Zainub Verjee’s essay in Canadian Art Magazine answers who is an Artist


Zainub Verjee’s new essay “For Love or Money” in the 2019 Winter issue of Canadian Art Magazine, a leading North American Art journal.

This essay deals with what is constitute being an artist in today’s society. As Zainub says, “several philosophical questions continue to face us: Who is considered a professional artist? How do we define artistic work? What does an artist do? There is also a more pragmatic query: How much does being an artist truly cost?”

Zainub was the Director of the International Art Gallery, her visionary work of bringing the International Art Gallery at Jubilee Arts in Lisbon to reality was not only a success but set a new standard for any successive iteration of the Festival.

While writing her piece on Canadian Revenue Agency’s definition of Artist, and the state of Labour, Zainub thought of Marcel Duchamp’s question, a question often repeated by Sarat Maharaj, a senior art historian and scholar: that is, ‘how do you make a work of art, that’s not a work of art?’ But it was Liam Gillick who somehow prevailed over her in these moments, constantly reminding that ” the need for artists, in unacceptably dire political times, to ‘step outside their normal practice’ and make their objections known as citizens foremost. But to separate the responsibilities of creativity from those of citizens does a dangerous disservice to the potentials of art, forcing art to retreat into mere entertainment and severing its link with the world around it.”

Zainub Verjee is a media artist, curator, writer, arts administrator and public intellectual. Her work has been shown internationally, including at the New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art and the Venice Biennale.

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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