Carleton University Art Gallery CUAG

Upcoming Exhibitions

In Dialogue

Curated by John G. Hampton

Co-presented with the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba and Art Museum at the University of Toronto

14 May – 26 August 2018

Raymond Boisjoly, Raven Davis, David Garneau, Carola Grahn, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Amy Malbeuf, Peter Morin, Nadia Myre, Native Art Department International (Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan), Krista Belle Stewart, Nicole Kelly Westman
In Dialogue is an exhibition structured as a conversation. It features the work of twelve First Nations, Métis and Sami artists. As the exhibition’s organizer, John G. Hampton, says, this gathering of work embraces the “tumble of connections and contradictions that constitute contemporary Indigenous identities.” Hampton hopes to generate dialogue that will undermine monolithic and uncomplicated understandings of Indigeneity by offering multiple perspectives and by creating spaces for new understandings to arise.

The artists featured in In Dialogue invite viewers into discussions that explore what it means to be Indigenous today. David Garneau’s paintings about conversations, although devoid of bodies and words, evoke the animated debates that take place in Indigenous professional spaces, without co-opting the voices being referenced. Peter Morin’s map of Tahltan territory, displayed with an architectural plan of CUAG, connects the physical structure of the gallery to his homeland through his presence and intention. Native Art Department International addresses intergenerational dialogues about art history, collage and the market through its repurposing of a Carl Beam print into an institutionalized neon sign. Nadia Myre’s installation features a recording of a conversation she had with friends about the impact of Canada’s assimilationist policies.

Like a conversation, In Dialogue moves from spaces of contemplation to moments of excitement and animation. As Hampton has said, the exhibition “allows for (and indeed is strengthened by) contradiction and contention within respectful and reciprocal exchanges.”

Quill Boxes from Mnidoo Mnising

Curated by Andrew Braid, Mark Bujaki, Christopher Davidson, Hilary Dow, Maham Farooq, Christine Hodge, Alexia Kokozaki, Annika Mazzarella and Rebecca Semple

14 May – 26 August 2018

Anishinaabe women have made and sold quill boxes since the early nineteenth century. Made from birchbark and sweetgrass, these extraordinary boxes are elaborately decorated in complex designs worked in porcupine quills. This exhibition presents sixteen quill boxes made by artists from Mnidoo Mnising (Manitoulin Island): Delia Bebonang, Josephine Bondi, Maime Migwans, Marina Recollet, Evelyn Toulouse and Linda Williams.

The artists’ boxes bear witness to their mastery of laborious techniques—quills can be dyed, folded, looped, tufted or sewn flat, for example—and the diversity of their symbolic repertoire, which includes flora and fauna, landscapes, intricate stars and abstract patterns. One of Maime Migwans’s boxes in the exhibition features a design by Carl Beam, her nephew, of the mishibizhiig, described by Alan Corbiere and Crystal Migwans as the underwater panthers who, in Anishinaabe cosmology, “govern the subsurface realm of lakes, rivers, swamps, caves, and earth.”

The quill boxes in this exhibition were made specifically for sale to visitors to Mnidoo Mnis. They were purchased by Victoria Henry while visiting M’Chigeeng First Nation in the 1980s and early 1990s—at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, at pow wows and at the renowned Lillian’s Crafts store. At that time, Henry owned Ufundi Gallery in Ottawa, where she sold the work of such contemporary First Nations artists as Migwans, Bondi and Recollet, in addition to Carl Beam, Shelley Niro and Ron Noganosh.

This exhibition is curated by students enrolled in a seminar in the new Graduate Diploma in Curatorial Studies at Carleton University.

Alootook Ipellie: Walking Both Sides of an Invisible Border

Curated by Sandra Dyck, Heather Igloliorte, Christine Lalonde

17 September – 09 December 2018

Alootook Ipellie (1951-2007) was born in the camp of Nuvuqquq on Baffin Island and grew up in Iqaluit before moving to Ottawa as a young man. He started working as a translator, illustrator and reporter for Inuit Monthly (renamed Inuit Today) in the early 1970s, and later was its editor. Through his widely read poems, articles and essays, Ipellie gave voice to important cultural, political, and social issues affecting the North, with humour and immense patience. Ipellie was a prodigious artist, creating hundreds of political cartoons, serial comic strips including “Ice Box” and “Nuna and Vut,” and larger drawings, of which those published in his book Arctic Dreams and Nightmares (1993) are well known. This first retrospective of Alootook Ipellie’s extraordinary work will capture the many aspects of his career, demonstrating the importance and continued relevance of his voice and vision.

Here Be Dragons

Curated by Emily Falvey

17 September – 09 December 2018

Gisele Amantea, Sonny Assu, Rebecca Belmore, Scott Benesiinaabandan, Laurent Craste, Juan Ortiz-Apuy, Sayeh Sarfaraz
Although contemporary art is now almost synonymous with social critique, the recent rise of trumpism and other forms of right-wing populism have led many artists to abandon subtler critical forms, such as word play, irony and détournement, in favour of the more aggressive artistic strategies of resistance, activist and protest art. While such strategies certainly play an important role in the fight for social justice, they have also been criticized for perpetuating a relationship of mastery vis-à-vis their audiences. Does critical art cut through ideological fantasies to reveal urgent political truths? Or does it maintain a repressive intellectual paradigm in which the audience is considered ignorant and in need of education? The exhibition Here Be Dragons will explore these questions through the work of six contemporary artists who participate in social critique without surrendering entirely to didacticism. Rather than attempting to instruct through clarification, these artists favour ambiguous or symbolic images that leave room for varying interpretations.