19 February 2010

Kimberley Baker - Canada

Artist statement

"In this body of artwork I am investigating the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and growth machine politics. My goal is to address the key issues and debates of homelessness, freedom of expression, the environment and the representation of place as a consumable commodity. The intention of this work is create a visual narrative that encourages and engages public dialouge.

The images I have designed incorporate appropriation art as a way of to protest Canadian Bill C-47, the Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act, legislation that provides the Vancouver Olympic organizers with extreme power and domination over the symbols and language linked with the Olympics.

In opposition to the latest civil liberties violation, the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games: Vancouver Bylaw Ammendments (2009). I am distributing my posters throughout the streets of Vancouver's downtown core. As a way of asserting my right to freedom of expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms."


VANOC 2010 bullies outspoken artist Vancouver's 2010 Olympic organizing committee has already attempted to put restrictions on Canadian artist Kimberly Baker, according to an article Baker wrote for Common Ground in the magazine's most recent issue.

Baker reports that her art, a series of five images of a man in a sleeping bag beside a grocery cart, with each image in a colour of the Olympic rings, resulted in a warning from Colin Jarvis, manager of "Commercial Rights Management" for VANOC. Baker says that Jarvis told her if she displayed her poster on bill boards across the Downtown Eastside, there would be a problem because that action would be considered creating a “campaign,” as opposed to displaying a work of art.

..... visit her website (KimberlyBaker.ca) for more details on the ongoing dispute.

From Kimberly's website:
"Throughout history artists have played an important role, turning their art into a political weapon that questions and confronts the power structures that are in place. My artwork the Transit Shelter Project focuses on the current debates around the Vancouver 2010 Olympics."

From the Common Ground article:
". . .I don’t see VANOC as the villain in this scenario; rather, it is the larger problem of our legal system prioritizing corporatism over creativity. I have learned from this experience that copyright legislation being put in place today has not kept up with the changes that have occurred in the modern art world."



Baker said she was particularly incensed by amendments that would allow the city to remove graffiti and “illegal signs” from private property without notice, and fine repeat offenders up to $10,000 a day. “I’m definitely going to challenge that, because that just made me mad,” she said. “I think it’s a direct infringement of our freedom of speech.”


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