CURRENT ISSUE | FALL 2017: THE IDEA OF HISTORY
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News in Brief: National Gallery Creates Canadian Photography Institute, Tanya Tagaq Criticizes Racist Film, AGO’s Curatorial Endowment

Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.

The National Gallery of Canada and the National Gallery of Canada Foundation announced the creation of the Canadian Photography Institute earlier this morning. The institute will be created from a $10 million donation from Scotiabank, and collection support from philanthropist David Thomson, a major donor to the gallery. Housed within the existing gallery, the institute will offer a research centre and exhibition programming, aiming to “establish one of the world’s most important and comprehensive collections covering the entire history of the photographic medium.”

Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, winner of the 2014 Polaris Prize, has strongly criticized Quebec filmmaker Dominic Gagnon’s mashup film Of the North for both its heavily stereotypical and racist depictions of life in Northern Canada and for using her music in his composition without permission. Gagnon’s film was featured in the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), and drew widespread criticism from the Inuit community. Gagnon has agreed to remove the music, leaving silence, from the film.

A Nunavut family has spoken out after European fashion designer Kokon To Zai was found selling sweaters that replicated the pattern of a caribou-skin parka intended to provide spiritual protection to their ancestor, Ava, an Inuit shaman. Salome Awa, Ava’s great-granddaughter, explained that Ava designed the pattern in the early 1920s, and noted that the fashion designer had not received permission from the family to use the pattern.

Carol and Morton Rapp have endowed the modern and contemporary art curatorial position at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The position will be renamed the Carol and Morton Rapp Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Current AGO curator Kitty Scott will be the first to hold the position. The Rapps are long-time supporters of the AGO: they also endowed the Carol and Morton Rapp Gallery, and Carol Rapp joined the AGO’s board of trustees in 1992.

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