Installations in the Great Indigenous Art Exhibition in Ottawa have “broken” the precedent – Ottawa


Installations in the Great Indigenous Art Exhibition in Ottawa have "broken" the precedent - Ottawa

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As you walk through the doors of the National Gallery of Canada and spy on children playing on a huge new art installation that now graces the main entrance, it turns out that the new Indigenous Art Gallery is rewriting the rules.

The installation, designed by Norway’s internationally renowned Sami artist and architect Joar Nango, is a two-storey building that not only invites visitors to observe the medium-sized wooden and tanned animal skins, but also a collection of books, the the visitor can pick up and scroll – books on activism, colonialism and indigenous architecture, all from the artist’s personal collection.

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Landmark of acquiring indigenous art for the Queen’s Agnes Etherington Art Center

Landmark of acquiring indigenous art for the Queen’s Agnes Etherington Art Center

The piece is one of several in the gallery’s public spaces created, sculpted and composed on-site to give them immediacy and relevance to the space they now occupy – all part of a new Greater Indigenous space Art exhibition in the gallery near the Parliament, called Àbadakone / sustained fire.

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It is the second gallery in a planned series of international indigenous art exhibitions, and comprises more than 100 works by 70 artists, who identify with approximately 40 indigenous nations, ethnicities and tribes from 16 countries around the world, including Canada.

The installation of Nango at the entrance to the gallery was created using materials collected by a gathering of creators. These invited the aborigines to come to the amphitheater of the gallery and to participate in the traditional skin tanning.

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The treated skins, the blackened wood and even the cardboard used to protect the museum floors were used to create the art installation of Nango. This made it a flowing and unpredictable piece that also involved the exchange of knowledge between the indigenous tanners and the artists and included museum curators.

“We did not know what would happen and we had to agree,” said Rachelle Dickenson, one of the curators of the Abadakone exhibition.

“We broke a precedent,” she said, noting that the museum staff had to be flexible, how this installation would ultimately manifest itself, and how it would continue to exist in space.

“There are hiding places in this installation that ooze oil because they are not finished yet.

“And the fact that they emit oil in the National Gallery is revolutionary.”

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Rachelle Dickenson, one of the curators of Àbadakone, an exhibition of contemporary indigenous art, will sit on Friday, December 6, 2019, at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa in front of Aka, a work of the Mata Aho Collective The nautical rope column was made by four Artists in a usual Maori-twisting technique produced and finally completed on site in the gallery.

THE CANADIAN PRESS / Justin Tang

On the way through the colonnade of the gallery to the great hall, large neon pink and green words in the syllables of Plains Cree on the floor lead visitors to the wing of the gallery, where the exhibition Àbadakone takes place. They are meant to express hope and encouragement for the First Nations to reclaim their languages. They do not contain English or French translations.

Dickenson says it was part of the curatorial vision of the exhibition to ask a series of questions, and this installation forces visitors to look up the meaning of the Cree words if they want to understand the message of artist Joi T. Arcand.

“Part of that is to emphasize that the roles and responsibilities for information sharing are shifting,” Dickenson said.

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In the exhibition galleries, a plethora of artworks and experiences provide visitors with a vivid, moving and often unshakable insight into the lives, lives, and tragedies of the indigenous people.

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Some of the pieces are to be experienced as performances that “activate” the art installations that take place on different days during the six-month exhibition.

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Other works include a wide range of media including video, photography, light, sculptures, masks, and other textiles. Many of them offer deep symbolism, such as a piece by the Canadian Inuvialuk artist Maureen Gruben entitled “Seal in our Blood”. A rope of deep red velvet and sealskin, which hangs on the ceiling, is to indicate the importance of the seal hunt in Canada Inuvialuitkultur and to mediate the connection between water flow and blood.

Some of the art installations explore the emotions that come from the trauma of indigenous people in Canada and around the world. A large, emotional piece by Joseph Tisiga consists of a series of architectural plans of a now-demolished residential school in Whitehorse with the words “The game can not be won”, written in large black letters.

Another three-part collection of Ruth Cuthand’s colorful beads depicts the diseases that affected the indigenous population on the arrival of Europeans during the early colonization of Canada.

Dickenson says that the curators of the museum have partially designed the exhibition to dispel what they consider to be “static” prejudices that people of indigenous art might have.

“Whether it’s an understanding of North American indigenous art or international indigenous art, any expectations of what that might look like can be left at the door,” she said.

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Inspiring indigenous individuals: Artist, Jason Baerg

Inspiring indigenous individuals: Artist, Jason Baerg

She also hopes that art will trigger a dialogue on indigeneity – about what it means, who has the right to talk about it, and the many complex issues that arise from these conversations.

“This institution and this place, Canada, is an opportunity that not all countries have – bringing people and art together in this way and bringing the critical dialogue together in this way,” she said.

“Many artists already know each other, many have worked together, they all come from a place of love and care, even though it is a profoundly critical perspective. That’s why I also hope that people will be thrilled and that they feel that kind of love and connectedness. “

The exhibition Àbadakone / Continuous Fire will be shown at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa until April 5th. Performances, family days and public talks with the curators are planned throughout the exhibition.

Tepkik, an installation by Mi & # 39; kmaq artist Jordan Bennett, part of Àbadakone, an exhibition of contemporary indigenous art in the National Gallery of Canada, is due to open on Friday, December 6, 2019, above the Great Hall of the Gallery in Ottawa see.

THE CANADIAN PRESS / Justin Tang

Tepkik, an installation by Mi & # 39; kmaq artist Jordan Bennett, part of Àbadakone, an exhibition of contemporary indigenous art in the National Gallery of Canada, will hang on Friday, December 6, 2019, under the glass roof slabs of the Gallery’s dome in Ottawa.

THE CANADIAN PRESS / Justin Tang

Visitors will see Palm on Friday, December 6, 2019, a work by Sarah Sense, part of Àbadakone, an exhibition of contemporary indigenous art at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. The work is a combination of digital photography, screen printing, weaving and text, as well as landscape and color palettes by indigenous weavers and artists.

THE CANADIAN PRESS / Justin Tang

Visitors will look at Between Dreams on Friday, December 6, 2019, a work by Eleng Luluan, part of Àbadakone, an exhibition of contemporary indigenous art at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Plastic and Styrofoam, using traditional Rukai weaving techniques reminiscent of a bridal gown and a bird’s nest.

THE CANADIAN PRESS / Justin Tang

Aka, a work by the collective Mata Aho, part of Àbadakone, an exhibition of contemporary indigenous art, will be shown on Friday, December 6, 2019 at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. The column consists of a ship rope, was made by four artists in Maori twisting technique and finally completed on site in the gallery.

THE CANADIAN PRESS / Justin Tang

Visitors move under Our Minds Are One, a work by Hannah Claus, part of Àbadakone, an exhibition of contemporary indigenous art at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, on Friday, December 6, 2019. The shape of the inverted shell, with images recalls the Dish with One Spoon Wapum Belt, an alliance between the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabeg Nations.

THE CANADIAN PRESS / Justin Tang

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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