The National Gallery of Canada affirms its continuous commitment to Indigenous art
On the occasion of the International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples, the National Gallery of Canada is affirming its continuous commitment to Indigenous art by announcing the Re-Creation Program, sharing highlights of this fall’s transformational exhibition Àbadakone | Continuous Fire | Feu continuel and revealing recent acquisitions of new contemporary works by Indigenous artists from here and afar.
For the opening of the Canadian and Indigenous Galleries in 2017, a pledge was made to appreciate, foster and promote Indigenous artists and their works. “Above and beyond this pledge, I’m committed to working collaboratively with members of the Indigenous communities, to continue reframing Canada’s visual arts narrative, to enhance the permanent collection and reimagine how it is shared,” said Dr. Sasha Suda, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada. “The Re-Creation Program is one of the key initiatives I will personally lead, as it is paramount that we work towards more meaningful inclusion of Indigenous art and knowledge systems, and offer our support in community-driven efforts to revitalize customary practices and techniques.”
NEW PROGRAM: Re-Creation
An exciting new program that aims to directly support contemporary Indigenous artists, Re-Creation is an ongoing series of collaborative projects developed alongside artists, knowledge-keepers, curators, researchers and Indigenous community members to create objects in dialogue with pieces from the past. The newly commissioned works will be inspired by the techniques, materials and iconography of ancestral works, to create contemporary art informed by historical practices while recovering artistic knowledge that was deeply harmed by colonialism.
“We hope this commission program will help shift the relationship between museum institutions and Indigenous peoples,” said Alexandra Kahsenni:io Nahwegahbow, Associate Curator of Historical Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada. “Instead of simply taking artworks out of Indigenous communities, as was often done in the past, we want to support the creation of new artworks and the revitalization of customary artistic practices within those communities.”
LOOKING AHEAD: Àbadakone | Continuous Fire | Feu continuel
This 2nd edition of the world’s largest recurring contemporary international Indigenous art exhibition Àbadakone | Continuous Fire | Feu continuel will keep feeding the fire of Indigenous self-determination, cultural expression and innovation ignited more than 5 years ago. Opening November 8th, the transformational exhibition of approximately 70 artists from some 30 Indigenous Nations, ethnicities, and tribal affiliations will broaden ideas of what is art and liberate artistic expression. This generation of artists is dedicated to the cultural sovereignty of Indigenous peoples and will deepen the visual dialogue that began in 2013 with Sakahàn: To Light a Fire. The exhibition is curated by Greg A. Hill, Audain Chair, Senior Curator, Indigenous Art; Christine Lalonde, Associate Curator, Indigenous Art; and Rachelle Dickenson, Acting Associate Curator, Indigenous Art, with support from invited curators and advisors from around the world. The commission program is led by Alexandra Kahsenni:io Nahwegahbow, Associate Curator of Historical Indigenous Art.
RECENT ACQUISITIONS: new contemporary works by Indigenous artists from here and afar
Several recent major acquisitions made by The Gallery’s Indigenous Department Curators, in anticipation of Àbadakone | Continuous Fire | Feu continuell, these new works will be on view this fall. Three of these include Biinjiya'iing Onji. (From Inside), 2017, created by Anishinaabe interdisciplinary artist Rebecca Belmore; Washing, 2017, by Australian Aboriginal photographer and filmmaker Tracey Moffatt; and Transatlantic, 2018, by multidisciplinary artist Caroline Monnet, of Algonquin and French heritage.
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National Gallery of Canada
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