Farhad O’Neill -
Visual Artist

Statement by the Canadian Neo Modernists. Toronto. 2009.

The Neo Modernist…is more concerned with the dynamic and power politics behind the asking of the question than with (most) questions themselves. It seems to be a useful concern, given the dominant trend within the culture of learning and the culture of vocal/written expression in Canada’s “cutting edge” art scene. Those who ask the question have the (implied) power over the practitioner (Artist) - without offering much in return….Free Artists reject the dominance and function of the “curatorial culture” whereby the desire by artists to search out and find truth in their art - within our pluralistic society - is being co opted by the corporate and academic art establishment to water down progressive tendencies in the scene (if there even is such a thing). If you want to derail progressive change, then find the beautiful thing, regard it as a specimen for dissection, and fund research and learning into what makes the thing live (thereby killing it). This is the strategy of the regressive elements in the scene. Once again we are left with a newer but equally cold version of “Upper Canada” culture, despite our changing cultural demographics. Poetry is the only form of written or vocal communication which can truly relate to or explain Art! Postmodernism was, perhaps, a worthy tool of pluralism, but it has gone astray and now functions as a Tower of Babel, the symbol and tool for the creation of confusion and non-communication - plenty of people asking questions without anyone offering any certainty about anything. The result: things remain static and the status quo is retained. The modernist dream was lost after WWII with it’s full potential unfulfilled. No surprise then at the power and popular reaction (by artists at least) to Neo-Modernism in the European scene today, a positive response to the negative dominance and inflexibility of postmodernism as it is expressed and managed by the Art Establishment and its followers and servants. These are some of the thoughts shared by the members of the Canadian New Modernists. We have nothing to say or to ask about Art that our Art cannot answer on it’s own as an unspoken, pure, and wordless expression - or that Poetry cannot sing to the heart of. Farhad Nargol-O’Neill, Founder: Canadian New Modernists.