Justin Case: The Enemy Within
Justin Case: The Enemy Within explores the LGBT Purge and the personal and collective struggles of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Presented as a multi-layered installation and a series of reinvented propaganda posters, this exhibition addresses the hidden and “underground” nature of homosexuality in Canada over a period that began in the 1950s during the Cold War and continued up until the mid-1990s.
Who is Justin Case and what is his truth? Civil Defence Canada’s comic fictional character Justin Case, originally a mascot to promote preparedness and safety, takes on a new life under cover. Reimagined as a decorated RCMP Investigator, he is tasked with seeking out and dismissing queer people within Canada’s civil service, RCMP, and Armed Forces. The truth? Justin Case is a closeted gay man who turns double agent to secretly destroy evidence against fellow queers. He is a conflicted man who is torn between two worlds. On the one hand, he works to find people he invariably tries to save, and on the other hand, he stresses about keeping his own secret. He is his own enemy.
Justin Case: The Enemy Within was developed for the 2022 Artist-in-Residence program at the Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum (2022). This project was supported by The Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Ottawa.