The Afternoon Knows What the Morning Never Suspected

Steele & Tomczak

2017, 21:00 minutes, colour, English


The memory of Canada’s role during the war in Vietnam is one of neutrality and sanctuary for Americans resisting the draft. But at the same time, our government was selling weapons and supplies for the US war machine – including napalm – and testing Agent Orange on our own soil.

The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected explores this moral contradiction – how Canada welcomed draft dodgers but still reaped enormous profits from the war and implicitly asks: what contemporary contradictions are Canadians living with right now?

The work contains a number of quotations from various sources including:
Manual For Draft-Age Immigrants To Canada, ed. Mark Satin (House of Anansi: Toronto) 1968; Rabbi Feinberg’s Hanoi Diary, Abraham Feinberg (Longmans Canada: Toronto) 1968; The Pentagon Papers: The Defense Department History of the United States Decision making on Vietnam, Senator Gravel Edition (Beacon Press: Boston) 1971; Snow Job: Canada, the United States and Vietnam (1954-1973) Charles Taylor (House of Anansi: Toronto) 1974; Quiet Complicity: Canadian Involvement in the Vietnam War, Victor Levant (Between the Lines: Toronto) 1986. Produced with the assistance of Ivana Dizdar and Julia Huynh.

Originally made as a 3-channel installation for the Art Gallery of Ontario’s 2017-2018 exhibition
EVERY. NOW. THEN. REFRAMING NATIONHOOD , curated by Andrew Hunter with assistance from Anique Jordan and Quill Christie-Peters, the work has now been reformatted into a single-channel version.

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