This weekend marks the end of Kent Monkman's critically acclaimed solo show Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience at the University of Toronto Art Gallery. It's heading west to Calgary to the Glenbow Museum slated to launch in June with subsequent dates booked all the way into 2020. If you haven't seen it already you need to see it. His work is a remarkable exploration of Canadian identity through a post-colonial lens that celebrates and challenges alternative histories and indigenous identities.
But did you know that we've been fans of Monkman's work for a while now? Last summer's ISSUE 13 featured his sculpture: Bull in a China Shop on our front cover. In the editor's note Tammy explained her choice for including his piece:
When I first saw this piece, Bull in a China Shop (2013) - a hand painted earthenware saddle-with-handlebars that reimagines Picassos famous Bull's Head (1942) - I thought it was a thing of beauty.
Kent Monkman is a historic revisionary, viewing the past through the critical lens of a queer first Nations artist with a two-spirited dandy alter ego called Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, or Mich Chief for short. Monkman uses western concepts of sexuality to explore oppression inherent in dominant ideologies and hierarchies. He subverts the so-called Western gaze using mimicry.
He's long been interested in the idea of and etymology of the "dandy" and what it meant to Aboriginal culture, and has incorporated his finding into his work. Monkman's research into the dandy found references to two-spiritis Aboriginal dandy or berdache - individuals who did not fit gender norms, usually womanly men or men who dressed in 'womanly' clothes - largely documented by painter and ethnographer George Catlin. In Catlin's documentation, and Monkan's retelling, the dance of the berdache was a ritual in which the two-spirited leader of the tribe was worshipped and celebrated. Two-spirit has replace berdache and gender fluidity now has been recognised as being a part of First Nations cultures for venturing.
Just as two-spiritedness has long been celebrated in First Nations cultures, we at dandyhorse also are proud to celebrate the dandy in us all.
If that's not reason enough to check out his work then I don't know what is?
dandyhorse the book
Artist Profile Rob Collinet
Bikes on Reels 4: Parkdale's the Wild West in Monkey Warfare
Image courtesy of Ontario Good Roads Association
Mikael Colville-Andersen: Building City Streets to Move People (on Bikes)
Story by Albert Koehl
Photos by Wayne Scott
The dilemma for Toronto’s cycling community was on full display Monday night during a presentation by Mikael Colville-Andersen, CEO and founder of Copenhagenize Design Co., and the discussion that followed with Toronto’s Chief Planner, Jennifer Keesmat, and Straphanger author Taras Grescoe.
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Tagged Albert Koehl, Bike share, Calgary, copenhagenize, Cycle Toronto, fighting traffic, Jennifer Keesmaat, mikael colville-andersen, ontario good roads association, peter norton, straphanger, Taras Grescoe, urban design, Wayne Scott
Photo by Wayne Scott
Pride and privilege
Bloor Street and changing behaviours for the betterment of all
By Albert Koehl
You know life is good when one of your privileges gets tweaked and almost everyone tells you they feel your pain. A Toronto Star article last Friday --- based on City data obtained through a Freedom of Information request --- showed that motoring travel times have increased on Bloor St. along the pilot bike lane; while cycling numbers are up significantly. Other media were quick to follow up with their own stories about the scandal. The headline by Global News was typical: “Bloor Street bicycle lanes have increased driving times.” The City, presumably anticipating the Star article, on the same day published its own ‘update’ about the bike lanes, including assurances that changes were coming to smooth the flow of (car) “traffic.” Only later in the day, during a full house for a Bloor bike lane forum (part of a farewell for the Honest Ed’s store), did motorists get a less sympathetic audience.
Check out the first part of this bike spotting series here.
This year, the City of Toronto has committed to clearing priority bike lanes during winter. We went around the University of Toronto to ask cyclists what they think the service has been like so far.
James and his son
Bad at the beginning. It’s gotten better.
It’s been okay. The day it snows I typically won’t bike but it gets better over time.
I have no complaints. The bike lanes have been pretty good.
Winter Bike Lane Maintenance
Bike Spotting: Theft Prevention
Bike Theft at GO Transit