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News / July 4, 2019

News Roundup: Toronto and Montreal Artists at Frieze and Arles

Plus: repatriation updates, staffing changes and concern about George W. Bush’s painting show at the Canadian War Museum
Ghazaleh Avarzamani, <em>Strange Temporalities</em>, 2019. Ab-Anbar, Frieze Sculpture 2019. Photo: Stephen White. Courtesy Stephen White/Frieze. Ghazaleh Avarzamani, Strange Temporalities, 2019. Ab-Anbar, Frieze Sculpture 2019. Photo: Stephen White. Courtesy Stephen White/Frieze.

It’s been another busy week for arts news in Canada. NSCAD University appointed a new president. A Canadian artist terminated their US exhibition months early after a curator was abruptly let go. The Governor General named several artists and arts leaders to the Order of Canada. And some rising ceramic-art stars were recognized. Read on for more.

International Connections

Toronto-based artist Ghazaleh Avarzamani has debuted new public art at Frieze Sculpture 2019 in London. Her piece, called Strange Temporalities, is “a sculptural re-assemblage of a deconstructed slide, [which] embodies the failed assurance of safe enjoyment,” says her website. Previously exhibited at the Koffler Gallery in Toronto in 2018, it is on view at Regent’s Park in London from July 3 to October 6. (artist website, Frieze)

Montreal-based artists Yann Pocreau and Guillaume Simoneau are having solo shows at Rencontres d’Arles in France. Both Pocreau and Simoneau are having shows there through a new collaboration between Montreal’s Momenta Biennale and Recontres d’Arles, one of the most respected photo events in the world. Simoneau’s exhibition focuses on birds, while Pocreau’s Cathédrale is an immersive photo-based installation. Both shows run July 1 to September 22. Also at Arles in the “Ground Control” project are works by Canadians Meryl McMaster and JJ Levine. (Momenta)

Repatriation News

A new exhibition at the Haida Gwaii Museum is highlighting repatriation. “To Pay Respect: The Repatriation Journey of the Haida Nation” includes some 1,500 photographs of Haida cultural objects in international museum collections, private collections and university collections. “Our art is the companion to our Haida language. It is our form of writing,” executive director Jisgang Nika Collison told the CBC. “Those types of repatriations are really complex, a very long process and huge in healing and in strengthening our nation’s language[,] art and culture. It’s a critical component of that.” (CBC, Haida Gwaii Museum)

German museums have new guidelines for repatriation. Among them is a call to create a searchable online database of collections so that Indigenous peoples can more easily locate their cultural objects. (Deutsche Welle)

Art Outdoors

Moncton’s big mural festival starts soon. Festival Inspire has already installed 40 murals in the city. Up next, from July 8 to 13, are additions from Eelco from the Netherlands, Oak Oak from France, KiriLeigh from the US and Sens from Mexico. (release)

A Victoria-area lighthouse, and its views, will be the subject of art soon. Montreal-based artist Allison Moore is at Open Space this July to develop a site-specific projection mapping project proposed for the Fisgard Lighthouse for summer 2020. Using the Open Space gallery as a studio space this month, Moore will plot out her visual research for next summer’s media event. Video material of clouds, the tides, moon cycles, starry constellations and underwater marine life will be collected and ultimately projected onto the lighthouse. Moore will also conduct site visits and interview lighthouse keepers to collect stories of incidents surrounding the lighthouse. (release)

Critical Views

Toronto Biennial curator Candice Hopkins is bringing a different approach. In an Artnews profile, Hopkins says that Indigenous artists “actually get the art history that we’re ready for. What is clear is that ‘art’ is too limiting a category. That becomes a curatorial challenge. How do you do something different?” (Artnews)

George W. Bush’s paintings do not belong at the Canadian War Museum. That’s the opinion of Globe and Mail critic Kate Taylor about the museum’s show of 51 of Bush’s paintings of veterans. “If you wanted to witness the work of Canada’s Afghanistan veterans, there are professional Canadian photographers who might rise to the challenge of telling portraiture,” Taylor concludes. “An American hobbyist’s mediocre political exercise has no place in the Canadian War Museum.” (Globe and Mail)

Staffing Updates

Deirdre Chisholm has been appointed executive director of the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba in Brandon. “Originally from Montreal, Chisholm is an artist, educator and administrator with a passion for rural arts,” says Galleries West. “She has 25 years of experience in municipal and non-profit cultural institutions, including education and curatorial positions with the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Art Gallery of Peterborough.” (Galleries West)

The New Gallery in Calgary has a new gallery assistant. Alicia Buates McKenzie is an artist, writer and organizer from rural Western Manitoba, on Treaty 2 Territory. She recently obtained her BFA from the Alberta University of the Arts. She is also visual arts curator for the arts festival Femme Wave. (release)