ABOUT / À PROPOS
David Widgington (he/him) dreams of billboards burning even during waking hours. He is a self-proclaimed undisciplinary artivist, based in Tiohtiá:ke (Montréal) on traditional territory of the Kanien’kehà:ka (Mohawk). For him, art and activism are inseparable, each inspiring the other with creative fury and complicity. He borrows fragments of existing culture to create new works. Collage is a recurring technique. The artist's DIY punk aesthetic contends that culture belongs to everyone and could be shared, altered and reimagined without constraints. He questions originality and intellectual property within the creative commons. History is to be invigorated into new narratives to rejuvenate the cultural archive by brushing off accumulating dust.
Since the completion of his MA Media Studies in 2014, Widge has been sampling imagery from protest movements within his artworks. Think of the raised fist, the molotov cocktail, the slingshot or a mid-flight brick. His research-creation project examined the role of the archive, particularly the storage and revamping of oppositional artefacts : posters, banners, stencils, video, protest signs, memes, etc. He contends that archives are not simply memory repositories to nourish nostalgia. They are sites for storage of cultural agency. Memory looks backwards. To store is to make stock for future needs. His artworks are, in part, creative re-fabrications of dissent that take from the past by imagining action in the future. They are oppositional cultural recollections.
Widge's practice begins as a sort of archeology of dissent, when he stirs up sediment of imagery, text and other protest ephemera. He borrows recognizable representations of struggle to include in his artworks that serve as props for combative articulation. Widge's artworks are discernible as belonging along the continuum of oppositional cultural heritage.
Widge was a founding member of videoactivist collective, Les Lucioles (2002-2007) which projected more than 400 documentary shorts during monthly screenings from dozens of videographers, including eight of his own. He published 20 titles as founding publisher of Cumulus Press (1998-2008) of which he co-authored four. Widge is a long-time "décorateurs engagé.e.s", an ad hoc gathering of media activists who practice "engaged decorating" as a means to reclaim public space in support of social change.
2020 God's Love banner, within To the law of the letter, curated by Jamie Ross, eMakhaya Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2019 Cruise Control and God's Love banners, within "69 Positions", curated by Jamie Ross, Montréal Arts Interculturel, MTL, group artist;
2019 Le doigt de vote, Art & Anarchy, Georges-Vanier Cultural Centre, MTL, group artist;
2019 Resistance is Fertile, Rose Festival, Playwrights Workshop Montreal, MTL, group artist;
2018 Striking Memories, Oral History Association Conference, Concordia University, MTL, group artist/ co-curator;
2017 Fraternité contre la Police Politique, INSTALLATION. Art & Anarchy, Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier, MTL, group artist/ co-curator;
2016 Resistimos, INSTALLATION/PERFORMANCE, Centre Cultural Gabriela Mistral SANTIAGO, Chile, group artist;
2015 Contestation: ses traces, son inspiration et ses "luttes avenir", Cégep Gérald-Godin, MTL, solo artist/curator;
2014 Printemps CUBEcois II, IMMERSIVE INSTALLATION, with installation support provided by the FOFA Gallery, Concordia University EV Building Atrium, MTL; Solo artist/curator;
2014 Printemps CUBEcois I, IMMERSIVE INSTALLATION Presented within NYU's Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics' 9th biennial, Encuentro, Concordia University Library Atrium, MTL; Solo artist/curator.
2013 Bannières Contestataires I, II & III. Ecomusée du fier monde, MTL; co-curator, Cinéma Excentris, MTL, solo curator; Masses & Médias, La Société des arts technologiques (SAT), MTL, group curator
2018 Mapping Our Eroticized Bodies: a (con)sensual methodology for faggots (and others too). A Burning Billboard ZINE;
2016 Extraction!: comix reportage, 2nd edition, co-editor (Ad Astra Comix);
2013 À force d’imagination: Affiches et artéfacts du mouvement étudiant au Québec (1957-2013), co-editor within Le collectif du CRIP. (Lux Éditeur);
2013 “Visual Artifacts That Become Us: Oppositional cultural heritage from Québec's 2012 'Maple Spring'” in Signal 03: Journal of International Political Graphics & Culture, (PM Press);
2012 "Dig Where you March: Scratching the surface of a student struggle with archived imagery. Journal of Mobile Media, Special Issue, Out of the Mouths of "Casseroles";
2009 "Dans l'ombre de Darfur", Le Couac, page 4, vol. 12, No. 10-11. Translated from English;
2008 Pour changer le monde : affiches des mouvements sociaux du Québec (1966-2007), (Lux Éditeur);
2007 Picture This! Posters of social movements in Québec (1966-2007), (Cumulus Press 2007);
2007 Extraction!: comix reportage, co-editor (Cumulus Press);
2006 “Projeter la révolution: Foire aux questions à propos de la vidéo-militance” pgs.:155-178. Médias autonomes: Nourir la résistance et la dissidance. Andrea Langlois & Frédéric Dubois (éds.). (Lux Éditeur);
2005 "Screening the Revolution: FAQs about video activism” pgs.: 103-121. Autonomous Media: Activating Resistance and Dissent. Andrea Langlois & Frédéric Dubois (eds.). (Cumulus Press);
2003 Oh, Christmas Tree, Distroboto Chapbook #2 + videoCD (Cumulus Press—Les Lucioles);
2002 Counter Productive: Québec City convergence surrounding the Summit of the Americas; BOOK/CD co-compilation (Cumulus Press);
2002 “Symposium: Politics, New Globalization, new activism?” Maisonneuve v1, n1;
2001 throw it back!, Distroboto Chapbook #1 (Cumulus Press);