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Review

Reviews: Boarder X

By | Review

Boarder X is the first exhibition of its kind to bring together the work of Inuit, First Nations and Métis artists who also surf, skate or snowboard, and it is a prodigious blockbuster. The opening alone saw 900 people cross the threshold of the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
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Astral Bodies

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MERCER UNION | TORONTO, ON
November 25, 2016 – 4 February, 2017

Astral Bodies, curated by York Lethbridge and currently on view at Mercer Union in Toronto, includes the work of five women whose individual practices address real or imagined spaces beyond physical realms—where the materiality of human existence is placed in relation to what may occur outside of our limited perceptual experience. Each artist’s engagement with the non-physical or astral realm is deeply personal, resulting in a multiplicity of positions brought together under Lethbridge’s curatorial theme. The result is an exhibition that allows viewers to speculate what the otherworldly may hold—and why it is predominantly women artists who are creating pathways into this metaphysical engagement. Read More

Change Makers

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ART GALLERY OF MISSISSAUGA | MISSISSAUGA, ON
February 25 – April 10, 2016

What, or rather who, is a change maker? This is the central question that lingered for me after visiting Change Makers at the Art Gallery of Mississauga, which featured works by seven Indigenous artists working across North America and Europe. Given the gallery’s newly-implemented mandate to incorporate “diverse Indigenous perspectives within exhibitions and programming,” the answer seems implied but was not fully articulated. Read More

Angry Inuk

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HOT DOCS FESTIVAL | TORONTO, ON

For Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, there are few subjects as delicate as that of the seal hunt. It is a position fundamentally misunderstood by critics, who have carefully crafted anti-sealing narratives over the last forty years. These discourses have forced us to look more closely at the hunt, and this reckoning led us to understand that it was never simply about the preservation of a seasonal economic system but about the expression of sovereignty. Read More

Floe Edge: Contemporary Art and Collaborations from Nunavut

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AXENÉO7 | GATINEAU, QC
January 26 – March 6, 2016

The National Capital Region has a very supportive art community; even so, the tightly-packed crowd at the AXENÉO7 Gallery was a sign that the opening of Floe Edge was a special event. The crowd included the artists and guests who had come to Ottawa for the Northern Lights Conference, as well as many locals who ventured out on a damp Tuesday night to see some of the best and most promising new work from the North. Read More

Rocks, Stones and Dust

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UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO ART CENTRE | TORONTO, ON
October 28 – December 18, 2015

Rocks, Stones and Dust, organized by John Hampton, Aboriginal curator-in-residence at the University of Toronto Art Centre (now the Art Museum at the University of Toronto), brings together work by sixteen artists to reimagine human relationships to rocks. Significantly, this exhibition encourages a reevaluation of our understanding of rocks as stagnant objects. In the curatorial text, Hampton cites philosopher Thomas Nagel’s 1974 essay “What is it like to be a Bat?”, in which Nagel argues that it is impossible for humans to understand a bat’s lived experience beyond our own perspective of what this experience might be. Read More

Cold Dream: Drawings by Qavavau Manumie

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MARION SCOTT GALLERY | VANCOUVER, BC
December 5, 2015 – January 23, 2016

My first experience of Qavavau Manumie’s work was with two drawings included in the exhibition Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years (2010). Curated by Candice Hopkins, Steve Loft, Lee-Ann Martin and Jenny Western, the multi-venue exhibition in Winnipeg saw Indigenous artists imagining “the future within the context of present experiences and past histories.”1 Manumie’s depiction of human interactions with both the natural and the spiritual worlds melds oral stories with imaginative, often surreal forms that give a sense of the complex interactions of life in the North. Well-placed among works by James Luna, Postcommodity and Skawennati, Manumie’s drawings read as apocalyptic, visionary and even monumental, despite their modest size. Read More

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