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Looking through The Entangled Gaze

August 29th, 2017

L: Haida, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia. Sea Captain Figure, c. 1840. Argillite, ivory, 46.8 x 13.5 x 8 cm. Purchased with Funds from the Estate of Mary Eileen Ash, 2008. Image © 2017 Art Gallery of Ontario. R:  Paul Kane. Death of Omoxesisisany or Big Snake, 1858 c – 1859. Embossed chromo lithograph on paper, 17.2 x 46.1 cm. Gift of Robert Hunter, 2006. © 2017 Art Gallery of Ontario.

According to Canadian Art, “everybody is talking about Every. Now. Then. In his review of the exhibition, which opened at the end of June as part of the AGO’s response to the Canada 150 celebrations, Vidal Wu writes that “the thematic density and clarity of ‘Every. Now. Then.’ foregrounds bodies and identities in ways that preserve their autonomy—and more importantly, it doesn’t preserve them for the consumption of others, a common criticism of non-Indigenous curation of Indigenous art. In nearly every instance here, artist and subject coolly meets the gaze of curator and viewer.”

It’s clear that Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood, on now in the AGO’s Level 4 until December 10, has raised questions about the relationship between artist, curator and viewer, and between colonizer and the colonized. How have European and Indigenous artists represented each other throughout history? These ideas will be explored in a two-day seminar coming to the AGO in October (which you can sign up for now).

The Entangled Gaze: Indigenous and European Views of Each Other is a two-day conference, hosted by the AGO and OCAD University, led by curator and OCADU professor and Canada Research Chair Dr. Gerald McMaster, who has researched and explored how Indigenous artists have represented Euro-Americans in visual art (filling in the gap after decades of research documenting the opposite). Bringing together an interdisciplinary group of scholars, museum professionals, artists and Indigenous community members from North America and Europe, this symposium will also feature a number of artists exhibiting in Every. Now. Then, such as Barry Ace, Rosalie Favell, Lisa Myers and Embassy of the Imagination (Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson), as well AGO curators Andrew Hunter and Wanda Nanibush.

You can book your tickets now for this two-day event, taking place October 19–20.

Every.Now.Then: Reframing Nationhood is included in General Admission to the AGO. Members see it free.

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