Genocide of the Arts


In the midst of World War II, Winston Churchill's finance minister said Britain should cut arts funding to support the war effort. Churchill responded: “then what are we fighting for?”

Genocide of the Arts began as an activist response to the cuts of the gaming grants and arts funding, necessary resources for the operation of arts organizations and many other community groups. During a rally on September 9, 2009, on Robson Square, I “dropped dead” for two hours while the speakers talked about a grey world and the cuts of funding. The performance became the image of the rally and was printed in The Province, The Vancouver Sun, the Globe and Mail, and was the front page of the 24.

This piece asks people to “drop dead”, or lay on the ground, for a few minutes, imagining a world without art. In this cathartic experience, a bridge of discourse is built, leaving an impression on the person being outlined , and the public surrounding the “crime scene.” Artists , Activists, Curators, Dancers, Coreographers, Tourists, Writers, Educators, Administrators, Art Lovers, Students, Teachers, and many more manifested their loss. As bodies lied on the ground, they left the trace of their silhouette marked with white chalk. As it washes away,the outline becomes an abstraction and eventually disappears,what remains is the memory of the action. The physicality of the piece, its ephemeral residue and the reevaluation of our own existence, meant to create awareness and produce channels of action. Every outline was numbered, every name was written down and blogged with the Memorial List, and Last Words.

The piece was part of the LIVE biennale of Performance Art in Vancouver, Canada.

Artist with out art is a death artist.

First Performed September 9, 2009
Rally Against the Cut of Fundings
Part of the LIVE Biennale of Performance Art
and From the Ground Up at the Concourse Gallery
Vancouver, Canada.