At the Museum Of Contemporary Canadian Art on Queen west
there's a group show and sale this week,
a benefit for performance / media artist Istvan Kantor.
On Tuesday at the 2pm press conference,
Miklos Legrady will perform the first of a series of works titled
"Repeatedly Slashing A Valuable Painting With a Box-Cutter".
The chosen painting is technically a masterpiece, a classic b&w portrait
of a squeegee kid named Andrew who worked the
corner of Bathurst and Queen street in 2001.
Click the link below to view the painting.http://www.ccca.ca/mikidot/paintings/people/pages/010.html
We should note that most artists, curators, and
writers graduate from similar schools and share
similar values. These are reflected in their
association, their production, and the systems
created thereby. A cultural blindness results
from such group judgements.
There are curators like David Liss - who opened
the doors at MOCCA for Istvan Kantor's benefit -
who have street credentials outside academia
but they are few. And even Queen street has it's
cliques and formalities. Kantor and Legrady came
to the conclusion the art sworld cannot be
permanently changedS but it can be periodically
and made to take notice.
Legrady's performance may be seen as an open
emotional blackmail of the art world, or is it a
shallow sacrifice of a painting (so it can be
reborn as a trendy and interesting sculpture in
the "slashed paintings" series?). In any case,
it's an act of vandalism, a destruction of a
portrait from contemporary Canadian history, and
as such it's a genuine cultural loss.
Legrady's work plays on how we only value after
the fact that which we don't properly appreciate
in the first place. Those present in the
audience, on seeing the painting, will feel a
desire to possess the work and a sense of awe,
loss and regret at it's impending and actual
The moment at which the blade tears through
canvas will resonate as history brought alive
within that moment. a history of struggle between
artistic freedom and institutional authority.
+310 Bathurst st.