Joe Fafard - The Common Place

When you think of the common place, what is the meaning of that word? It can be broken down into ‘common’, which is that which belongs to everybody or the common, that which is ordinary. ‘Place’ is here and it’s probably…what we want to explore is what is here. I do explore what is elsewhere, for instance when I did a portrait of Georgia O’Keefe but it’s not necessarily elsewhere – it’s here in spirit because she explored her place, she explored New Mexico. She built on her sensibility and her observation of the world which I think is the responsibility of the artist, to reveal to the public what their sense of the world is. And I think that it is a very important lesson that we learnt, I think in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s here in Regina. I mean the artists who were involved with the Regina Clay Project. And we had before us antecedents who had not been interested in anything that had been going on here, but who were very interested in appearing with it and big time and modern. And what they were really doing was imitating a movement that was going on far away, had nothing to do with the lives of the people here, and still doesn’t, and they, in a sense, were big phonies. So we thought, "No this is not what the role of art is, this isn’t the role we want to play. We want to talk to people about their concerns. We want to reflect this society to itself and try to reveal some of that to itself, try to show who we are which is a much more important task than being stylish." So that’s what we pursued and that is what the common place is, is that place where we all are on - a place that is common to all of us. There is a word in English called the ‘commons’ and it’s usually that place in the village that everybody owns and we have felt that people could reclaim ownership of their intellectual life which art is part of.

Duration: 3:42 min
Size: 16646kb

Other Videos About This Artist

Farm Background and ObservationHow He Came to Regina as a Teacher and a SculptorValadon Potter and TeevoThe Common PlaceOn Critics, Commercial Success and not Compromising Your ArtOn Commissioned WorkFunk Art and the Regina Clay Movement: A Conversation with Timothy Long
Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning