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  • Gearing up for tonight's Shannon and the Clams show with a bowl of #Christmasclamchowder !! Doors at 8 show at 9, sea you there! #clamgram #averybeatroutexmas
    13 hours ago by BeatrouteBC Gearing up for tonight's Shannon and the Clams show with a bowl of #Christmasclamchowder !! Doors at 8 show at 9, sea you there! #clamgram #averybeatroutexmas
  • Even a clam needs a drink around the holidays! There will be drinks this Saturday at our Shannon and the Clams show. Come thru for #averybeatroutexmas ! #clamgram #christmasclam
    1 day ago by BeatrouteBC Even a clam needs a drink around the holidays! There will be drinks this Saturday at our Shannon and the Clams show. Come thru for #averybeatroutexmas ! #clamgram #christmasclam
  • Today's #clamgram is three Rudolph-esque red nosed clams! Don't forget about our #averybeatroutexmas show this Saturday with Shannon and the clams! #christmasclams
    2 days ago by BeatrouteBC Today's #clamgram is three Rudolph-esque red nosed clams! Don't forget about our #averybeatroutexmas show this Saturday with Shannon and the clams! #christmasclams
  • Not even newspaper box thieves can stop us from posting our daily #christmasclam . We suggest bringing a delicious handful of clams to Saturday's #averybeatroutexmas show with Shannon and the Clams. Clams contain protein, protein helps you dance.
    4 days ago by BeatrouteBC Not even newspaper box thieves can stop us from posting our daily #christmasclam . We suggest bringing a delicious handful of clams to Saturday's #averybeatroutexmas show with Shannon and the Clams. Clams contain protein, protein helps you dance.
  • STOLEN! Last night someone stole the BeatRoute street box that we had outside our office on the corner of Nanaimo and Hastings. If you have any information as to the whereabouts of our box please let us know.. It features the artwork of Andrew Pommier and is priceless to us. ?????????????????
    4 days ago by BeatrouteBC STOLEN! Last night someone stole the BeatRoute street box that we had outside our office on the corner of Nanaimo and Hastings. If you have any information as to the whereabouts of our box please let us know.. It features the artwork of Andrew Pommier and is priceless to us. ?????????????????
  • Joyce Manor #allages
    4 days ago by BeatrouteBC Joyce Manor #allages
  • Wouldn't you love to receive this glimmering #christmasclam as a present under your tree? The only thing better than a clam made of jewels is the band Shannon and the Clams! See them this Saturday at the Electric Owl for #averybeatroutexmas
    4 days ago by BeatrouteBC Wouldn't you love to receive this glimmering #christmasclam as a present under your tree? The only thing better than a clam made of jewels is the band Shannon and the Clams! See them this Saturday at the Electric Owl for #averybeatroutexmas
  • Our Christmas party with Shannon and the Clams at the Electric Owl is next Saturday! To build excitement we will be posting a new #christmasclam everyday leading up to the show. #averybeatroutexmas #molluscmonday
    6 days ago by BeatrouteBC Our Christmas party with Shannon and the Clams at the Electric Owl is next Saturday! To build excitement we will be posting a new #christmasclam everyday leading up to the show. #averybeatroutexmas #molluscmonday
  • Dan Bejar of @thenewpornographers nursing a glass of red and making us swoon at the hush hush Google Play Music show #playmusiccanada #danbejarfullfrontal
    1 week ago by BeatrouteBC Dan Bejar of @thenewpornographers nursing a glass of red and making us swoon at the hush hush Google Play Music show #playmusiccanada #danbejarfullfrontal
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THE WORK OF CATHY BUSBY

Monday 02nd, December 2013 / 22:40

CathyBusby-We-Are-SorryPAIN AS A CONSTANT

Pain never leaves us. It ebbs and flows throughout our lives in different forms and intensities, consistently operating somewhere in our consciousness. For all its stifling and destructive qualities, pain can enliven us and often drives us to create. Cathy Busby knows this well: pain has been a fundamental theme of her work for over twenty years.

“Everybody has their ways of coping in this funny old world and I really think about the difficulties and how people surpass them,” she tells me. “It’s part of my backbone, even through dealing with my personal pain. How do you negotiate all the contradictions we have to live with?”

Although Cathy has dealt more obviously with personal pain in her past work, her current installation in Vancouver comes from an interest in public representations of pain. Part of the Morris & Helen Belkin Gallery’s “Witnesses” exhibition, We Are Sorry is a massive text-based installation composed of fragments of public apologies made in 2008 by Prime Ministers Stephen Harper and Australia’s Kevin Rudd for their respective nations’ treatments of Aboriginal Peoples. It was first exhibited in Australia and has since made its rounds in Canada.

“I was originally interested in the public apology because of emotional pain and its representation in media,” Cathy explains. “I’m interested in the transformative narratives in the media—going from emotional rags to emotional riches. It’s the spectacle of the survivor.”

In We Are Sorry, the spectacle of the survivor is conveyed through the sheer scale of the piece. The vinyl installation towers over the viewer and forces one to strain to read the words, and the authority and control implied by the curtness of the font (Helvetica) leaves one feeling more insignificant than usual and in awe. Cathy purposely crafts this kind of relationship between installation and viewer to emphasize the weight of the words and what they promise. “I like pushing what the scale of my limit is,” she says. “To be effective, I have to rise to the scale of whatever I’m talking about in the first place.” The work resulting from this attitude is especially poignant at this crucial time of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada—a time that brings awareness to the generations of abuse First Nations peoples experienced through the residential school system and offers hope for healing and rebuilding. In tune with this spirit, We Are Sorry isn’t coming from a cynical place but from a hopeful one.

“I still have hope. I have hope for citizenry, and the citizen versus the consumer. I have hope for democracy and the political capacity of our nation states. In that spirit, I have hope for the public apology being genuine and authentic. It’s about the sate acknowledging what happened in the public record. A public apology sets the bar for action.”

Cathy commits to holding the public apology accountable not just in We Are Sorry, but also in Budget Cuts—another large-scale text installation that lists the Aboriginal organizations that have faced severe budget cuts since Stephen Harper’s 2008 apology. For Cathy, text is often what makes her work worthwhile to her.

“With text-based installations, I like the idea of making temporary memorials. It’s semi-permanent. I think that over time, public artwork loses its relevance. I would prefer my work remain relevant for the whole time it was present and then just disappear.” Text installations like We Are Sorry and Budget Cuts have a mobility to them that holds Cathy’s ideals true: they exists for a certain time in a certain place, make their impact, and then vanish, leaving a changed space in place of where they once were.  “As an artist, why do we have to make new things?” she elaborates. “Why are we always putting new things into the world? Maybe sometimes our work can be editing. I see my work as an editing process.”

In the near future, Cathy will be working on a collaborative installation in Los Angeles called Debt & Hope, based around the $120,000 price tag that came with one woman’s MFA and the dialogue between her and Cathy that resulted from it. She’s also about to launch an artist book called Steve’s Vinyl. The book is an ode to her brother Steve passing away and his passion for music, and documents an evening she organized a few years ago during which she gave away all of his vinyl records to attendees. For now, the public apology work is on hold. “Doing the apology work is part of my art vocabulary,” Cathy explains. “I will return to it sometime if something happens in the world that connects with my message.”

Yet in a way, the book straddles both public and private pain: although clearly a product of her own process of experiencing her brother’s passing, it also offers the pain a chance to transform into remembering, celebrating a life, and passing Steve’s passion for music to others. Be it public or private, Cathy’s pain is necessary: ebbing and flowing just like it does in our lives, Cathy is teaching us more about ourselves and guiding us through the human experience.

We Are Sorry is on view at Walter Koerner Library at 1958 Main Mall on UBC Campus.

cathybusby.ca

By Polina Bachlakova, presented by The Cheaper Show. The Cheaper Show is an annual art show showcasing affordable art by emerging artists.

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  • Behold, the Purple One! Come check out Purple Ryan's amazing Prince tribute at Republik on the 27th for our Christmas Party. Adv tix available through @bigticketsca.
    4 days ago by BeatrouteAB Behold, the Purple One! Come check out Purple Ryan's amazing Prince tribute at Republik on the 27th for our Christmas Party. Adv tix available through @bigticketsca.
  • CONTEST TIME! 
Complete the following:
    5 days ago by BeatrouteAB CONTEST TIME! Complete the following: "Last Christmas, I asked The Wet Secrets for ________ but all I got was _______!" To be entered to win a pair of tickets for our Christmas party and digital copies of Free Candy, the latest album by @thewetsecrets. Winners announced December 21st.
  • On December 27th, BeatRoute celebrates the holidays the only way we know how: with a little rock 'n' roll!

Come by Republik at 9pm to catch The Wet Secrets, 36?, The Rumble, Surf Kitties, The Allovers, Miesha and the Spanks and Purple Ryan.
    6 days ago by BeatrouteAB On December 27th, BeatRoute celebrates the holidays the only way we know how: with a little rock 'n' roll! Come by Republik at 9pm to catch The Wet Secrets, 36?, The Rumble, Surf Kitties, The Allovers, Miesha and the Spanks and Purple Ryan.
  • @alvvaysband charming everything in sight tonight.
    2 weeks ago by BeatrouteAB @alvvaysband charming everything in sight tonight.
  • Johnny Marr!! So efiin' rad. @johnnymarrgram @republikyyc
    2 weeks ago by BeatrouteAB Johnny Marr!! So efiin' rad. @johnnymarrgram @republikyyc
  • New Year's Resolution: see Blackalicious live in Western Canada.
    4 weeks ago by BeatrouteAB New Year's Resolution: see Blackalicious live in Western Canada.
  • PARTY!!!
    4 weeks ago by BeatrouteAB PARTY!!!
  • A moment with Shannon and the Clams at Wunderbar last night. Calgary, join us for more at Local 522 tonight! #PARTY
    4 weeks ago by BeatrouteAB A moment with Shannon and the Clams at Wunderbar last night. Calgary, join us for more at Local 522 tonight! #PARTY
  • #Latergram from the 10 Year Anniversary Party at Wunderbar last night. We're still recovering -- stay tuned for more!
    4 weeks ago by BeatrouteAB #Latergram from the 10 Year Anniversary Party at Wunderbar last night. We're still recovering -- stay tuned for more!
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