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POP Symposium

James Oscar

Montreal, QC

James Oscar is a writer, art critic, curator, and researcher in the sociology and anthropology of art at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique. His work explores how the complexity of identities is disseminated in visual, literary, and performative arts within the context of cities with neoliberal governmental planning policies. His current projects study alternative forms of resistance of a group of experimental dancers in Montreal to redefine their cultural production on their terms, an artist monograph about the life and multidisciplinary practice of the Oji-Cree artist Lara Kramer’s it relates to her family’s indigenous histories in residential schools and her /family’s creations forms of resistance through indigenous cosmology and epistemology, a just-released essay in a book publication of the work of Rashid Johnson, a forthcoming publication on the work of the artists’ Nep Sidhu and Rajni Perera, As a curator his upcoming projects are with the Momenta Biennale, the Sao Paulo Biennale, and a forthcoming independent co-curated show under the auspices of his new project space named Genius Loci. Working between urban anthropology, human geography, studies of public space, as well as through his 30 plus year studies of nightlife, ritual, and experimental artistic resistance, he is presently editing his book Creativity Machines/ Creativity Dreams which speaks about the danger of so-elaborations of creativity (creative city, creative class, cultural districts) being imported into cities and presented as ready-made solutions that contribute to gentrification. His work will show how such universal global solutions ignore the radiant brilliance of local artistic/ thinker/ actor/ experimentation.