Echoing the words of a former director of the National Gallery of Canada, Bloc Quebecois MP Martin Champoux decried the leftist ideological propaganda taking over the art world and the nation’s museums in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
The Ottawa gallery recently forced out four senior managers and replaced a top position with a curator who has no experience in the art sector.
The new curator is Angela Cassie, who worked in a number of posts at Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights before becoming the National Gallery’s vice-president of strategic transformation and inclusion.
“Art is being sacrificed to an ideological agenda that no longer has anything to do with the purpose of a museum,” said Champoux.
“In the words of Marc Mayer, former director of the National Gallery of Canada, “it is literally a coup”. It has gotten to the point where Jean Paul Riopelle—Riopelle is no joke—is considered by the gallery’s new administration as an ‘old white man artist’.”
In an interview with Ottawa journalist Paul Wells, Meyer expressed his dismay at the ideological turn the museum has taken.
“It’s just so heartbreaking for me to see this because it’s a bloody mess,” said Mayer.
“It’s an absolute mess. To put someone in charge to reinvent the National Gallery of Canada who’s never worked in an art museum before … is unconscionable.”
Despite citing a new mandate of inclusivity and equity, the new museum management canned senior Indigenous curator Greg Hill.
“From now on, art no longer serves art. From now on, art is a propaganda tool this government uses to impose its ideological vision. It is scary. It is a dangerous direction, falsely progressive, that gives off a vile whiff of disreputable regimes,” lamented Champoux.
“The government and its Crown corporations need to get their act together.”
Museums throughout Canada have seen similar purges according to the edicts of “decolonization” and progressivism held by a certain segment of the art world.
Last year, the Royal BC Museum shuttered its doors to an entire floor of exhibits on Canada’s first peoples and pioneers so it could “decolonize” the displays.
“This is necessary to begin the long-term work of creating new narratives that include under-represented voices and reflect the lived experiences and contemporary stories of the people in B.C,” said museum CEO Daniel Muzyka.
“We will decant the collection and we will do it carefully and openly and inclusively. We will listen. We want to tell the stories from the lived experience.”