The Paul Good Papers

Deanna Bowen and Russell Bennett, Paul Good/Robert Shelton Character Study, Daily live rehearsal. Approx. 30 minutes, Based on transcript from Good/Shelton interview c. February 1964

Deanna Bowen, The Vancouver Sun., Wednesday February 5, 1964, p. 3, 78.7 x 101.6 cm archival inkjet on photo paper, 2012

mage from 'We Got Nothing to Hide’, Harold H. Martin & Kenneth Fairly, original photography by Lynn Pelham., Saturday Evening Post, January 30, 1965

The Paul Good Papers, Installation view at Gallery 44

The Paul Good Papers, In the vitrines at Gallery 44

The Paul Good Papers

Thursday, April 5, 2012 to Saturday, April 21, 2012
Opening Reception:
April 5,
6:00PM to 9:00PM
About the Exhibition: 

In partnership, Gallery 44 and the Images Festival have commissioned Toronto based artist Deanna Bowen to develop a project in residence at Gallery 44.

The Paul Good Papers is an interdisciplinary project based on Bowen’s research into the third wave Ku Klux Klan and its connections to Canada. Between April 5 and 21 at Gallery 44, Bowen and actor Russell Bennett will be staging a series of performances to reanimate a revealing audio-recorded interview between veteran broadcast reporter Paul Good and Robert Shelton, the Imperial Wizard of the United Klans of America Inc. Bowen and Bennett's daily performances will be photographed, printed, and presented at Gallery 44 over the course of the two-week exhibition and residency. Daily performances begin at 1pm.

The Paul Good Papers also includes the premiere presentation of a 24-minute looping video projection based on Good's recording of school integration attempts in Notasulga, AL in February 1964. The work exposes the Klan's involvement and opposition to Notasulga school integration attempts by highlighting the beating of novice broadcast reporter Vernon Merritt III. A series of related photographs and reproductions provide additional contextual framing about the Notasulga events, whilst simultaneously framing the seemingly isolated American incident within Canadian current events.

A performance will take place at Gallery 44 each day at 1 pm

Bowen’s work centres on themes of African American/Canadian memory, trauma and autobiography. Her most recent work consists of ongoing archival research into civil rights history, activism and the migration of African Americans from the southern United States into Canada. Eschewing the familiar photographic and filmed images of the time period, Bowen's new project will create a work that instead relies on audio recordings by journalists in Alabama in the 1960s and live re-enactments to analyze and retell these histories.  

Deanna Bowen will read from Elizabeth Alexander’s Can you be BLACK and Look at This?”: Reading the Rodney King Video(s)in a related reading event presented in collaboration with No Reading After the Internet. Co-facilitated by Bowen and cheyanne turions,the open format discussion will take place at 204 Spadina Ave on April 3 at 7pm. Bowen will read segments of Alexander's text and pose initial questions aboutthe potential that arises from the re-examination of difficult histories.  

Artist Biography: 

Deanna Bowen is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist whose practice examines race, migration, historical writing and authorship. Bowen makes use of a repertoire of artistic gestures in order to define the Black body and trace its presence and movement in place and time. In recent years, Bowen’s work has involved rigorous examination of her family lineage and their connections to the Black Prairie pioneers of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Creek Negroes and All-Black towns of Oklahoma, the extended Kentucky/Kansas Exoduster migrations and the Ku Klux Klan. She has received several awards in support of her artistic practice including 2017 Canada Council New Chapter and Ontario Arts Council Media Arts production grants, a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2014 William H. Johnson Prize. She has exhibited at the Royal Ontario Museum of Art, Toronto (2017); the Art Museum at the University of Toronto (2016); the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (2015); McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton (2015 – 14) and the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto (2013).