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nomorepotlucks » Editorial 6: Crux

Editorial 6: Crux

"Untitled" from the series "Roy" 2006 by Jim Verburg

CRUX, as in a vital, basic, decisive, or pivotal point.
CRUX, as in a cross, an intersection.
CRUX, as in something that torments by its puzzling nature; a perplexing difficulty. A puzzle, a problem.

This month’s theme – CRUX – also a sexy word for “essence” is a concept that has preoccupied the minds of philosophers for all time. Of feminists, too. And of feminist philosophers, especially.

But I have no handle on the concept, personally. I won’t even attempt to untangle the idea of crux: crux is after all “a puzzling or apparently insoluble problem”. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word in conversation, and not even in a paper for school where goodness knows mystery words appear from time to time. So why crux, you ask? Well, because it can easily turn into a good pick-up line. Especially during Hallowe’en. Ask anyone “What are you supposed to be?” (or try “What’s at your crux”?) and you’ll see.

No, don’t.

My theory – if you permit me a quick but serious intervention here – is that we’re a mess when it comes to figuring out life’s little cruxes. I’m amazed that crux can even have a plural form, really. More options, more loopholes, more theories, more interpretations. All we can do is attempt to figure ourselves out, until identity itself gets boring… if it ever does.

Jim Verburg attempts to solve the hardest personal crux of all, possibly. In his photographic exploration of the relationship, Verburg negotiates the place of the camera–-light and colour–-within and into intimacy. He writes “well, after falling in love with light, I think I fell in love with love. All I wanted to do was photograph the people in my life, specifically men that I dated.”

Crux is also the attribute or set of attributes that make an object what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity.

En français, “crux” c’est une idée forcée, un centre, un fond, un passage clé, un nœud, le cœur, le noyau, la fondamentale, l’essentiel…

Nous avons deux pièces sonores : une de Myléna Bergeron (Baby Piano. Made in China.) et l’autre de Magali Babin (Wood u hear me). Belle coïncidence, les deux artistes ont le bois au coeur de leur création…

Crux in also defined as a vital or decisive stage. Crux as the basic, central, or critical point or feature: the crux of the matter; the crux of an argument. Enter Karen Herland and Susan G. Cole, Speaking truth and power. In this article, Herland highlights the changing nature of the crux; she shows the importance of being resolute in our politics and the importance of evolving ideas. Cole’s adamancy that “two things can be true at the same time” certainly provokes—the conversation is ongoing. Join in on the conversation, dear reader, this is what this is for.

If we think of the crux as the central or essential part around which other parts are gathered or grouped then it becomes a good organizing principle. The importance of returning to our activist roots, mentioned in Herland’s piece (and Chamberland’s in NMP no.1!) resonates in Liz Millward’s text as well: “the story of lesbians organizing in 1970s Canada is one filled with adventure.”

Jon Davies suggests that “It has become a truism that the collective General Idea has taken its place among the most influential of Canadian artists.” Their relevance today, Davies suggest, is in their complexity – the complexity of interpreting their work.

Crux. It’s also a rare word for “cross”. Cross to bear? That’s the heavy burden of responsibility one, alone, must cope with.

Should Ottawa have a safe injection site? This is what NMP regular contributor Nicholas Little asks. While Vancouver is currently the only city in Canada with a safe injection site, Little compares and contrasts the lack of safe spaces for drug users to the spaces for the consumption of a more common drug – alcohol. Little, highlights the hypocrisy, if not glaring class divide, around the ways in which consuming drugs gets defined and the impacts of criminalizing drug use.

You’ll hear the bombs drop as you read Vanessa Kwan & NMP’s article-interview See Girl has got to have it: Diyan Achjadi and the Military Complex: it “explodes with candy-coated colour and childhood imagery”… Diyan Achjadi’s video work is a welcome addition to NMP’s Dayna McLeod’s bimonthly curated series, showcasing an array of provocative and compelling works by video artists across the country.

Renuka Chaturvedi reviews Zoe Whittall’s second novel, Holding Still for as Long as Possible and interviews the acclaimed author.

Elisha would like you all to know that her “previous NMP comic strip 100 Butches has been bought by Alyson Books New York, who publish seminal work like Heather Has Two Mommies and a lot of gay smut. 100 Butches Volume 1 will come out in April 2010, and she’s thrilled to bits to be touring with Michelle Tea on her annual American reading tour Sister Spit.” NMP is also thrilled about this for Elisha and we say CONGRATS!!

Her new strip, The Illustrated Gentleman, is an illustrated series of dandies, butches, fags and any queers obsessed with men’s clothes. It is a work in progress and she would love to hear new suggestions for the subtitles or layout.

Special thanks to copy editors for this issue: Renuka Chaturvedi, the mysterious TS, Andrea Zeffiro, Lindsay Shane, and Jenn Clamen.

Le prochain numéro – WOUND – sortira le 1er janvier, 2010 !

As always, do comment on the articles (yes, contributors will always love your input) and dear readers, we are still and always committed to bringing forward an unruly and exciting magazine bimonthly.

Mél Hogan

Comments from old site:

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Submitted by yuri.debura on Sat, 03/13/2010 – 07:18.