From the Ed­i­tor

Inuit Art Quarterly - - CONTENTS -

Four years ago the Inuit Art Quar­terly asked: Could the Venice Bi­en­nale be a place for Inuit art? At the time, the re­sponse from do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional cu­ra­tors and artists alike was en­thu­si­as­tic, if open-ended. In the en­su­ing years, Inuit art has con­tin­ued to gain ground and claim in­clu­sion on the in­ter­na­tional stage.

Be­tween 2017 and 2018 alone, An­nie Pootoo­gook (1969–2016), Shuvinai Ashoona,

RCA and others have featured promi­nently in ma­jor con­tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tions, in­clud­ing

Kanang­i­nak Pootoo­gook, RCA (1935–2010), who was the first Inuit artist in his­tory to be featured at the Venice Bi­en­nale for the group ex­hi­bi­tion Viva Arte Viva (2017), mounted in the city’s his­toric Arse­nale. Still, even now in 2019, it is frus­trat­ingly rare for an Inuit artist or col­lec­tive to be given pride of place in a ma­jor solo ex­hi­bi­tion out­side of Canada.

What an im­mense achievemen­t and marker it is then to be launch­ing this is­sue to co­in­cide with the open­ing of the Canada Pavil­ion at the 2019 Venice Bi­en­nale fea­tur­ing the work of the in­com­pa­ra­ble artist col­lec­tive Isuma, who have for­ever changed the land­scape of Inuit film and es­tab­lished a new cannon of mov­ing im­age–based prac­tice in Canada.

Isuma’s films are un­de­ni­ably their own. They are made and fi­nanced on their own terms, re­al­ized of­ten in spite of fund­ing short­falls, chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions and in op­po­si­tion to an in­dus­try that de­mands wide­spread mar­ketabil­ity. Isuma’s films are and have al­ways been cre­ated by and for Inuit. As a re­sult of the col­lec­tive’s sin­gu­lar and un­com­pro­mis­ing vi­sion to cel­e­brate and cap­ture Inuit sto­ries, lived experience­s and vi­sions, Isuma has cre­ated new spa­ces for Inuit film to thrive, with ded­i­cated men­tor­ship and col­lab­o­ra­tion. Be­cause of Isuma, the im­mense con­tri­bu­tions of Inuit film­mak­ers work­ing through­out Inuit Nu­nan­gat have been made more vis­i­ble.

It is through this lens that we bring you the

IAQ’s themed is­sue on Film.

Our Fea­ture sto­ries high­light a range of artis­tic practices rooted in the pos­si­bil­i­ties

of mov­ing im­age–based work. Chief Curator of the McMichael Cana­dian Art Col­lec­tion Sarah Mil­roy re­flects on the legacy of Isuma’s early work, in­clud­ing the deeply col­lab­o­ra­tive na­ture of their film­mak­ing, while Man­ager and Curator of the Nu­natta Su­nakku­taan­git Mu­seum Jes­sica Kotierk in­ves­ti­gates the ex­panse of the Isuma ar­chive at the National Gallery of Canada. Blan­d­ina At­taar­juaq Makkik, Igloo Tag Co­or­di­na­tor, writes on the im­pact of film and tele­vi­sion within the com­mu­nity of Iglu­lik, NU, pri­mar­ily through the ac­tiv­i­ties of the women’s film col­lec­tive

Ar­nait Video Pro­duc­tions. Ed­i­tor-at-Large Taqra­lik Par­tridge shares the work of Vancouver-based artist Lindsay McIntyre, whose work in 16 mm film and hand­made emul­sions are per­haps more closely aligned to draw­ing than film­mak­ing and an ex­pan­sive

Pro­file by Manag­ing Ed­i­tor Evan Pavka, along­side Con­tribut­ing Ed­i­tors Na­p­atsi Fol­ger and Emily Henderson, in­tro­duces ex­cit­ing early ca­reer film artists work­ing across the cir­cum­po­lar North and be­yond to­day. Fi­nally, we turn our at­ten­tion to the place of Inuit and other Indige­nous artists on the in­ter­na­tional stage with fea­tures on Kanang­i­nak Pootoo­gook’s late work by Robert Kar­dosh and a brief his­tory of the pres­ence of in­ter­na­tional Indige­nous ar tists at the Venice Bi­en­nale by

Dr. Heather Iglo­liorte.

While it is im­pos­si­ble to fully cap­ture the move­ment, sound and feel­ing of film on a page, I hope the artists and works you en­counter here will in­spire you to seek out, im­merse your­self and be trans­ported by their sto­ries.

Britt Gallpen Ed­i­to­rial Di­rec­tor

Turn to page 40 to re­visit the col­lec­tive his­tory of Isuma on the ad­vent of their rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Canada at the 2019 Venice Bi­en­nale COUR­TESY ISUMA DIS­TRI­BU­TION IN­TER­NA­TIONAL INC. PHOTO LEVI UTTAK

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