June 19, 2020

ma propriétaire a “généreusement” annoncé qu’elle allait changer les serrures.

bien sûr, nous collectionnons conseil légal, mais, je suis né pour l’action et alors, il me faut bouger l’énergie qui se bloque ou je suffoque. alors, j’ai préparé une valise d’urgence qu’une de mes chères amies est venue chercher et amènera chez une autre chère amie qui sera d’accord de m’accueillir pour dormir si je me retrouve fermé dehors. j’ai une énorme gratitude pour ce berceau d’urgence. merci S. and L.

jusqu’où cette histoire va-t-elle aller?

j’approche mes limites.


June 7, 2020

edited on June 8, 2020

Acknowledgement of my privilege

i wish to acknowledge that i am a first generation settler with many privileges, among them that of living on the land of Toronto whose history is not without sharp clashes of concepts and power, in common with most other Canadian land.

i am aware that this land has been the subject of the 1787 Toronto Purchase which was understood by Indigenous communities at the time as the beginning of a sharing relationship, but was used by settlers to transfer ownership to the Crown. i am aware that the “Purchase” took place for 10 shillings ($60 in today’s dollars), 2000 gun flints, 24 brass kettles, 120 mirrors, 24 laced hats, a bale of flowered flannel and 96 gallons of rum. i am also aware that this same Toronto land was subject to a $145 settlement between the Crown and the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation in 2010 and that this settlement triggered mixed reactions among Indigenous communities.

then, i wish to acknowledge that despite some efforts in my artistic practice to participate in the deconstruction of this privilege and of that of being white, i have made only little progress and only in my understanding of this privilege, and this, sadly mostly through facing systemic oppression and housing precarity myself.

Acknowledgement of my current paradox

understanding privilege is very different from acting its deconstruction.

as i loose my home while white, trans, living with disability (difference) and largely under poverty line, i feel closer to the homelessness that is so disproportionately prevalent in Indigenous and BIPOC communities.

i am scared and the violence of the situation i and my neighbours are in in the middle of a pandemic has triggered ancestral and personal trauma. for some reason which i intuit is linked to my confusion about how to reconcile with land and its communities and about how to relate to privilege despite my intellectual understanding of where we are at, my being is currently shutting its own boundaries to shame and suicidal thoughts. i am deconstructing myself.

it is partly burn out but there is also a teaching here i suspect.

what i see now is that i do not know and i can’t rationalize how to embody a right to housing without entering intimately taboo internal landscapes (a sensation that i simply exist; to be heard; to experience life as simpler than i think it is; joy without punishment, etc.) and other landscapes that i do not find legitimate politically, such as consciously or unconsciously embodying white male entitlement.

the irony is that the taboo itself is both trauma and privilege.

i am stuck. fuck.

where is gravity?

thoughts welcome: claudesudbury at gmail dot com

claude wittmann


May 31st, 2020

Please sign this petition.

And here, a very telling comment added 2 days ago, on the petition site  by Monique Woolnough, Executive Director of the Sudbury Community Legal Clinic:

“As the Executive Director of the Sudbury Community Legal Clinic, I am appalled by how social assistance recipients are being left behind in in measures taken to address the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions. For low-income people already living well below the poverty line, many of whom are immune compromised, the added costs of delivery fees for groceries, cleaning products, communicating with their service providers through phone and the internet, etc… are simply inaccessible. Failing to include them in federal measures (like CPP-D recipients who have not been offered any additional assistance) or failing to ensure that provinces respect the federal directive not to claw back benefits simply reinforces the systemic practice of devaluing some lives over others and amounts to increasing the risk of infection and death in certain populations based on discriminatory factors.”

Thank you Monique.


May 30, 2020

I have contacted the people whom I know visited this blog and asked them to record their voice repeating 2 sentences I gave to them. I said, please spend less than an hour and I will send you a very symbolic honorarium of $15.

I am honored to share Carolina Reis’ contribution today. Thank you Carolina.

Please let’s speak soon about what this piece of art moves.


May 26, 2020

the difference between the 2 recordings, besides the fact that i already published the 1st one, is that the 2nd one makes me laugh when i listen to it.

 


Derrière les portes with Laurent Vaillancourt

We wanted to know : how are the artists doing ?
During the worldwide pandemic, forced to stay home for everyone’s good, we wanted to check out on the artists and visit them – virtually – for a small chat about their practice, their current or past work, and their creativity during those times.
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First stop, we invite you in Laurent Vaillancourt‘s workshop in Hearst to talk about his practice, projects and inspiration these days. Discussion hosted by the GNO’s director Danielle Tremblay, streamed on FB live on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 4pm.
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Longtime friend of the GNO and flagship Franco-Ontarian artist, Laurent Vaillancourt has a mixed practice he showcases around the province and beyond, with projects such as “Cent bornes” and “World Tour in Ontario“.

He has exposed multiple times at the GNO, recently in “Mission Site” and during past editions of the FAAS – Fair of Alternative Arts of Sudbury.

 


May 10, 2020

i acknowledge that

  • i am still carrying the SHOCK experienced on March 10 when i learnt that i would have to vacate my unit
  • i am ANGRY at the Toronto Fire Chief and Chief Building
  • i feel a more specific and higher dosage of systemic and political oppression at the moment and it is hard to find the right line of holding individuals ACCOUNTABLE without blaming them
  • i am BURNING OUT
  • it is increasingly more difficulty to access joy or let it manifest
  • i am near unable to sit down with the wheels i love to true as they remind me that i do not have a job right now and that it would be unrealistic to expect to find one plus to be able to sustain it as a bicycle mechanics right now
  • i am slowly drowning in the sense that i won’t be able to come out of the unknowns i experience about my home and my job right now.
  • it is my RESPONSIBILITY to not let myself fall into the terror of erasure, to not internalize the oppression and to generate the entitlement to exist and have a safe home that i have never experienced anywhere
  • i feel GRATEFULNESS towards all my neighbors, my friends, my art supporters, journalist Laurie Monsebraaten, Josh Barndt and late musician and ODSP recipient Justin Haynes
  • art could help here, but i am not one to use art as therapy. of course my drawings help me cope with the situation and soften the experience and opens me to slices of beauty, but in the end, the slices will disappear if (my) art can’t cut into the systemic crap. 

i have written a draft of a letter to the Fire Chief. it is not ready to be sent yet and maybe it will be transformed into another action. if you want to participate in any way in this action, please send an email to claudesudbury at gmail dot com