students, I was uncertain—my work was always incomplete, no matter how much of it you saw, and I wanted to refuse the lie of documentation. But to be an artist I needed to show something. These videos, Fantasies, were at first an escape from that trap—bad documentation reinvented as an art object. The incomplete performance is marked by distance.
I also left behind writing in Edmonton. My last sentence, “I’ll miss you, Alberta”, was cut from the harsh-seeming final paragraph it was meant to temper. In hindsight it seems appropriate, those words a sign that my critic’s mask was slipping.
My early reviews were met by an angry response accusing me of being too close to those I wrote about. I was close. But distance is the lie of art criticism. Canada’s artist-run network was founded, according to AA Bronson, because we didn’t have our own magazines—our unusually tight community contains this incompleteness at its core, alongside statements about or against northern isolation and great distances. To be artists we need to show something.
Most of the work I’ve made recently is about suddenly being much further away from an artist whose work I liked a lot. This performance is very different from the critic of 2010.
June 29–August 18, 2013
RBC New Works Gallery, Art Gallery of Alberta
Adam Waldron-Blain’s practice exists in a space between overwhelming sentimentality and the clinical dissection of the role of the contemporary artist, the art object and—ultimately—heartbreak. Using durational performances, video and text, Waldron-Blain takes his broken heart and sends it up as the object of his art practice. While some may sing a sad song à la Adele, Waldron-Blain stretches it to an absurd end; his is an exhaustingly long operation that points to the packaging of feelings and the hyperbolic emptiness and simultaneous sincerity of sad pop songs. As he places the personal into the public realm, Waldron-Blain draws our attention to the inadequacy of the language of love.