Executive Editor’s Letter: Talking to Artists

As I write this issue’s letter, Toronto is in the grip of a mini heat wave. It is the end of May, and the temperature has soared to over 30 degrees. This means that a patio and a cocktail is beckoning, so this issue’s letter is going to be shorter than usual.

Earlier this year, I was talking to an artist/curator/writer friend who felt that there weren’t enough interviews with Canadian artists in magazines; plenty of essays and analyses, but not enough Q&As. I asked a few other people if they felt the same way and they did. But, why is this? Maybe it is because we arts writers and editors have ready access to Canadian artists’ work through exhibitions (and the accompanying artist statements) moreso than we do international artists, so we don’t feel the need to actually talk to Canadian artists in depth, or ask them questions and allow them to share their own words and thoughts.

So, in response, here is the “Interview” issue of Magenta, in which we talk to three Canadian artists who are at three different stages of their careers. We are thrilled that the internationally recognized Michael Snow found some time in his busy exhibition schedule to speak with Toronto-based artist and writer Dave Dyment. In this issue, Snow talks about two elements of his practice that remain somewhat under-the-radar and, therefore, under-represented in literature about his practice: his music-based works and his artists' books, including the seminal Cover-to-Cover that some would say is among the most important artists' books ever produced. Having Snow’s own thoughts about these aspects of his practice 'on the record'  will be, we think, an important contribution to studies of his art practice undertaken by others in the future. The Vancouver-based Karin Bubas talks with curator and writer Vanessa Nicholas about how she is transitioning from being strictly a photographer to an artist who is starting to integrate other media into her practice. Lastly, the emerging Montreal-based sculptor and performance artist Maskull Lasserre, about whom there was been a lot of buzz in Quebec in the past year, talks with writer James D. Campbell about how his other diverse interests, including playing the violin and boxing, play a role in his practice.

This is the 10th issue of Magenta Magazine Online. It is hard to believe that we’ve been around for three years! In that time, we’ve been the first Canadian publication to bring you features and reviews on many emerging Canadian and international artists and gallery spaces that other magazines didn’t catch up with until several months later. (Or, still haven’t!) Despite this, we know that it is time for an analysis of where we’ve been and where we want to go. We’ve been looking at the readership numbers, which increase with every issue, and analysing where you spend most of your  time in the magazine. So, expect some new features in the Fall issue,  and the discontinuation of some sections and the expansion of others, as we focus our resources on what it seems you most want to read and look at.

What else is up at the Foundation?

The launch of the summer issue coincides exactly with the opening of the second edition of the Flash Forward Festival in Boston! This festival brings together emerging photographers from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., with curators, art dealers and collectors for four days of workshops, exhibitions and symposia on the art and business of photography. To follow the goings-on in Boston over the coming weekend, visit the Festival’s website and the Foundation’s blog, Imprint.

Bill ClarkeHave a wonderful summer, and we’ll see you again in the fall.

Thoughts on this issue? Please share them with us at info@magentafoundation.org

Bill Clarke

Executive Editor, Magenta Magazine Online