Alberta Education Minister Adriana Lagrange

This is a painting of Adriana Lagrange, Alberta’s weasel faced Education Minister. She is in an empty classroom illuminated by a candle upon a child’s skull. Her head is bent at an impossible angle as she consults a burnt-out light bulb for advice on how to “help Albertans” whatever the fuck that means.  

 

In this wild time, who doesn’t need guidance? Our spare hours are dithered away baking crappy bread, gazing longingly at birds in flight from the upstairs window, and engaging in relentless autoerotic acts to the point our genitals are mangled and sputtering from overuse, like old lawn mowers, all rusted out, oil stained, emitting a sludgy mist from ruptured crannies.

 

So at a time when unemployment is rising higher than an active dry yeast to 475 degrees, than a dusk gilded raven on an updraft, than me to climax for the seventh time this mid-afternoon, what does Adriana Lagrange do? She bakes a loaf with the sourest dough of all: the largest mass lay-off in provincial history in the midst of a global pandemic so her government can feed billions to a pipeline when a barrel of oil is worth less than three jalapeno cream cheese taquitos. Oh oooh also it was done on a Saturday via email with no forewarning because the UCP are a cosplaying fellowship of fantastical ideologues whose parchment skin would curl like burning fingernails in natural light if they ever opted to leave Kenney’s mom’s basement.

 

To be honest, I hoped that these times would cause even the worst of us to excavate a warm humanity from our sodden heart cockles, but no such luck in ‘berta. We find ourselves staring down the same barrel of googly eyed automatons trying their best to stumble through the playbook handed to them by some kind of murky avatar of corporate personhood the day after the election.

 

Nevermind the economic impact of putting 26 000 people out of work, the workers, such as educational assistants, are necessary now more than ever in such uncertain times. But to this Lagrange might respond: “I am not, nor have I ever been, an actual teacher. I am a career politician, and an excruciatingly bad one at that. Have mercy/ A haw haw haw haw a haw/A haw haw haw”. What else can we expect from an Education Minister whose entire family is literally named after a ZZ Top song?

 

 

But I digress, back to the painting. Cast in dancing skull candle shadows, Adriana is focused on the bulb with slack jawed intensity. For within the unblinking tragedy of a snuffed lightbulb she is able to find the godless constitution needed to do something as recklessly stupid as kneecapping the education system when it is at its most fragile. Adriana Lagrange also appears to be attached to chess board populated only by pawns. I don’t have a PhD in art history or whatever, so I couldn’t even begin to tell you what that might mean. Also, it looks like she might be sitting in a puddle of pee lol.

 

The work itself is 4ft x 5ft, acrylic on canvass. It will serve as one of the sole records of this time when the internet goes down after Kenney trades the entirety of Alberta’s digital infrastructure for a box of soiled underwear with the “s” scratched out with sharpie.

 

$30 000 000, and I cannot stress this enough, or best offer

All images and artist's statements are copyrighted by Tim Mikula. The use of any image or text from this site is prohibited unless prior written permission from the artist is obtained.