Collective 4891 launches their inaugural zine

Making art accessible and inclusive for all

Founded by Concordia Communications students Hannah Jamet-Lange and Shin Ling Low, Collective 4891 aims to foster a safe space for artists to create, regardless of their artistic medium.

“Our goal was always to create a safe space for people to share their art in,” said Jamet-Lange, adding that they wanted to make room for people who perhaps didn’t yet have the confidence to sign up for open-mics or more professional performance settings. “We felt like everyone was doing so many cool things, so many cool art projects, and we really wanted to see it in a context outside of school.”

The group initially organized art events in Jamet-Lange’s apartment. In fact, the collective is named after their old apartment number. In order to provide a platform for emerging artists to expand their practice and experience, the collective often took photos and videos, giving the creators a chance to add to their portfolio. However, despite being titled a collective, the team only consists of Jamet-Lange and Low, both of whom do everything from hosting the events to assembling their zines.

“We would love to make the collective a more literal sense of ‘collective,’” said Low, adding that they are interested in expanding their team in order to continue producing and hosting community projects and events.

“During [the open-mics] people would oftentimes build confidence during the event, after hearing other people perform and then decide on the spot ‘Hey, I’m going to perform something after all,’” said Jamet-Lange. “If people have the confidence and want to perform something they should have the availability to be able to do so.”

However, when the pandemic hit, they had to restructure the format in which their events were delivered, all while staying in line with their mandate of making art accessible to all.

Therefore, they decided to start a zine. The Community Care Edition of the Collective 4891 Zine features the work of over 20 creatives. In addition to serving as an art project to showcase the work of emerging artists, the zine also doubles as a fundraiser for Black Lives Matter.

How so? In order to obtain a copy of the zine, those interested are encouraged to make a donation to the cause of their choice — going local is highly encouraged — and submit proof of their donation. In return, those interested will receive their order by mail.

The zine features everything from paintings to poetry, giving people a chance to display what would have otherwise been placed on a wall or performed at one of the collective’s open-mics.

To accompany the launch of their inaugural zine, the collective will be hosting a virtual artmaking event and launch at the end of April. Here, artists who contributed to the zine will be able to share their work, in an effort to allow people to connect with the art and artists who contributed.

For more information about Collective 4891 and their upcoming launch event, follow them on Instagram or Facebook. Those interested in receiving more details on obtaining a copy of the zine or donating to a cause, visit this website.


Photos by Matilda Cerone.

Ar(t)chives Arts

Art for a changing world

How the Harrisons’ multidisciplinary practice tackled environmental issues

Known as “the Harrisons,” Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison were trailblazers in the eco-art movement. Their collection ranged from manifestos to maps, and sculptural installations. If a viewer didn’t know, they might interpret their work as data rather than art.

The couple’s multidisciplinary practice, which ranged a variety of disciplines, explored forestry issues and urban renewal, among others. This led them to collaborate with biologists, urban planners, architects, and more.

What makes their work particularly fascinating is not solely the aesthetic aspect of it, but rather the fact that each piece could be viewed as a solution to ecological issues.

“Our work begins when we perceive an anomaly in the environment that is the result of opposing beliefs or contradictory metaphors,” they said, according to a statement on their studio’s website. “Moments when reality no longer appears seamless and the cost of belief has become outrageous offer the opportunity to create new spaces – first in the mind and thereafter in everyday life.”

In fact, in the 1960s, the couple pledged they would exclusively create art that involved environmental awareness and ecosystems.

The Harrisons offered a unique take on art and its purpose, demonstrating the ways in which society’s inclination towards beautiful things makes them more likely to care about important issues if they are exhibited in a tasteful way.

“All of the sudden people are looking at the environment in one way or another, and they’re looking differently,” said Helen in a video of their sculpture Wilma the Pig. “In other words, it’s bringing their attention in a way that is meaningful.’”

The work was displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles for their 2012 exhibition Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974, a remake of one of their earlier installations titled Hog Pasture, wherein the creative duo recreated a small live pasture within the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. They had intended on bringing a hog into the space, however, the museum refused.

Among their other large-scale projects is The Force Majeure (2007 to present). The ongoing series is a manifesto for the present and the future and offers proposals to adapt to a changing world.

In fact, the Harrisons started the Center for the Study of the Force Majeure at the University of California, Santa Cruz, a research centre that enables the collaboration between artists and scientists in an effort to design projects that respond to climate change.

Despite art being often deemed unimportant, the Harrisons’ works and legacy demonstrate the ways in which art can serve as an alternative way of discussing important issues.

“Why not artists?” reads a statement on the Centre’s website. “Art is the court of last resort – and our best hope.”


Visuals courtesy of Taylor Reddam.


Sustainable Sound: ecology and the urban soundscape

CESSA’s upcoming series of workshops will explore the relationship between sound, music, and the environment

“How we live, what we consume, and how we interact with our environment has a direct impact on the world of future generations,” said Malte Leander, president of the Concordia Electroacoustic Studies Student Association (CESSA) and head of the club’s board association.

CESSA will be hosting Sustainable Sound, a series of workshops and lectures centred around the relationship between sound, music, and the environment.

CESSA represents students within Concordia’s Music Department, however those in other departments or areas of study are encouraged to apply. They aim to facilitate collaborations with other departments and student associations through initiatives that will benefit students in the program.

The presentations, which will explore acoustic ecology, sustainability, noise, and the interstices of the aforementioned, will take place throughout  April and May and will feature speakers from around the globe.

The positive thing about virtual events is the possibility for people to join in from anywhere,” said Leander, adding that the guest speakers are from Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; each bringing their own perspective on the notion of place.

In Jordan Lacey’s lecture, Sonic Rupture: theory and practice in the urban soundscape, the artist and researcher will be discussing the relationship between urbanity and nature via sonic encounters. Lacey is a Melbourne-based sound researcher, curator, and musician. His work explores urban design and sound art.

In Acts of Air: Reshaping the urban sonic, Lisa Hall will be hosting a workshop where viewers will be invited to enact and embody sound-works within the urban environment. After her lecture, participants will be asked to perform one of the discussed artworks within their environment and subsequently share their experience with the group.

Hall is a London-based sound-artist who uses audio and performance to explore urban environments. She does this by using audio and performance to intervene and interrupt, in an effort to raise questions and explore possibilities within a space.

In Pamela Z’s lecture and presentation, the composer and performer will be discussing her work in the artist space. Z works primarily with sampled sound and electronic processing.

Though the artists all work in different capacities, they all aim to uncover the relationship between sound, our environment, and the place we hold in relation to the two.

“An area not nearly spoken enough about is how our sonic environments affect us; our health, concentration levels, and sleep patterns,” said Leander. “In the case for most of us, that sonic environment is the roar that is the urban soundscape of Montreal.”

With environmentalism becoming increasingly popular throughout many aspects of everyday life, Leander notes that there is equally a “green” movement within the topics of acoustic ecology and ecoacoustics, which have been around for quite some time.

The urgency of change for a more sustainable future calls for a bigger integration of reflection upon sustainability and a call for change; both through what means, and in what way that audio is produced and composed, but also how the topics are approached,” said Leander.

Leander added that purposefully producing reflective art around environmentalism can yield deeper reflections within the public and the listener. In turn, potentially contributing to acts of change within other aspects of life.

“We are wanting to raise awareness about these things in an attempt to make more people more conscious of our surroundings, also in the domain of sound,” said Leander. “The sounds around you affect you more than you think.”

For more information about the Concordia Electroacoustic Studies Student Association, follow them on Instagram or visit their Bandcamp. To register for Sustainable Sound, visit their Facebook page.


Feature graphic courtesy of Allie Brown.

Ar(t)chives Arts

Land Art: investigating humanity’s relationship to nature

The 1960s movement popularized taking art outside of the museum

Upon first glance, Richard Long’s A Line Made by Walking (1967) appears to be a simple monochrome photograph of a grassy field with trees in the distance. The photo, however, only serves as a form of documentation of the artwork itself, which is Long’s interaction with the terrain. This avant-garde form of artmaking is classified as Land Art.

Also known as Earth art, Land Art is created with the surrounding landscape, often taking the form of a performance, sculpture, or installation, and serving just as great of a political purpose as one driven by aesthetic.

The genre gained traction in the 1960s as part of the conceptual art movement, characterized by the notion that the concept behind the work takes precedence over the finalized work itself. In the same respect, Land Art holds its significance due to the idea of the artist’s physical intervention with their environment.

Notable figures who contributed to the movement’s popularity include Richard Long, Nancy Holt, Michael Heizer, and Robert Smithson, all of whom used natural elements as a means of investigating and creating a narrative about humanity’s interactions and relationship with the surrounding environment.

One of the most acclaimed works of Land Art is Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970). Situated on the shore of the Great Salt Lake, Utah, the installation uses over six thousand tons of black basalt rocks and earth to form a spiral-shaped sculptural installation along the shore. The otherworldly work resembles a galaxy and, according to Art & Place, published by Phaidon, the nearly 460 metre-long spiral was created by bulldozing material from the shore into the lake.

“Built at the mouth of a terminal basin rich in minerals and nearly devoid of life, ​Spiral Jetty ​is a testament to Smithson’s fascination with entropy,” reads a statement on The Holt/Smithson Foundation website, demonstrating the ways in which Smithson was greatly inspired by geology and the natural sciences.

The site on which the installation is located is owned by Dia, an art foundation dedicated to preserving artists’ visions by commissioning and exhibiting site-specific installations. The foundation welcomes visitors to the site and advises them to “leave no trace” behind. In other words, visitors mustn’t interfere with the environment or the art, leaving it exactly how they found it in an effort to preserve it for future generations of viewers.

Aside from the grandeur of Smithson’s work, what makes his collection particularly fascinating is its volatility; being made entirely of natural resources means that the work can dissipate at any given moment, should it be subject to a slight disruption.

Nancy Holt, on the other hand, explored the genre through a different approach. Holt’s series Trail Markers (1969) consists of photographs that document the artist’s journey through Dartmoor National Park in England.

“Holt resists the panoramic, all-encompassing view, offering instead an experience of the landscape that is at once dynamic and myopic,” states the work’s description on The Holt/Smithson Foundation website.

The photographs, which are all focused on very specific parts of the landscape, neglect the vastness of the mountains, instead giving viewers an encounter that is representative of the artist’s experience within the space.

Whether it be through photographs or an expansive installation, Land Art serves as a reminder of nature’s grandiosity and impermanence.


Graphic by Taylor Reddam.


What is the future of sustainability science?

Concordia’s fourth annual sustainability conference evaluated the climate crisis on campus and beyond

Hosted by the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability and the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre, in collaboration with 4TH SPACE, Concordia’s fourth annual sustainability conference took place from March 15 to 19.

The five-day series, Sustainability and the Climate Crisis, which was hosted via Zoom, featured a variety of lectures, workshops and discussions centred around the progressing climate emergency. Topics included global warming, loss of biodiversity, renewable energy, and examined Concordia’s position in addressing the aforementioned issues.

Guest speakers included professors, undergraduate and graduate students from various disciplines, including the departments of Biology, Communication Studies, and Geography, Planning and Environment.

The week kicked off with a series of presentations centred around Current topics in sustainability science. Graduate students in the Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science course presented their research and the potential ways in which certain solutions can tackle sustainability issues. 

Among the presentations was Brian Armstrong’s research on the importance of small-scale subsistence fisheries. Armstrong’s research is done in partnership with the Cree Nation Government and the Hunters and Trappers Association and explores food security, funding for hunter-trappers, and Indigenous knowledge of food sustainability.

“I believe cataloguing and understanding these initiatives and relationships can put fisheries and food security back into the greater context of cultural wellbeing, environmental stewardship and belonging for long term, intergenerational sustainability,” said Armstrong, adding that, on a greater level, this would entail fostering partnerships, respecting Indigenous communities, and reevaluating the way settlers conceive their role in the world.

In the next discussion, Insects: Indicators and agents of global change?, panellists examined climate change from an entomological perspective. More specifically, Concordia Professor Emma Despland discussed how climate change has been disrupting insect ecosystems and causing mass outbreaks.

Despland explained how warming temperatures lead to an influx of insects to a specific region, in turn, causing damage to forests as a result of the insects’ eggs — or larvae — feeding on growing and underdeveloped bark. Thus, this disrupts not only the insect’s ecosystem, but forestry as well.

From a more economical perspective, Concordia Professor Damon Matthews’ lecture Implications of the remaining carbon budget for climate policies and emissions targets offered an overview and analysis of carbon budgets and how this data and information is applied in creating corporate policies and targets. The carbon budget is essentially the amount of carbon dioxide emissions permitted to prevent the Earth from warming above its threshold.

Whereas in Emission targets and a challenge to capitalism?, postdoctoral fellow Anders Bjørn and PhD candidate Daniel Horen Greenford discussed how applying science-based emission targets and considering alternatives to capitalism can potentially help the climate crisis. Science-based emission targets are goals developed by businesses and corporations in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For a more biological approach to the climate crisis, Climate Change and Natural Systems, and The future of biodiversity in a changing planet explored the ramifications of human impact on forestry, marine life, and its threat to ecosystems in general.

In one of the presentations, Clara Freeman-Cole delved into protected areas, such as national parks. Freeman-Cole described the concept of landscape fragmentation, a process by which habitats are broken up into smaller areas as a result of infrastructure, agriculture, and natural resource extraction, among others.

Sahar Alinezhad’s discussion on the importance of community gardens as a tool to promote social wellbeing, and Jacques Simon-Mayer’s research on remote mapping and monitoring of chlorophyll levels in the water were among the other panels that presented findings on the future of sustainability in Canada.

In PhD candidate Alexandre Pace’s lecture, he presented his research about recording the events of climate change via the observation of tree rings, whereas Clare O’Neill Sanger delved into her research about pollen records. The two presentations offered a glimpse at the ways in which the observational analysis of living systems can provide us with information about the climate crisis and state of the environment for the past, present, and future.

Later in the week, Concordia Professor Pedro Peres-Neto, whose research centres around community ecology and biodiversity from a statistical and theoretical approach, discussed the Earth’s declining biodiversity. He further discussed the difficulties and concerns where policies and models are concerned, and the ways in which these models aid in understanding these occurrences and phenomena.

Building on Peres-Neto’s discussion, Lilian Sales, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Biology, delved into her research, which uses statistical and mathematical models as a means of further understanding the distribution of various species on different scales. Species distribution models (SDM), mentioned throughout both Peres-Neto and Sales’ discussions, are models which use locational data of species in order to better understand and predict their locational distribution.

Of course, while considering the climate crisis on a global and national level is of great importance, it is equally as important to recognize the ways in which we can take action on a local level. Various discussions introduced viewers to initiatives for climate action on campus and in academia. 

Climate action at Concordia: A panel discussion aimed to educate students about Concordia’s Sustainability Action Plan, which was launched in 2020. The plan presented the university’s vision and plans to divest from greenhouse gases and reduce waste. The presentation centred primarily around a Q&A session wherein students could ask questions about the five-year plan and its implications.

For those interested in careers focusing on the environment and sustainability, Careers in Sustainability offered students a glimpse at the various paths that can be taken upon graduation. The talk featured Faisal Shennib, Concordia’s environmental specialist at the Office of Facilities Management, Katerina Fragos, manager of sustainability and climate change at multinational accounting firm PwC, and Anthony Garoufalis-Auger, climate emergency organizer at Rapid Decarbonization Group, a non-profit organization. The panel demonstrated the ways in which students can become actively involved in the climate crisis, even without a formal education in science.

To end the week off on a more interactive note, attendees were invited to join the Climate Emergency Committee for an engaging game of Climate Geopardy. The committee consists of students and professors from the department of Geography, Planning, and Environment who are aiming to raise awareness about the climate crisis throughout the province via a series of workshops, lectures, and events. 

The game, which takes a similar form to the popular American game-show, Jeopardy!, was meant to educate the public on the current climate emergency and its underlying science. By introducing scientific concepts and research in an engaging manner, players were able to educate themselves and test their knowledge, all while putting an entertaining spin on an important issue.

The series left viewers with a variety of topics to think about, both where personal and institutional changes and policies are concerned. The speakers and presenters offered a well-encompassed glance at a simultaneously distressing and hopeful possibility for our future. Regardless of one’s area of expertise, one thing is certain, the future of the climate emergency is in our hands: as citizens, students, scientists, consumers, and beyond.

The recorded lectures from Sustainability and the Climate Crisis are available for viewing on 4TH SPACE’s YouTube channel. To learn more about 4TH SPACE and for more information about upcoming events, follow them on Instagram and Facebook.




Ecologies pays homage to planet Earth

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ latest exhibition captures the complexities of global warming

I have rarely left a museum feeling emotional and so deeply invested in the curator’s cause. Walking out onto Sherbrooke Street after leaving Ecologies: A Song for Our Planet, I found myself breathtaken and with a heavy heart; both hopeful and troubled for the future that awaits us.

Curated by Iris Amizlev, curator of intercultural arts, Ecologies features over 90 works from the museum’s collection, all of which interpret the current environmental crisis in a different way. Featured artists include Shuvinai Ashoona, Olafur Eliasson, and Lorraine Gilbert.

Upon walking into the space, viewers can observe Giuseppe Penone’s Path (1983), an almost whimsical sculpture that appears to be at once a human and a flowering tree. Penone’s bronze cast figure serves as a demonstration and connection between humans and nature — a theme which Amizlev has made apparent at various instances throughout the exhibition.

Another example of the relationship between humans and the environment can be observed in Lorraine Gilbert’s Boreal Forest Floor, La Macaza, Quebec (2010). The print, which is only half of a diptych from the series “Once Upon a Forest,” features manipulated photographs of plants that are native to Quebec.

Gilbert manipulated the photographs, creating what is essentially a collage, in an attempt to give viewers a “man-made” view of an already beautiful landscape. By resizing, reorganizing, and essentially recreating the scenery, the work demonstrates society’s inclination towards controlling a natural process.

Further in the space, viewers can admire Osuitok Ipeelee’s Untitled (Walruses) (1977) and Peter Qumaluk Itukalla’s Untitled (Bear and Cub) (2003). Though the works are not directly about the climate crisis, the stone sculptures capture the beauty of the threatened Canadian wilderness.

By referencing Indigenous artists and the impacts of colonization, Amizlev makes the important connection between a longstanding history of environmental injustice and the mistreatment of Indigenous peoples, two issues which fall hand-in-hand.

Olafur Eliasson’s Untitled no. 44 (1997), from his series “Iceland,” is a print featuring a stunning depiction of an Icelandic landscape. The contrast between the grassy plain and snowy field in the distance allows viewers to appreciate the grandiosity and serenity of the vast Nordic region.

Eliasson’s works frequently incorporate science, and specifically more “elemental” materials such as water and air. The Danish-Icelandic artist primarily creates installations, and explores themes such as weather, the environment, and space.

In contrast to Eliasson’s tranquil photograph, Adrian Stimson’s Beyond Redemption (2010) is forthright and provocative. Consisting of a taxidermied bison surrounded by ten bison skins draped across black crosses, Stimson’s installation pays homage to the history and importance of the bison in Indigenous communities.

Stimson, a member of the Siksika nation, sacrificed a bison as a means of honouring the near-eradication of the species, as well as the Indigenous tribes who rely on them for sustenance. He offers a glance at the importance of the bison in Indigenous spirituality, as well as the ramifications of human actions on a group of animals that once dominated the wilderness.

Presented alongside Ecologies, viewers can view Paul Walde’s mesmerizing video installation, Requiem for a Glacier (2013). Performed by over 50 artists on the Farnham Glacier in British Columbia, Walde’s piece serves as an homage to the land.

In addition to being threatened by global warming, the government of British Columbia had announced developing a ski resort on the unceded Indigenous land of the Ktunaxa Nation, causing a series of land disputes which lasted over a decade. Walde’s performance features a choir singing the Latin translation of the press release published by the government authorities.

At once aesthetically gratifying and informational, Ecologies provides the public with a compelling narrative and ode to planet Earth. Amizlev’s selection of works so profoundly captures the intricacies and complexity of the climate crisis, offering viewers an experience that is both alarming and stunning.

Ecologies: A Song for Our Planet is on display at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, at 1380 Sherbrooke St. W., until Feb. 27, 2022. The museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. Reservations must be made in advance. To book a ticket, visit


Photos courtesy of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Ar(t)chives Arts

Helen Frankenthaler’s abstract climates

A deep-dive into the artist’s influential role on the abstract movement

A practicing artist for over 60 years, Helen Frankenthaler’s collection of works spanned many key moments and transformations in abstract art. The American abstract expressionist has actually been recognized for her contributions to postwar abstract painting.

Frankenthaler has been attributed with the influential shift of abstract expressionism to colour field painting, alongside the likes of other notable figures such as Mark Rothko and Ad Reinhardt.

Colour field painting — a genre characterized by compositions containing large, simple fields of colour — emerged in the 1950s and marked a pivotal moment in modern art, marked by the separation of emotion and religion from painterly depictions.

In addition to Frankenthaler’s effect on the transition into a new artistic era, she gained notoriety for further developing the technique of colour-staining. The technique had initially been developed by Jackson Pollock, who earned acclaim for pouring paint and pigments directly onto a canvas.

Opposite Pollock’s bombastic technique, Frankenthaler applied thin washes of paint to unprimed canvases, giving them an almost whimsical appearance. A key example of this technique can be observed in Mountains and Sea (1952), which consists of organic strokes of vibrant blue, green, and pink hues against a pale yellow background.

Contrary to Mountains and Sea, her work Shippan Point: Twilight (1980) features wider, harsher, and darker brushstrokes. The use of black overlayed on turquoise and blue hues gives the viewer the same sense as being by the water at night. And rightly so; a quick Google search about Shippan Points yields hundreds of photos of a Connecticut peninsula featuring a pier, dock, and the deep blues of the Atlantic ocean rising up against the shoreline.

Despite not being a direct rendition of mountains and the sea, or of a dock by the ocean, Frankenthaler’s work somehow manages to elicit the same feeling of looking at a landscape. Vibrant, yet serene and somewhat chaotic, yet dainty, the artist’s canvases capture the calming effects that colour and simplicity can have on the mind, as well as the unpredictability of the elements surrounding us.

“My pictures are full of climates, abstract climates,” said Frankenthaler, in regards to her work. “They’re not nature per se, but a feeling.”


Graphic by Taylor Reddam.

Ar(t)chives Arts

Mathematics and spirituality: decoding Hilma af Klint’s work

A brief overview of the Swedish artist’s esoteric paintings

You may recognize Hilma af Klint’s works from their abstract shapes in bold tones of purple, yellow, orange and blue. Combining distinct floral and geometric elements, the Swedish artist’s paintings were greatly inspired by the stages of life.

Born in Stockholm in 1862, af Klint went on to study at Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Meanwhile, she began to immerse herself in spiritualism and Theosophy, a religious movement established in the late 19th century.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, a key characteristic of Theosophy is the belief that there is a “deeper spiritual reality and that direct contact with that reality can be established through intuition, meditation, revelation, or some other state transcending normal human consciousness.”

Af Klint’s inclination towards this system of beliefs greatly led her to founding “The Five.” The group consisted of women artists who gathered on Fridays for spiritual meetings, wherein they would pray, meditate, and conduct séances, which included the practice of automatic writing and mediumistic drawing exercises.

During one of her meetings with The Five, “an otherworldly ‘guide’ instructed af Klint to design a temple connected by a spiral path, and commissioned her to make paintings for this temple,” according to the Guggenheim. This would subsequently lead af Klint to create 193 works, known collectively today as The Paintings for the Temple. Created between 1906 and 1915, the series of works is recognized today as one of the first examples of western abstract art.

In 1907, af Klint painted a series of 10 works titled The Ten Largest, which demonstrate her interpretations of the messages she believed to have been receiving. The works display connection to the universe through recognizable shapes and patterns such as flowers, cells, eggs, and orbs.

The paintings, which resemble both diagrams and art, draw from science, botany, geometry, and colour theory, offering a glimpse at the way in which everything is connected. Af Klint’s contrasting use of holistic and scientific symbols display the artist’s methodical, yet almost “radical” and abstract approach to artmaking.

Aside from af Klint’s revelatory works, what is remarkable about her practice is how contemporary it feels. The works merge spirituality and science in a way that is seamless, aesthetically pleasing, and that manages to feel relevant today.

As stated by artist R.H. Quaytman in the Hilma af Klint catalogue published by the Guggenheim Museum in New York, “If you . . . didn’t know anything, you’d think these paintings were made ten or twenty years ago. You would not know how old they were. And what’s so thrilling about her work, I find, is how contemporary it feels.”

It is outstanding that works created over a century ago are still pertinent in our age. Perhaps af Klint’s revelations offered her a glimpse into the future.

Graphic by Taylor Reddam-Woo.


A Q&A with Yiara Magazine

 A quick glance at what the arts publication has been up to this semester

There’s no doubt that Zoom University makes it harder to engage in student life and feel like you’re a part of something. In an effort to make students feel more involved and aware of what student clubs are up to, we’ll be conducting a series of interviews with various student-run organizations.

Yiara Magazine is a student-run, undergraduate feminist art publication based out of Concordia. In addition to publishing an annual print issue, they hold events such as workshops and panels. Past events have included a zine-making workshop with California-based artist Chantal Jung. Through their publication, online platform, and various events, they aim to make feminist art and art history accessible to all.

To learn more about what they’ve been up to, our arts editor spoke to Amelle Margaron and Sara Hashemi, the editors-in-chief of this year’s issue.

TC: Aside from pandemic-related changes, what is Yiara doing this year that is different from previous years?

Yiara: Lots and lots of collabs! We’ve really worked with so many different people from our creative community so far this year: artists, collectives, professors, curators, and other student organizations … Another major difference is that we’ve hired an official creative director, Stefania Bodea, who has been creating incredibly groovy graphics to promote our events and callouts, very fun and fresh.

TC: Do you still intend on producing a print issue, or will you be going the digital route?

Yiara: We’re still publishing a print issue! We’re still working out the details on how it’ll be distributed, but it’s such a big part of Yiara that we didn’t want to let that go this year.

TC: Considering the current socio-political climate, what are some adjustments and changes that Yiara is making or is planning on implementing for future years?

Yiara: Considering the evolving definition of feminism is at the center of Yiara’s mandate, it is an important part of our annual direction. As such, we make sure to feature writing and art from a diverse range of voices, in an effort to portray an accurate understanding of intersectional feminism.

TC: What are some upcoming events that readers should look forward to?

Yiara: Our virtual exhibition for Vol. 09 will launch on March 19, and we’re super excited about that! We’re also working with the art history department on a virtual exhibition that would be hosted on Artsteps throughout the summer, and will be posting a callout for that once we’ve wrapped up everything with the print issue.

TC: For anyone who might be interested in contributing or joining the team next year, when can they expect a callout?

Yiara: We usually post a callout at the beginning of the new school year, so folks coming back next year should keep an eye out for that!

Those interested in submitting written or visual work to be published on Yiara’s digital platform can submit to Yiara online via Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

For more information about Yiara Magazine’s upcoming events and annual print issue, or to know more about them, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.



Feature image: Yiara Vol. 8 cover. Courtesy of Yiara Magazine

Ar(t)chives Arts

A glimpse at John Kacere’s “body” of work

The artist painted larger-than-life depictions of the female midsection

Upon first glance, John Kacere’s paintings could be mistaken for some NSFW photos. A quick search of his name in the Google search bar yields dozens of photos of bare women’s midriffs and bottoms.

The American artist originally began his career as an abstract expressionist in the 1950s and ‘60s. Works such as Homage to Stuart Davis (1952) feature the same bold geometric shapes painted in primary colors that many artists of the same era, like Joan Miró, are recognized for. These pieces contrast many of his series from the same period, such as three works (1959-1963), which feature a collection of very minimal strokes and shapes on paper.

Kacere experimented with a variety of media, including pencil, graphite and collage, until the late 1960s, when he settled on the oil-on-canvas photorealistic style that he is known for today. One of his first works, Untitled (bikini) (1970), depicts a close-up of a woman’s bikini line. She wears white lingerie, and the shading is so detailed that it appears as though the painting is an enlarged photograph. The painting is nearly 50 inches wide and 40 inches tall — that is over three times “life size.”

The artist maintained this style for the rest of his career, assembling a collection of roughly 130 works, according to the Louis K. Meisel Gallery. Over the years, the New York City gallerist, Louis Meisel, has worked to collect them in order to offer a retrospective of Kacere’s career. Meisel is said to have discovered Kacere’s work via his wife, Susan Pear Meisel, who met Kacere in 1966 when she was a student at Parsons School of Design, where Kacere taught.

In a statement on his gallery website, Meisel writes: “I might point out that Kacere’s work CAN be seen as all three parts of realist painting, portrait, still life AND landscape.”

This quote encompasses many of the aspects present in Kacere’s paintings. Some, like Meisel, have compared the works to landscapes, describing the curve of the womens’ hips as “[building] a terrain across each canvas.” Others, like Melt, have observed the classical resemblance and quality of his work which “could be attributed to the luxurious materials and skin on display.”

While his focus on the beauty of the nude body was recognizably influenced by classical sculptures, it is also interesting to note his displays of female fashions, which make the paintings resemble still lifes. In each work, the depicted woman is clad in a new, intricate and luxurious set of lingerie, and sprawled against luscious patterned silks and satins. The fabrics are shown in a similar manner to the way most still lifes depict ceramic vases or ripe fruit.

His work has, unsurprisingly, been described as erotic and provocative. There is no doubt Kacere was fascinated with the female figure, which, of course, has raised questions regarding objectification. According to Fad, Kacere once stated that “Woman is the source of all life, the source of regeneration. My work praises that aspect of womanhood,” in reply to criticism about his chosen subject matter.

The verdict is still out among art writers and critics on whether Kacere’s work is, in fact, problematic or not. However, his “body” of work makes it clear that he redefined the way we perceive the modern female nude.


Graphic by Taylor Reddam.


New study shows COVID-19 could become as common as a seasonal cold

Scientists explain that Coronavirus is likely here to stay

“It’s important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” said Dr. Michael Ryan during a press conference held by the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 13 of 2020.

It is just shy of one year later and it still doesn’t seem like there is an end in sight for COVID-19. However, a new study published in the Science journal shows that the virus is likely here to stay.

As a matter of fact, four of the six types of coronaviruses that are known to affect humans are already endemic, according to a study in the journal Trends in Microbiology. These four viruses circulate freely and are just about as disruptive as a common cold.

But what does it mean when a virus is endemic and how does it get to be that way?

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, “Endemic refers to the constant presence and/or usual prevalence of a disease or infectious agent in a population within a geographic area.”

Diseases that are usually present in a community — without causing disruption — are referred to as endemic or “baseline.” A disease can continue to circulate at this “baseline” level indefinitely, and continues to be considered endemic so long as its level of prevalence does not get any higher.

“Our model, incorporating these components of immunity … suggests that once the endemic phase is reached and primary exposure is in childhood, CoV-2 may be no more virulent than the common cold,” states the abstract in the Science study.

That is to say, COVID-19 will still be contagious but won’t cause people to get as sick over time, eventually becoming just another viral infection, as a result of herd immunity.

According to pharmaceutical company and developers of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer, this type of immunity takes place when a greater part of the population becomes immune to a disease as a result of either vaccinations or immunity developed as a consequence of having contracted the disease.

However, according to a 2020 article published by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in order for herd immunity to be effective, approximately 50 to 90 per cent of the population must be immune.

That being said, with only 2.22 per cent of the Canadian population having been vaccinated with the first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and over 770,000 total confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of Jan. 30, there is still a long way to go until herd immunity is achieved.

Graphic by Taylor Reddam. @5ecret


What has the CUJAH been up to?

A glimpse at what the Concordia Undergraduate Journal of Art History has been working on

There’s no doubt that Zoom university makes it harder to engage in student life and feel like you’re a part of something. In an effort to make students feel more involved and aware of what student clubs are up to, we’ll be conducting a series of interviews with various student-run organizations.

The Concordia Undergraduate Journal of Art History (CUJAH) is a student-run association that aims to showcase the talents of Concordia’s Art History and Fine Arts students via the publishing of an annual journal and an art history conference.

CUJAH aims to provide students with opportunities, both professional and academic, by offering a variety of workshops.

“We also hold a variety of events throughout the year geared towards supporting students in their academic and professional development,” explained Kari Valmestad, CUJAH’s Editor-in-Chief.

Fortunately for the CUJAH, lockdown and work-from-home orders have not disrupted their process too much, seeing that most of their work is done digitally.

“A significant adjustment, and a crucial one, is that CUJAH implemented a board of directors for the first time in the student group’s history,” said Valmestad. “This was a very necessary amendment, and we are lucky to have a wonderful group of students who comprise our 2020-2021 board.”

Moreover, for the first time since it’s inaugural launch, their tenth annual edition of the conference will be held entirely online and their journal launch will not occur in-person.

“Although meeting in person is incomparable, there actually have been many advantages to having the conference virtually,” said Valmestad. “For example, Juliette Muth [CUJAH’s conference coordinator] has invited many speakers from outside of Montreal, whereby normally, we wouldn’t have the funding to fly out speakers to the city.”

Many scholars and artists will be joining from elsewhere, such as Dr. Sabrina Strings, an associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, whose research focuses on how race, sexuality, and class are “inscribed” in the body.

“Another pro to having the conference virtually is that anyone anywhere can attend,” said Valmestad.

Aside from their annual conference, CUJAH has been hosting a series of speaker events in collaboration with Concordia’s 4TH SPACE, a centre for research and experiential learning, and Yiara Magazine, an undergraduate feminist art publication based out of Concordia.

“Our first [event], which was on Jan. 13, was with the newly-hired art history professor Dr. Michelle McGeough who spoke about her research on Indigenous knowledge in art history and pushing beyond queering the art historical canon.”

The publication’s second webinar featured a conversation between artist and activist Esther Calixte-Bea and interdisciplinary artist Mahlet Cuff.

Viewers can watch recordings of both the first and second events on 4TH SPACE’s YouTube channel.

Their third and final event was moderated by Manitoba-based artist and curator Genevieve Farrell. The webinar featured curators and programmers from artist-run centres VIE D’ANGE, Groupe Intervention Vidéo, and the Biennale d’art contemporain autochtone (BACA).

Despite most of their content being digital this year, the publication still plans on producing a print issue for their tenth annual edition.

“Having a printed version, I consider to be really important, as not only do the essays, artwork, and graphic design work look so amazing in print, but we also want to have physical copies circulating and available to file in our own archives and those of Concordia and the BAnQ,” said Valmestad. “We will also have a digital version so that it is accessible to anyone interested in reading this year’s volume.”

Those interested in an executive team position at the Concordia Undergraduate Journal of Art History can expect callouts within the coming months. Editorial positions will be opening in the fall semester.

For more information about CUJAH’s upcoming annual conference on Feb. 20-21, or to know more about them follow them on Facebook and Instagram.


Photos courtesy of CUJAH.

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