Image: John Latour

John Latour @ Artexte

Who Was Who Was Who in Contemporary Canadian Art

Spring - Summer 2018

Eric Metcalfe and Kate Craig / Dr. Brute and Lady Brute; Vincent Trasov / Mr. Peanut; Camille Turner / Miss Canadiana; Kent Monkman / Miss Chief Eagle Testickle; etc.

Since the 1960s, numerous Canadian artists have created artist personas or have produced works under pseudonyms for a range of purposes such as self-fashioning, parody, play and critique. So many artists, so many alter-egos – how to keep track?

For his Spring/Summer 2018 residency at Artexte, John Latour will comb through Artexte’s print and artists’ file collections to identify and document those artists who made or make art through artist personas and under pseudonyms. As John notes, “Artexte’s wealth of information documenting the history of contemporary art from 1965 onwards, with particular interest in Canadian art, makes it the perfect place to carry out this type of research.”

One of the goals of this residency is to produce an artist’s book and biographical dictionary that documents those artists whose art is produced through personas or under pseudonyms. Tentatively entitled Who Was Who Was Who in Contemporary Canadian Art, this hybrid publication will draw upon the history of artists’ biographical dictionaries for its form, but will also include an atypical element. Distinct biographical entries will be created not only for the selected artists, but for their personas and pseudonyms as well. This publication is expected to be produced in print-form and as an open access digital document in 2019.

John Latour is a visual artist and art librarian. He holds a BFA in Studio Arts from the University Ottawa, a MLIS in Library Science from McGill University and a MA in Art History from Concordia University. He currently holds the position of Teaching & Research Librarian – Fine Arts at Concordia University, and from 2005 to 2015, he was a Librarian at Artexte. Recipient of grants from the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, John has presented his art in solo and group exhibitions across Canada since the 1990s. His art is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain. The artist would like to thank both Artexte and Concordia Library for their generous support of this research residency.