After attending art colleges and obtaining an MFA in the UK, Clive Robertson emigrated to Calgary in 1971. By early 1972 with Calgary artist and professor, Paul Woodrow, he founded the influential international performance/publishing collective W.O.R.K.S. and in 1976 co-founded the Calgary artist-run centre, The Parachute Center for Cultural Affairs. W.O.R.K.S. organized performance, artist television and video festivals and initiated an audio art cassette magazine, Voice/spondence that later became an independent record label. The Parachute Center became known as the first publisher of artist video editions in Canada and Clive was the founding Managing Editor/Publisher of the art-media-politics magazine, FUSE - also begun in Calgary.
Clive is the co-author of the inclusive performance art history book, “Performance au/in Canada 1970-1990,” published by Coach House Press and Éditions Interventions in 1991, and the author of a key text on Canadian organized art practices, “Policy Matters – Administrations of Art and Culture,” published by YYZ Books in 2006.
Dr. Robertson has worked at times simultaneously as an artist, curator, critic, cultural activist and publisher in Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montréal and currently is an Associate Professor at Queen’s University, Kingston where he teaches art history courses in Performance Studies, Art and Activism, Cultural Policy Studies, and Contemporary Art as well as supervising graduate students in the department of art history and the interdisciplinary graduate program in Cultural Studies.
For ART NOW, Clive will reflect on the personal and formational impacts of known and lesser-known histories of art practice. The illustrated tour will follow his work made for two recent exhibitions shown in Alberta. The first is the mammoth touring survey show,Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada, 1965-80shown at the Alberta Art Gallery in the summer of 2011, and his own self-curated retrospective of individual and collaborative work,“Then + Then Again: Practices within an artist-run culture 1969-2006,”hosted by The New Gallery, Calgary in early 2011. He currently is working on a video documentary re-connecting with friends made in the early 1960s art and music scenes in his hometown, Plymouth, England.