illegitimate complaints by unimportant artists, a history of artist-run centers.

Cultural Dialogue

It often seems that art history has a linearity
in which new movements arise in the exhaustion of
a ruling idea. Pop art following abstract
expressionism, itself a reaction to the popular
taste of an earlier generation. What's pertinent
is that new movements arise in cultural
blindspots, in places considered discredited.

Renee Baert wrote in 1978 of video as a media
which suffered "virtual exclusion from
established venues of presentation" (1). This and
similar protests by other video artists
eventually led to cultural organizations
accepting video as a credible media.

Yet at first, the curatorial network replied that
these were illegitimate complaints about an
unimpressive media by unimportant artists. Which
was true; little grainy b&w video on a monitor
lacked the legitimacy of large paintings, at a
time when video's narrative functions were not
yet appreciated.

But times have changed, and I personally see,
rightly or wrongly, a stiffness and rigidity in
our approach to selecting work according to the
defined and established standards of our time,
such the linearity of political or theoric
issues. The more rigid such definitions, the
more we are excluding the catalytic "other" which
is a necessary constant in revitalizing culture.


(1) Renee Baert 1978 FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA:
Artist-initiated activity in Canada, 1939-1987
edited by AA Bronson with Rene Blouin, Peggy Gale and Glenn Lewis
The Power Plant, Toronto - June 26 - August 19, 1987

Miklos Legrady
310 Bathurst st.
Toronto ON.
M5T 2S3