money, value, art is a rare thing -- an art book that's written in accessible language and deals with gritty, real issues. Editors Sally McKay and Andrew Paterson, being artists themselves, tapped into the local scene to find controversial and provocative writing on the effects of neo-capitalism, poverty and censorship on artists.
As in the T.O. art magazine Lola that McKay edits, the writing styles here flip quickly from the anecdotal to the theoretical and from essay to artwork. Money, Value, Art's contributors spare no "establishment" target in their critique of Canadian arts institutions, including the Canada Council Art Bank, free trade, "market utopianism," and multiculturalism.
Highlights include highly graphic contributions from Luis Jacob, who photographed lofts in south Toronto from which artists were evicted to make room for a parking lot, and Jill Henderson's Better Use Floor Plan for the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Robin C. Pacific writes about the importance of community art projects. David McIntosh explores the onslaught of monoculture and "naturalized free trade ideology." And Rinaldo Walcott takes inspiration from a Richard Wright essay to examine the limiting concept of multicultural art and create a blueprint for resistance.
My only complaint is that Money, Value, Art could be mistaken for a boring university art class text book, given the back cover copy and the bland cover, which could keep people people away from a book that has great stuff.