Monthly Archives

September 2016

Listening for Sedna: Contemporary Inuit Art and Climate

By | Feature

In advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference this winter in Paris, the Coalition for Art and Sustainable Development and the Cape Farewell project launched a global program of over 550 events. The Paris negotiations (also known as the Conference of the Parties, or COP) were the hub for this project, entitled ArtCOP21.

The plan was simple: exhibitions, installations, performances, talks, workshops and screenings all over the world would emphasize the interrelatedness of climate and culture—that art could communicate the palpable human effects of climate change on communities at a far deeper level than facts and figures alone. Read More

Rocks, Stones and Dust

By | Review

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

By | Review

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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