2017 marks Canada’s sesquicentennial—an intended celebration that, however, already seems much different than 1967’s explicitly hopeful, late-Modernist centenary.
In an era where we are again seeing the dangers of nationalism—something contemporary art has claimed to reject outright, yet unquestionably participates in—it is worthwhile to think carefully, skeptically, and curiously about this anniversary and the charged moment it will afford. Here, a cultural critic explores the problems and opportunities surrounding Canada 150: an event that could, and should, be as much about the future as the past.
About the speaker
David Balzer is a writer, editor, and teacher. He is the author of Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else, winner of ICA London’s 2015 Book of the Year, and the short-fiction collection Contrivances. He has written about art and culture for The Guardian, Modern Painters, Artforum, The Globe and Mail and others, and was the recipient of the 2015 International Award for Art Criticism. He is currently Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher at Canadian Art magazine, and lives in Toronto.