Re-decentering: Writing the History of Artist-Run Culture

In conjunction with its current exhibition One Dimensional Space, Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre is holding a panel presentation and book launch addressing the history of artist-run culture and its forms of organization, featuring authors Vincent Bonin, Clive Robertson, and Robert Labossière. One Dimensional Space continues at Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre until June 7th.

Image: Invitation to an exhibition at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, octobre 1970, Document, 35.5 x 21.5 cm. Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. E.P. Taylor Research Library & Archives. Iain Baxter Fonds. Gift of Iain Baxter, 2000. From Vincent Bonin's exhibition, DOCUMENTARY PROTOCOLS I: Emulation of the administrative ethos in artistic practices of the 1960s and 1970s in Canada.


Moderated by Michael Davidge

Date: Saturday May 31st, 2008
Location: Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, 21A Queen St., Kingston, ON.
Time: 3pm - 5pm

Vincent Bonin will present on the early history of artist-run centres through a discussion of his Documentary Protocols exhibitions, which focused principally on the phenomenon of artists as cultural workers and information managers in the period from 1967 to 1975. Though visual documentation about the programming activities of artist-run centers is often investigated by historians and curators, Bonin unearths the neglected labor history of these institutions.

Clive Robertson will extrapolate from his recently published book Policy Matters, an analysis and critique of Canada’s cultural sector and the policies that led to its current infrastructure. Robertson is credited with coining the term "artist-run" and has been an integral agent in the formation of the artist-run culture movement as it is known today.

Robert Labossière will discuss decentre, a new book published by YYZ about artist-run culture that, with an eye towards the future, describes the breadth and quality of artist-initiated programs, projects and events. This text describes the issues faced in this milieu and how effectively they are dealt with, at once celebrating artist-run culture while demonstrating its vital role in a larger cultural scene.

Following the Modern Fuel event, guests are invited to attend the Union Gallery’s reception for its current exhibitions, Void and salacious invitations, which run May 31 to July 4, 2008. The Union Gallery is located on the 1st floor of the Stauffer Library (corner of Union and University Ave.)

Presenter Bios:

Vincent Bonin is an artist and independent curator living in Montreal. Between 2001 and 2007, he was the archivist of the Centre for Research and Documentation (CR+D) at the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology. Recently, he conceived a project in three parts (two exhibitions and one publication) entitled Documentary Protocols for the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery of Concordia University. He is presently working on an exhibition project with Brooklyn curator Catherine Morris on critic and curator Lucy Lippard’s book Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object (1973).

Robert Labossière is a Toronto-based visual artist, arts administrator and advocate. He has written extensively on the visual arts, including art criticism and theory. One of Labossiere’s many research projects is “A Newer Laocoon: Towards Artists’ Self-determination Through Public Arts Funding” published in Fuse magazine. He is currently Managing Editor of YYZBOOKS, a publishing programme of the Toronto artist-run centre YYZ.

Clive Robertson is a media artist, activist, musician, producer, cultural critic and collaborator. He currently teaches cultural theory and performance art at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. A major retrospective of his work, Then + Then Again, Practices Within an Artist-run Culture 1969-2006 has been presented at numerous artist-run centres in Canada. A co-founder of Fuse magazine, he has written extensively on the arts in Canada. His recent book, Policy Matters: Administrations of Art and Culture, was published by YYZ Books in 2006.