Dylan Miner /
This publication series is part of the comissioned project Furnishing Positions by Adrian Blackwell and is produced in conjunction with the 2014 exhibition FALSEWORK
Double-sided broadsheet, 18" x 18"
Representation / Presentation: Is public space made by government or citizens?
One of the fundamental confusions about the concept of public space is whether it refers to spaces funded and built by an elected government, or to spaces appropriated by citizens in order to contest government policies. This tension emerged with the rise of modern democracy, predicated as it is on the election of representatives through majority vote. In this form of democracy, citizens no longer speak in their own voices but through others, and a gap opens between the peoples’ demands and the motivations of government. Within this situation, public space emerges as a locus where people can present themselves to others in political contestation, rather than relying on their representatives to act in their best interest.
Artist Project and Text:
Dylan Miner, All Land is Indigenous, 2014
cheyenne turions, "Contingent Convergences," 2014
Furnishing Positionsis a serial publication that focuses on the paradoxical nature of public space. Its standard form is an 18”x18” broadsheet, consisting of an artist’s project on one side and a text on the other. It will be published once every two weeks for three months, starting September 15, 2014, with each issue focusing on a specific paradox. As a serial, each issue builds on earlier editions. As each issue is published, it will be hung and made available for free in the Blackwood Gallery, posted to the gallery’s website, postered in public sites, and circulated electronically. As the exhibition progresses these broadsheets will accumulate, generating and animating conversations in the space.
Furnishing Positions (Broadsheet) is part of Adrian Blackwell’s project, Furnishing Positions, commissioned by the Blackwood Gallery and presented in conjunction with the exhibition FALSEWORK, September 15 – December 7, 2014.
In 2003, it was announced that Vancouver would host the 2010 Winter Olympic games, but protests against the spectacle started long before. Opposition was declared - against the anticipated displacement of low-income residents, civic debt in the face of extraordinary corporate gains, and infractions of Indigenous sovereignty. These criticisms focus on the dark side of neoliberalism, according to which the boundaries between private and collective expressions are recoded in favour of commercial interests. For urban theorist Miguel Robles-Durán, public space is no longer a place available to all for social gatherings, debate, protest, or retreat without specific purpose for the simple reason that these uses do not “[meet] the requirements of the private investors, private corporations, and of public-private alliances to extract land rent and most importantly, to develop new spaces in which to re-invest their accumulated surplus.” As preparations for the games mounted around Vancouver, these tensions were predictably aggravated.
-Excerpted from "Contingent Convergences" by cheyenne turions
1. Miguel Robles-Durán, “For the Brief Moments of Confrontation,” in Make_Shift City, Renegotiating the Urban Commons, ed. Francesca Ferguson and Urban Drift Projects, in cooperation with the Berlin Senate for Urban Development (Berlin: Jovis Verlag, 2013), 25-31.
Dylan Miner (Métis) is Associate Professor at Michigan State University, where he coordinates a new Indigenous Contemporary Art Initiative. He holds a PhD from The University of New Mexico and has published more than fifty journal articles, book chapters, critical essays, and encyclopedia entries. In 2010, he was awarded an Artist Leadership Fellowship from the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution). Since 2010, he has been featured in more than thirteen solo exhibitions and been artist-in-residence at institutions such as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, École supérieure des beaux-arts in Nantes, the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Rabbit Island, Santa Fe Art Institute, and various universities. His artwork has been the subject of articles or reviewed in publications including ARTnews, Canadian Art, c magazine, Indian Country Today, First American Art Magazine, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, Måg Magazine (Norway), and The Chicago Sun-Times, among others.
cheyanne turions is an independent, Toronto-based curator and writer who holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of British Columbia. Most recently she co-curated (with Kim Simon) the series Canadian Ecstasy with poet and performance artist Ariana Reines at Gallery TPW and reviewed the Kuwait Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture for C Magazine. She is also the director of No Reading After the Internet (Toronto), and sits on the Board of Directors for the journal Fillip and the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre. She was the Shop Manager/Curator at Art Metropole from 2012-2014 and is now a part of the organization's Lifetime Membership. Currently she is a member of the co-creative team for the Art and Society theme within the Cities for People project.
Publisher: Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga
Artist: Adrian Blackwell
Curator: Christine Shaw
Editors: Adrian Blackwell, Christine Shaw
Designer: Matthew Hoffman
Copy Editor: Jeffrey Malecki
Printer: Captain Printworks
Greig de Peuter
Mary Lou Lobsinger
The Furnishing Positions broadsheets are all available for free download. To order free printed copies of any or all of them, please send an email including title(s), number of copies, and your mailing address to: