ABOUT / À PROPOS
David Widgington (he/him) 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.