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'We remember': Aboriginal art colloquium comes to Concordia

Canada’s leading experts on Aboriginal art to create a living archive
October 1, 2014
By Jasmine Stuart

From October 16 to 19, Canada's leading Aboriginal art experts will come to Concordia for Aboriginal Curatorial Collective's sixth annual colloquium: Iakwé:iahre (we remember).

The Aboriginal Curatorial Collective supports, promotes and advocates on behalf of Aboriginal curators, critics, artists and representatives of arts and cultural organizations. With this colloquium, Concordia furthers its mandate to develop and disseminate curatorial practices, innovative research and critical discourses on Aboriginal arts and culture.

aboriginal-art-ACC-vg HomeComing by multidisciplinary artist Sonny Assu is part of the FOFA Gallery's Exhibiting the archive / Performing the archive. | Image courtesy of the artist

The three-day event has been designed to foster discussion on the creation of a living archive of Aboriginal art. The panel presentations and roundtables will explore theoretical and pragmatic concerns in the creation of such an archive.

Events will explore individual aspects of what this archive might be: how it will reflect on the past and on the future; how it might make room for new media and contemporary artwork that respond to the objects that are commonly displayed as archive or Aboriginal history; and how it will deal with the insertion of oral history projects.

To bridge generation gaps between Indigenous curators in a path toward creating an inclusive, indigenized and decolonized Indigenous art history, the colloquium will also explore the roles and responsibilities of a mentor-mentee relationship.

This year marks the first time the annual event will be held in Quebec. A number of key moments in the development of an aboriginal art history have brought francophone and anglophone Aboriginal arts professionals together. Organizers have planned to have simultaneous translation in both French and English for all activities to facilitate this rare opportunity for exchange.

Participants will tour several Montreal exhibitions that were planned in collaboration with the event. The McCord Museum, articule, Artexte, La Librairie des Formats and VOX will run exhibitions of Aboriginal art concurrent to the colloquium.

The galleries in the Faculty of Fine Arts have also planned their programming to compliment the colloquium's presence on campus.

Exhibiting the archive / Performing the archive, at the FOFA Gallery, examines a shared history of colonization in Canada through the work of three contemporary Aboriginal artists. Amy Malbeuf, Sonny Assu and Emilie Monnet collectively interrogate the notion of the “living archive” and consider not only how living knowledge has been removed from communities, but also how it should be returned, exhibited and shared.

Reception and performance: Exhibiting the archive / Performing the archiveFOFA Gallery, Room EV 1.715, Engineering and Visual Arts Complex (1515 Ste. Catherine W.), Sir George Williams Campus.

At the VAV Gallery, Making a Mark considers how artistic production can facilitate inter-cultural exchange by seeking to create a dialogue between Aboriginal and settler groups.

The vernissage for Making a Mark will take place on Tuesday, October 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the VAV Gallery on the main floor of the Visual Arts Building (1395 Réne-Levesque Blvd. W.).

Read more about studies in contemporary Aboriginal art at Concordia in "Sharing Indigenous knowledge and histories in the digital era."  (February 13, 2013.)

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