From the Editor
Museums, particularly those with sweeping ethnographic holdings, invariably occupy complex relationships with those they purport to represent through object-based display. Such long and largely fraught entanglements are often predicated on who holds the power to frame discourse around culturally significant objects. This process is inherently linked to global colonizing efforts, dating to the earliest Wunderkammern (cabinets of curiosities) of sixteenthcentury Europe. The contemporary complexity of exhibiting these works remains deeply entwined in the specific circumstances surrounding acquisition, as we are reminded in Tanya Lukin Linklater’s thoughtful, searing Comment in this issue of the Quarterly. What persists, and often also winds its way into the rooms of the art gallery, is the larger question of who speaks, for whom and how.
This issue considers the role of museums today and specifically how they are adapting, responding and reimaging themselves to make space for new voices, methodologies and ideas. Dr. Julie Nagam reflects on the Indigenizing initiatives currently underway at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, including the planned Inuit
Art Centre in “Museum Encounters of Another Kind”. Likewise, building on the review section of our photography issue (29.4/winter 2016) that featured only exhibitions organized by Inuit curators, our second feature article “Inuit Curators in Conversation” brings together Heather Campbell, Heather Igloliorte and Jocelyn Piirainen on how Inuit-led curatorial initiatives might radically reshape the exhibition and writing of Inuit art history. Our Portfolio surveys unique collections of Inuit art across Canada, the United States and Europe to bring you insights from their custodians about the hidden gems and upcoming plans to activate the works. I hope you’ll enjoy this behind the scenes glimpse and that you’ll visit our online space throughout the summer as we share each curator’s favourite works at: iaq.inuitartfoundation.org
Finally, I am pleased to share with you that the IAQ was shortlisted for Best Literature and Art Magazine at the inaugural 2017 Canadian Magazine Awards. Over the past year, we have worked hard to define a strong editorial vision grounded in thoughtful, exploratory writing, rooted in a fundamental desire to make space for new voices. I am indebted to my team for their dedication as we have zealously reimagined what the IAQ might be and I am thankful for the generosity and guidance of both our Editorial Advisory Council members and our Board of Directors. As we start our 30th anniversary year and reflect on the editorial legacy of the IAQ and the important contributions of past editors Marybelle Mitchell, Christine Lalonde, Nancy Campbell and Heather Igloliorte, we are excited to continue building on this solid foundation for years to come.
Turn to page 36 to read about the changes ahead for the Winnipeg Art Gallery.