To the Editor,
I appreciated your comments [issue #101, From the Editor] about The Old, Weird America exhibition [at CAMH]. The title of the exhibition itself is an example of prejudice disguised as savvy. The term "Folk" has a specific and deliberately condescending function, as do the terms "Old" and "Weird"—as though any of us living in Old Weird America (the U.S.?) were not, or could not be, members of that set. Living in a place called "Appalachia," singing ballads and going barefoot has given me some familiarity with this phenomenon. Everyone here gets old and weird if they're lucky.
Supposedly fearless, contemporary artists seldom approach the boldest territory of all: independence from the Old Weird America in which large sums of money are still the privileged signifiers. Sigh.