Examining recent revelations concerning the widespread tax avoidance of Canadian corporations, the National Gall exhibition poses the question: what lies hidden behind corporate “gifts” to major museums and cultural institutions? The exhibition specifically addresses financial networks of some of the largest corporations in the extractive sector headquartered in Canada, including Barrick Gold (Toronto); Husky Energy (Calgary); Imperial Oil (Calgary), and Enbridge (Calgary). While these corporations are notorious for many things, less well known are the shell companies —companies or corporations existing solely on paper— that connect Canadian headquarters to offshore jurisdictions. In French, a shell company is called “société écran,” literally: a screen company. What are the forms of transparency and opacity, the visible donations and the hidden transactions, that characterize corporate influence from extractive industries today? National Gall September 30–October 4, 2019 Art & Media Lab, Isabel Bader Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON Video installation with two spotlights, assorted cellophane and acetate sheets, and network graph prints on acetate Special thanks to Cameron Miller and Elvira Hufschmid
To Scale, Everyday Sovereign (with livedspace and contributors)
rice and beans, Dunedin, New Zealand
For this project, the contested territorial claims, national fictions and aesthetic gestures of micronations form the background of a speculation on notions of autonomy in micronations and artist-run centres. What inequalities are carried through the notion of scale in reaction to state-sponsored institutions? What territories share a subversion, in themselves, of ideological state apparatuses? What are there limits in speculating on the scales of sovereignty? In addressing these questions, the exhibition space with its reading room and screening programme, become a kind of embassy lounge for its own ‘known unknowns’.