panic/epic

Excuse-me: i started in French today and i do not have the courage to translate right now. I hope you can read French.

 

bonjour,

J’ai de la peine à sortir de la panique et à vraiment faire le pas de mon épique question de possible déménagement à Sudbury.

Pourquoi ça?

Je suis témoin en ce moment de violence systémique contre les sans-abris à Toronto et de manière plus proche de celle directement menée contre une amie artiste elle aussi récipiendaire du POSPH/ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program). Mon propre traumatisme de l’année passée est réactivé et bien sûr, je vous entends déjà me dire: claude, prends soin de toi. Oui, et qui alors va prendre soin de mon amie? L’air frais de matin? Excusez mon ironie et ma rage. Elle n’est pas contre vous bien sûr.

Je comprends bien que mon corps physique, émotionnel et psychologique ont leur limites et que je dois les respecter, mais alors, où est le “corps social” pour ceux qui n’ont pas de famille?

J’ai de la peine à continuer à avoir de l’espoir en cette vie….

Je vais essayer de méditer sur un dessin que j’ai adoré lorsque je l’ai vu pour la première fois….. Le voici……

De la part de Ray Laporte de Sudbury, un dessin extrait de son livre pour enfants “A Way Through: Super EM and the Pennyfoot Turtle”

 

 

Mon autoportrait d’aujourd’hui, comme d’habitude dessiné avec mes yeux fermés et mes deux mains

 

à bientôt,

claude


Artist claude wittmann publishes a poignant article in The Toronto Star

claude wittmann, artist in residency at the GNO since February 2020, published an article in The Toronto Star on the housing crisis in Toronto, as well as the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and the Ontario Works program (OW). 🏠 These topics are deeply embedded in wittmann’s practice — you can read various blog entries that explore these themes, among others, under the label “wheels/politics/panic” on our website.

Read the article

 

 

 


from claude: end of panic, beginning of epic?

i have had the privilege to blog here since march 2020. my art being the gestures that are supposed to keep me and my community alive (survival art), this blog has gone through different phases related to my survival. what have i learnt about blogging?

i have learnt that the GNO gallery blog can be a survival space where one senses their dignity while feeling it is cut in pieces elsewhere (during my housing crisis in Toronto, march-august 2020).

more recently, i have learnt that the GNO blog can be shared with another human being and be used as a safe container to create a new friendship.

this is what Sudbury artist Ray Laporte and i have done since january 2021. we are now friends and well, we do not need the safe container anymore. we have decided to realize our friendship offline from now on, with phone calls and snail mail that include exchanges of drawings and short letters.

my relationship with Sudbury is not ending though.

this blog is entering a next (probably last) phase: the “epic” part.

am i going to move to Sudbury in a few years?

i will write more later about this.

claude

 

 

 

 


Audience survey — The GNO wants your feedback! 💬

The Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario is moving to the Place des Arts de Sudbury in the fall of 2021!

On the eve of this important new chapter in GNO history, we are launching a short survey to take the pulse of the community so we can better continue to reach and serve you.

In a few minutes, let us know your thoughts, especially with regard to our communication methods. This survey is anonymous.

Take the survey


from claude

Ray,

it is hard to find the words that would translate at what level i thank you for your honest May 2nd email/post mentioning eating, trans, sexual identity and love. it is reassuring to hear that you are cautious with the word “love”. it makes me feel safe. i have tears in my eyes as i realize how much i have felt betrayed by this word when it has been said while contradicted by body language that screamed something different. and now it is my turn to reflect on my use of the word as i also have trouble with self-love. i have these winds around my spine, that i am getting to know and release sometimes, but they make my heart/spirit/trust/love disappear in a landscape where there is no self-love, only fear and terror.

i like our new phone habits. i really like to be allowed to spontaneously call you. we spoke three times i think.  your offer yesterday to smudge for my friend S just blew my mind and was so welcome. after we spoke, it felt that my air was thicker with existence and potential and S and i had a productive conversation. thank you Ray.

i am so glad that things are rolling for you again. congratulations on the hard work to arrive at that again.

here two recordings. tell me please which one you prefer and why, if you know.

 

à bientôt,

claude


from Ray

Insulin plant -Claude – I got the insulin plant in the post yesterday. – thank you – I potted it today. Am continuing on my portrait project and continue to make turtles. I am in good spirits. things are starting to roll again, All the best

– All the best, Claude- respect with affection – ray


from Ray

feeling divided – a response – I feel divided a lot of the time too. its because my focus is split because of this underlying anxiety that is caused by the depression, (from trauma and old issues from my past) Also i am moving slowly in our relationship because i am still being cautious because this is my first relationship with a trans person at this depth. I know other trans people, but only on the surface and not with this level of vulnerability and honesty. I am still struggling with my sexual identity at this late date. I know you refer to my strength of spirit. but at this time I am learning, so much about recovery through Overeaters Anonymous which is a spiritual program I am learning (awkwardly) about my higher power. You know yourself well and you bravely say love and dear you. Goodness i am only now, unlearning and relearnng to love myself . So its hard to say i love you with any degree of peace and serenity.

 

Thank you for searching out the ‘insulin’ plant – I will certainly try it. And thank you for your friendship – with affection and respect – Ray

from claude

Ray,

i really keep our chat on the phone in my ears and heart. thank you for that.

after we spoke, i went to pick some nettle in a park not far from where i live and the next day gave some to an artist friend living close to me. it was some kind of exchange for the toilet paper he buys for me when he buys some for himself. carrying big package of toilet paper on my bicycle is not very handy….

he and i spoke about what nettle does to the body and then, he shared with me that another artist, dear friend of mine too, gave his partner an “insulin plant” she had brought back from Colombia. he explained to me that the leaves help stabilize sugar levels. i have no idea if it could be of any benefit for you, but i could not help thinking that this sequence of event had some kind of meaning.

so, today, i found a rhizome on the net that will be sent to you. maybe you will have the desire to plant it in a pot and let some leaves grow and then try one to see what it does to you. maybe it won’t feel right and you won’t.

with love,

claude