daniel bejarano: chud whistle

September 3 – 30, 2021

We are thrilled to announce our first exhibition at The Prairie Crocus. ‘chud whistle’ is an exhibition by artist Daniel Bejarano.

Daniel Bejarano is an interdisciplinary artist based out of Calgary, Alberta, Treaty 7 Territory. Descending from Nicaragua but being born and raised in Canada, Daniel creates works that speak upon the disconnects and internalized racisms that one goes through when they are a member of a marginalized community (specifically from the point of view of a Latino-American). He also makes works that address other ideologies such as white-supremacy, methods of activism that lead to de-gentrification and justified violence as a retaliation against injustice. Through visual metaphors and symbolism, these ideas are conveyed with sculptures, prints, and large, busy, monochromatic-drawings.

The City of Calgary’s Community Standard Bylaw is intended to promote good neighbour relationships and put an end to untidy properties, unregulated noise, weeds, graffiti and other nuisances that could potentially ruin the architectural beauty of the city. More specifically, it creates boundaries for which kind of plants are considered weeds or not (certain “weeds” that are considered essential certain indigenous beliefs), when and where music is allowed to be played, and of course how loud it can be, busking permits and fines, and the protocol around Graffiti and street art. In Calgary, the fine for applying graffiti for adults ranges from $2,500 to $5,000. For a “young person,” (as defined in the Youth Justice Act R.S.A. 2000, c. Y-1, as amended) it will start at $500 to $1,000. For applied graffiti, not only can an offence be taken from the individual, but a fine can be extended to the business owner as well. Failure to remove graffiti will result in a $150 penalty. It is now typical for business owners to “buff” walls of paint with rectangular squares—not out of hopes to enrich the architectural integrity but rather avoiding a possible fine. No matter who cleans up or receives a fine, the city always profits. Calgary is in a cycle of erasure enforced by bylaws that punish activities, which have come to be associated with groups seen as criminals. This erasure of markings and the over-obsession with sterility perhaps acts as another form of bureaucracy that convolutes Calgary and distorts it from being a true city—one in which people visibly live.

‘chud whistle’ is open from September 3rd to September 30th in The Prairie Crocus; visible from outside Stride Gallery. Stay tuned for more information on the exhibition coming this week!

Daniel Bejarano ‘chud whistle’ by ma̱lidi/Mercedes Webb.

Photo documentation by Chelsea Yang Smith

This project has been generously funded by the Calgary Foundation.