Harper declares Northern Gateway Pipeline an “art project”

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The Harper Government announced yesterday that in addition to being a pipeline, the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline would also be an art project. In a press conference, Greg Rickford, The Honourable Minister of Natural Resources, stated that the Pipeline Art Project is designed to appeal to “whiny creative types,” and generate more support for the controversial pipeline. This announcement follows widespread criticism of increased funding cuts to Canadian arts programs. “So now everyone can shut up,” Rickford said.

Rickford referred to the pipeline as an “artistic intervention through the Canadian landscape.” The Minister also spoke about the aesthetic benefits of the pipeline: “When oil leaks, it makes pretty rainbow pools,” Rickford said. “Plus, artists are always talking about distance, lines, and movement – and the pipeline will have all of those.”

Public opinion over whether the pipeline can be considered art varies. Canadian author and artist Douglas Coupland said, “Well, anything can be art. I mean, I made a giant head for people to stick gum on.” Rickford said, “All public sculptures are giant hunks of metal, so I don’t see how this is any different.”

Katherine Milford, PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Toronto, is conducting her dissertation research about this project. “I am studying the influence of the abstract painter Jackson Pollock over the pipeline,” Milford said. “I argue that Pollock’s work and oil spills are quite similar. The Harper Government is following a rich line of artistic thought.”

Rickford acknowledged that the Harper Government has continually silenced scientists in opposition to the pipeline. Rickford said that ignoring science gives a further boost to the arts. “By devaluing scientists in the same way we’ve devalued the arts in the past, we make them equal – so it should make everyone happy,” Rickford said.

Justine Drummond
Reportering for The Lapine

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