Terms of Engagement: Averns, feldman-kiss, Stimson

Christine Conley and Kirsty Robertson

Agnes Etherington Art Centre / Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery
68 pp col. ill. 10 x 8 in softcover  
$30.00 Can. $35.00 U.S.
September 2014

terms.jpgspacer.gifThe Canadian Forces Artists Program (CFAP) was launched in 2001 to embed artists alongside Canadian troops. Unlike earlier official war art programs, CFAP does not exhibit or collect the work produced by artists who volunteer for the privileged access it offers. This publication documents work by three artists who have recently been deployed to conflict zones as CFAP participants. Dick Averns was hosted by the Multinational Force and Observers at North Base, Sinai, in Egypt during 2009; nichola feldman-kiss was embedded with the United Nations Mission in Sudan in 2011; and Adrian Stimson was stationed at Forward Operating Base Ma`sum Ghar and Kandahar in Afghanistan in 2010. Working across the mediums of photography, video, sculpture and installation, the works in the exhibition reflect CFAP’s arm’s-length relationship with the military, which allows for greater independence of artistic expression. As curator Christine Conley explains, the artists “are all conscious of the complex relation of culture to conflict, given their situation as embedded observers whose access to war zones depends upon military hospitality, protection and social networks.” Compelled by narratives of genocide, the traumatic legacy of colonialism, and the War on Terror, the works presented here offer an encounter and critical engagement with Canada’s place in the world. Co-published with the Esker Foundation.

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