Posts

Co-Chair Dont Rhine | Discussed in Savage Minds Article

We’re in Crisis! Time to Slow Down: Discernment in a Trumpian Age

(This occasional post comes from Edgar Rivera Colón, Ph.D. Dr. Rivera Colón is a medical anthropologist and teaches at Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine program. Dr. Rivera Colón is also Assistant Professor of Sociology and Urban Studies at Saint Peter’s University, The Jesuit University of New Jersey. He does spiritual direction with activists as a ministry of the Ecumenical Catholic Church (ECC), an LGBT-affirming faith community, based in Guadalajara, Mexico.)

No hay mal que dure cien años — ni cuerpo que lo resista.” (Popular Puerto Rican saying).

“There is no evil that can last a century — nor bodies equipped to endure it.”

The last weeks have been a marathon (Trumpathon?) of despair, grief, resistance, and mobilization in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory. I’ve spent part of time having long conversations with younger activists — folks in their 20’s and 30’s — about their feelings of disorientation and anger at what seemed to many to be an impossible electoral outcome. One of most dangerous, hate-spewing, fear-mongering, and vulgar presidential candidates in the US history is about to take over one wing of the state apparatus. Whatever one’s take on the whys and wherefores of the 2016 presidential election results, the negative effect on many bodies, spirits, and minds is palpable and worrying. What to do in such a crisis with so many layers and consequences that could warp even further the American polity for two or three generations hence?

To read full article click here.

Faculty Portfolio of Recent Work-Luis Jacob

Luis Jacob, “Spirits of the Grotto” (2012), public art at Dufferin underpass, Toronto.

Luis Jacob, “Spirits of the Grotto” (2012), public art at Dufferin underpass, Toronto.

03.City of Toronto Archives City Hall Conditions of Competition 1957

City of Toronto Archives, “Site of City Hall (from Conditions of Competition, City Hall and Square)” (1957), RG Reports, Box 9.

04.The Demonstration.2013

Luis Jacob, “The Demonstration” (2013), two-colour silkscreen print

05.Jack Chambers.photo study c.1970

Jack Chambers, “Untitled photo study” (c.1970)

06.Broken statue in Rome

Broken statue representing a theatre actor, photographed in Rome by Luis Jacob.

07.Sphinx.2015

Luis Jacob, “Sphinx” (2015), installation with sculpture and library of books, Children’s Conservatory, Allan Gardens, Toronto.

08.Sphinx.2015

Luis Jacob, “Sphinx” (2015), installation with sculpture and library of books, Children’s Conservatory, Allan Gardens, Toronto.

09.Sphinx.2015

Luis Jacob, “Sphinx” (2015), installation with sculpture and library of books, Children’s Conservatory, Allan Gardens, Toronto.

10a.Sphinx.2015

Luis Jacob, “Sphinx” (2015), installation with sculpture and library of books, Children’s Conservatory, Allan Gardens, Toronto.

I feel that contemporary artists are under constant pressure to conduct their practices in accordance with a cosmopolitan definition of art, privileging artistic languages that are legible within the art capitals – at the expense of the multitude of artistic languages spoken in the peripheries (that is, in most of the planet).

My work stems from an intuition that, as artists, the diverse places where we live and work are not incidental to the work we make.  I want to explore the conscious and unconscious ways in which these places shape our self-images and our cultures.

Toronto is the place I call home.  Researching the colonial relations between settlers (like me) and First Nations people allows me to grasp why life in this city is perceived to happen as if on a vacant lot.  Exploring the example of local artists like Jack Chambers, Greg Curnoe, Joyce Wieland and General Idea, instructs me about their engagement with these questions of place, regionalism, nationalism and mediation.  Travelling to other places exposes me to artistic languages unfamiliar to me, and to the ways in which people in different contexts engage the reality of colonization, globalization and resistance.  Riding my bike around town, reading local narratives, auditing a course on the history of urban planning at the University of Toronto, attending a seminar on the history of Toronto filmmaking at the Bloor Cinema – these activities help me develop a more nuanced sense of the city I live in.

I have heard people say, “Toronto has no history.”  In my work I refer to this fantasy of ‘the blank canvas’ as a perfect allegory for the chasm in Toronto between the richness of local history and the pervasive vacancy of local memory.  I make work that ‘looks back’ at the viewer in an attempt to summon the spirits that haunt this place I call home.