BY STEVE MCORMOND
DARK CLOUDS (ANOTHER APOCALYPSE)
The clouds rolled in and never left.
Lightning in them but no rain.
Life, as Auden observed, went on
disinterestedly. There was the tuna
casserole to keep from burning, the dog
whimpering to be let out.
Panels of experts convened on TV
to discuss the subterranean rumblings,
the preponderance of messianic cults.
We perked up at the gory bits,
the jumpers and self-immolations,
rituals involving goat’s blood.
Accustomed to instant gratification,
we wanted our apocalypse now.
How many times could we say goodbye
before we grew bored, turned a blind eye?
We had fetishes to attend to,
money to make and spend.
Years since we’d seen the stars,
they ceased to cross our minds.
What advice can I give, my fledglings,
my little vanishings, as you pack your things
and prepare to leave? Everything is fine, the sky
has been falling a long time. My wisdom in short
supply, these words must seem vague and kitschy
like the Lord’s Prayer painted on a grain of rice.
Already you are better than me. Each generation
is and should be incomprehensible to its parents.
We will want to go quietly. Don’t let our grey hair
keep you from meting out the judgment we’re due.
Love immoderately and permit yourselves rage.
Anger makes things happen. The mob is gospel.
And to those who claim it couldn’t be stopped:
At every point along its path, the arrow is still.
"Dark Clouds (Another Apocalypse)" and "Envoi" from The Good News about Armageddon (Brick Books, 2010).
Steve McOrmond is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Reckon (Brick Books, 2018). He lives in Toronto. www.stevemcormond.com
THE BLUE LINE
La ligne bleue (maquette, 2013)
Inkjet print on paper, 44 x 85 cm (17 x 33.5 inches)
The Blue Line Project proposes to draw a line of blue light across the night skyline of Lower Manhattan. Positioned at 65 meters¹ (213 feet) from the ground, the height of the glowing line will correspond to the projected sea level if all of the ice on the planet were to melt. Such a scenario is symbolic rather than realistic, since it does not relate to a scientifically predicted event as such, but acts instead to strongly promote environmental awareness.
This image represents an ambitious project that solicits the cooperation of building owners and managers as well as residents, tenants and their employees in a visually contiguous series of buildings in the Financial District. The project constitutes an invitation for a collaborative undertaking to realize a striking and poetic visual art work. At the same time, the simple fact of participating will engage those involved in a pertinent conversation about sustainability. In this context, the choice of artistic intervention is one that operates from inside the urban architecture, creating a visual effect that engages the public space of the city outside.
1 Bamber, J. L., Aspinall, J. L. An expert judgement assessment of future sea level rise from the ice sheets. Nature Climate Change 3, 424–427 (2013)
Aude Moreau holds a Masters in Visual Arts and Media from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and has developed a practice that encompasses her dual training in scenography and the visual arts. Moreau’s work has been exhibited in Canada and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at the Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris (2015); galerie antoine ertaskiran, Montreal (2015); Galerie de l'UQAM, Montreal (2015); Smack Mellon, Brooklyn (2013); Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (2012); Casino Luxembourg - Forum d'art contemporain (2009); and the Darling Foundry, Montreal (2008). She has received awards including the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art, Montreal (2011), the Powerhouse Prize from La Centrale, Montreal (2011) and the Prix Louis Comtois, Montreal (2016). Her work is part of the collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2013) and of the Canada Council Art Bank (2006). Aude Moreau lives and works in Montreal.
She is represented by Bradley Ertaskiran.
I am from Nunatsiavut (in Labrador). We Inuit have always been known as “Sikumiut; People of the Sea”, meaning that we lived and survived by the sea ice as a means for subsistence, travel, traditional cultural practices (as well as contemporary). In the four Inuit Regions Nunatsiavut (in Labrador), Nunavik (in Arctic Quebec), Nunavut and Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the Western Arctic, we see the most effects of ice loss due to climate change.
Each year it takes longer for ice to form and as a result, hunter and trappers and community members are not able to go out on the ice or land, leading to less food for both hunter and community. Our Ice is melting and we are all at fault (humanity). We have no one else to blame but us and humans are contributing to loss of practices, changes in animal migration, traditions, community well-being, less time on the land and less interaction with the environment.
As an Inuk living in Ottawa, I ask myself, do people really understand the potential and real risk of climate change? How is it affecting our regions, our lives and our environment. Do we understand the consequences and effects associated with melting snow and ice; natural disasters, time, awareness, funding and polices or lack of them. Who is talking about it, who is concerned about it, and what are we going to do as a result of it? The images selected from my Ice Works is an attempt to bring awareness to and of climate change and global warming from an urban Inuk artist’s perspective.
Below are selected images from De-Iced photo series, on-going project
** Two of the photographs from the series, Policy Gone Awry and After the Melt, are part of the upcoming group exhibition Qautamaat | Every day / everyday at the Art Gallery of Guelph
Barry Pottle is an Inuk artist from Nunatsiavut in Labrador (Rigolet), now living in Ottawa, Ontario. He has worked with the Indigenous arts community for many years particularly in the city of Ottawa. Barry has always been interested in photography as a medium of artistic expression and as a way of exploring the world around him. Living in Ottawa, which has the largest urban population of Inuit outside the North, Barry has been able to stay connected to the greater Inuit community.
Through the camera’s len, Barry showcases the uniqueness of this community. Whether it is at a cultural gathering, family outings or the solitude of nature that photography allows, he captures the essence of Inuit life in Ottawa. From a regional perspective, living in the Nation’s Capital allows him to travel throughout the valley and beyond to explore and photograph people, places and events.
He believes that the concept of Urban Inuit is relatively new and for the most part unexplored (compared to other Urban Indigenous groups in Canada) so as an artist, he seeks to articulate this. “The camera,” he shares, “allows me to explore connection and continuity with my heritage and culture especially with regards to the contemporary reality of being an Urban Inuk.”
Barry’s photos have been published in a variety of magazines (Makivik Magazine, Inuktitut Magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly) and he has also contributed images to a number of community initiatives.
I NEVER GOT OVER 60 LIKES
When hasn’t life been expendable?
Another train departs
tossed on a heap of disposables
Cell phones plastics mountains
There is no law
Only the monied
This too shall pass
We already know the ending
We’ve seen it
Left before the credits
“I didn’t think it would be such a downer.”
“This sucks, let’s leave.”
“Why did you unfollow me?”
“You unfriended me bitch”
Like that’s the end of the world.
Just one click
In a darkened theatre
We stay to the bitter end
The price of the ticket
To see what might happen
Any surprises plot twists
“I didn’t see that one coming”
The oldies the goodies
The good guys show up
Oft times even only one
To set the captives free
To take down the evil ones
Shot in glorious black and white
Light projected a fresh stream
the cup of one’s hands
When there was free water to drink
“Can I have a glass of water?”
“Water some water please”
“My daughter needs some water.”
You only think you’re tired
The entire tired sick fucking world is
It sucks to be tired
tired of this all of this
Maybe I’ll message Christopher
See if they’re tired, too.
KIRBY’s earlier chapbooks include Cock & Soul, Bob’s boy, The World is Fucked and Sometimes Beautiful, and She’s Having A Doris Day. Their full-length debut, This Is Where I Get Off is now in its second printing (Permanent Sleep Press, 2019) and currently being adapted for the stage. Kirby is the owner and publisher of knife | fork | book. www.jeffkirby.ca
Crossing The Line (2015)
Archival Pigmented Print, 22 x 33 inches
The Greening (2015)
Archival Pigmented Print, 22 x 33 inches
Ideas in Things (2018)
Archival Pigmented Print, 22 x 33 inches
The Horizon Felt photographs use color to create new cartographies of the polar regions. Using the horizon and colours from the landscape as points of reference, Jessica Houston placed different coloured felt in front of her lens while photographing the north and south poles. Abandoned outposts, remote scientific stations, and retreating glaciers speak to the life of places and the storied matter that shapes them. These photographs take stock of the embedded histories of the poles and their entanglement of colonialism, capitalism and environmental injustice, while opening up a space for rethinking the ‘natural’.
Jessica Houston travels from pole to pole—using objects, oral narratives, photography, and painting. Her collaborative projects include site-specific oral histories that amplify place as a living process and build knowledge across and human and more-than-human spectrum. She works on projects involving communities and their relationship to their environments in the Canadian Arctic, Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, and Italy. Houston has created site-specific works for the New Jersey MOCA, Asbury Park, New Jersey; the Castello di Corigliano, Puglia, Italy; Governors Island, NY, NY; and The Albany Airport, Albany, NY. Her works are funded by The Canada Council for the Arts and are in the collections of Prêt d’oeuvres d’art, Musée National Des Beaux-Arts du Quebec;Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), Montréal, Québec; Bank of Montréal, Toronto; and the Consulate General of Monaco, Montréal. She has been invited to The Albers Foundation Residency, CAMAC Centre for Art, Science and Technology in France, and Skagaströnd in Iceland.
Watch Your Head is an online anthology of creative works devoted to the climate crisis and climate justice.
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