Carleton University Art Gallery CUAG

Animate: Diyan Achjadi and Alisi Telengut

Curated by Alice Ming Wai Jim

11 September – 12 November 2017

This exhibition reflects on how colonialism, climate change and animate forces of the universe are interconnected through the work of two Canadian artists. The natural world is an inexorably bounded, animated environment in which art plays an agential role.
 
Jakarta-born Diyan Achjadi presents drawings and prints that examine historical engravings and surface ornamentation to reveal cross-cultural influences on Indonesia through trade, Dutch colonization and migration. Batik designs, wallpaper patterns and stylized Chinese clouds populate the hybridized layouts. Images culled from eighteenth-century European hunting manuals of exotic animals imported from Africa and Asia fuse with fantastical creatures and spirits from the archipelago’s complex syncretic system of local cosmological and religious thought. In a new work, Achjadi turns to more current environmental issues of rapid deforestation, the destruction of wildlife biodiversity and global warming.
 
Mongolian-born Alisi Telengut’s hand-painted films perform an experimental ethnography of Mongolia’s ethnic groups, many who are losing their traditional nomadic way of life as the grasslands dry up. Nutag (Homeland) is a requiem for the Kalmyk people, a Mongolian nomadic tribe and one of fourteen Turko-Mongolian nations that Stalin deported to Siberia during WWII. Tears of Inge tells of a popular indigenous shamanic story of the weeping camel, linking climate change effects of longer periods of droughts to the tragic loss of life as well as sustainable nomadic livelihoods—ultimately speaking to changing relationships between humanity and nature across the Steppe.

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