Taking to the Streets curated by Barbara FischerSpectre of the Future Accused, 2017
New Media Installation
This project brings to life the Canadian socialist W.A. Pritchard who was arrested for organizing the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. Speaking for three straight days to defend himself, his speech is adapted and exhibited for the present.
A holographic video projection of Canadian Socialist and publisher William Arthur Pritchard (1888‐1981), makes its appearance on the fire escape of Marshall McLuhan’s old coach house to address the people who are gathering below.
Accused of “Seditious Conspiracy and Common Nuisance” for organizing the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919, Pritchard presented a 20-hourlong defense in front of the jury as a ‘teaching moment,’ enlightening his audience, and by extension the Canadian public, on the global history of socialism and the ongoing struggles of the working class. Adapted for our present moment, the speech evokes the conflicts of the current day, and vocalizes a changed but renewed solidarity with the struggles of the past.
Like the Distant Early Warning System, the string of arctic radar stations that were built to foretell Soviet military aggression, McLuhan believed artists could comprehend and signal a world still to come—channeling that future into sometimes disturbing and revealing images and effects. Pritchard’s digitally and textually-altered ghost is a reminder that we examine the past, present and future of the social contract.
Suitable for all ages
McLuhan Coach House
39 Queen's Park Crescent East
This project is outdoors.