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"Present compose: Canadian, American and European Contemporary Artists"
2001-07-05 until 2001-09-16
Ottawa Art Gallery
Ottawa, ON, CA Canada

The Ottawa Art Gallery presents Present compose, the second component of an incisive two-part project that probes the legacy of revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s: artistic avant-garde, cultural and social experimentation, and political and economic upheaval. Following and complementing Take Two, Present compose features new and recent works by Canadian, American and European contemporary artists, and examines, critiques, and reconfigures the current retrofitting of the late 1960s, and their complementary insurrections in contemporary debate.

Présent composé focuses on the compound nature of the present, a present both shaped by technologically-driven globalization and inflected by the return of the 1960s as revolutionary, experimental and cutting-edge. No longer unreservedly able to promise a shining future, dominant culture now resorts to pillaging events from this recent past and redeploying them, in superficially assimilable ways, to sell us the next big thing. The unfulfilled commitments of our utopia-driven past are retrofitted in the already-obsolete present to sustain hyped-up promises of a future of enhanced speed, profit and performance. This is where artists have also chosen to work, proposing alternatives which, in Présent composéé, are articulated by overlapping areas: labour, history, political resistance, the orchestration of experience, and avant-garde genealogies of art and architecture.


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