Strange Representations

In partnership with the National Gallery of Canada’s exhibition:

Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art

Gallery 101 Presents:

Strange Representations

A group exhibition, performance, roundtable and potluck

Curated by Ulysses Castellanos

August 30 to October 12, 2013

Opening and Performance: 7 – 9pm Friday, August 30th at Gallery 101

Round Table Discussion: 11 am – 5pm Saturday August 31 at Gallery 101

Artists:

  • Emelie Chhangur
  • soJin Chun
  • Terrance Houle
  • Maria Legault
  • Jorge Lozano
  • Ken Ogawa
  • Theo Pelmus

Strange Representations looks at the presentation and manipulation of Identity and narrative beyond the single-point-of-view Identity Politics paradigm. The show deals with the idea that cultural identity as it relates to narrative has been eroded by the practices of sampling and appropriation in our culture, and the abandonment of the concept of a single, monolithic cultural/historical experience is the direct result of this erosion.

The rationale for a continued belief in Identity Politics is that racism and discrimination of all sorts are still largely prevalent in our society; therefore, to say that Identity Politics are irrelevant is a fallacious conclusion. However, a new model can be presented; one that acknowledges that discrimination is not a moral aberration, but a naturally occurring response that can be altered or sublimated to accommodate an ever-evolving global culture. Thus, an aesthetics of representation can be introduced, which recognizes that discrimination has little to do with mere differences in culture and race and everything to do with the primitive wiring of our “lizard” brains, while providing us with a more complex representation of “identity” through the use of performance, sampling, imaging and editing.

The works of the artists featured in Strange Representations challenge established notions of identity and beg for the use of more complexity in explaining a contemporary human condition whose explication has become stultified and mired by reductive modes of representation. As the means of control from the body politic become more complex and subtle, so must the response become more sophisticated. These artists, coming from different social and cultural backgrounds and from different nationalities, put a twist on conventional ways of seeing identity, while reinforcing the need for this important aspect of contemporary life.
-Ulysses Castellanos

Examine & Exchange:
Strangeness and Representation

Round Table Discussion and Potluck:
11am – 5pm, Saturday August 31 at Gallery 101

Animators:

  • Chikonzero (Chiko) Chazunguza
  • (Artist, Toronto)

  • soJin Chun
  • (Artist, Toronto)

  • Terrance Houle
  • (Artist, Calgary)

  • Maureen (Miki) Korp
  • (Writer, Ottawa)

  • Christine Lalonde
  • (Curator Inuit Collection, National Gallery, Ottawa)

  • Maria Legault
  • (Artist, Gatineau)

  • Melody McKiver
  • (Artist/Musician, Ottawa)

  • Ken Ogawa
  • (Artist, Toronto)/

  • Clara Venice
  • (Musician)

  • Theo Pelmus
  • (Artist Winnipeg)

  • Jessie Short
  • (Director, Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, Toronto)

  • Irene Snarby
  • (Curator of the Art Unit Karasjok, Norway)

  • Jeff Thomas
  • (Artist, Ottawa)

Moderators: Ulysses Castellanos and Laura Margita

Many artists and curators collectively worked through a polarized stance of identity politics that saw its pinnacle during the early 1990s. (Daniel Jay Martinez’ “I CAN’T IMAGINE EVER WANTING TO BE WHITE” text on entry buttons to the 1993 Whitney Biennial, Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez Peña’s Cage Piece for said event, the music of Public Enemy, Consolidated and The Disposable Heroes of Hiphopricy, the curatorial practice of Hilton Kramer, the installations of Pepon Osorio, the work of the Guerrilla Girls, Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing”)


http://nymag.com/arts/art/features/jerry-saltz-1993-art/

Today (thanks to the trailblazing “shit hits the fan” work by artists who came into their own during the 1993 Whitney biennial), we can imagine working within a more self-reflexive stance, with a more complex representation of identity that allows for the existence of different view points coalescing within “problematic” practices (The paintings of Michael Ray Charles, the photographs of Cindy Sherman, The pseudo-neo Concretist psychedelia of Assume Vivid Astro Focus, the videos, sculptures and installations of Allora and Calzadilla, Ai Wei Wei, Gabriel Orozco, Hanna Wilke, Ryan Trecartin, Kalup LInzy, The paintings of John Currin and Elizabeth Peyton, the films of Matthew Barney, the “grossout” art of Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley and The Voluptous Horror of Karen Black, the films of Nick Zedd and Richard Kern)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflexivity_(social_theory)

Between a polarized or self-reflexive identity politics, how do you define your practice, or the institution you represent, within these stances? Do you see yourself as exemplifying one or the other, or a combination of both?
-Ulysses Castellanos

Talking Points:

Have you felt that your practice or cultural work has been dismissed or ghettoized by dominant Canadian visual culture?

Do mixed race issues affect you? (Two examples being the Canadian status card system and the US blood quantum policies.)

What does it mean that it is economically advantageous to program indigenous artists?

Is it now possible for non/other indigenous artists or cultural workers to explore or work within "indigenous" subject matter?

How do we curate through the dominant mandate of our institutional spaces?

Does an indigenous artist always have to be an activist?

Does activism have a single point of view and how does this affect activist art?

Does feminism still matter? Does gender bias remain?

Aug 30 2013 - Oct 12 2013

opening

Friday, August 30, 2013 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

artist talks

Saturday, August 31, 2013 - 11:00am - 5:00pm
Emelie Chhangur: Family Portrait at Taj
Theo Pelmus: Gold Face Inverted Sugar

Artists