A sneak peek at some cur­rent and up­com­ing ex­hi­bi­tions and projects.

A be­hind-the-scenes look at some no­table projects

Inuit Art Quarterly - - CONTENTS - – Kiliii Yuyan

MAY 28—AU­GUST 23, 2020

Arc­tic: cul­ture and cli­mate British Mu­seum


Bring­ing to­gether the largest and most di­verse cir­cum­po­lar col­lec­tion ever dis­played in the UK, Arc­tic: cul­ture and cli­mate will ex­am­ine the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the land, an­i­mals and peo­ple that make up the Arc­tic Cir­cle, and the re­sponse of each to dra­matic changes wrought by sea­sonal weather and hu­man-caused cli­mate change. Cu­rated by Am­ber Lin­coln, the ex­hibit mixes ar­chae­o­log­i­cal finds with ar­ti­facts from early points of con­tact, in­clud­ing a car ved Evenki spirit mask made from a sev­en­teenth cen­tury Rus­sian icon, and con­tem­po­rary works by Si­mon Tookoome, Pi­ita Irniq, Fe­dor Markov, Ge­orge Flow­ers, An­nie Pootoo­gook, Andrew Qap­pik and Keno­juak Ashe­vak, among oth­ers. We spoke with pho­tog­ra­pher Kiliii Yuyan, known for his cap­ti­vat­ing images, to learn more:

The ma­jor­ity of my pieces in this ex­hibit come from a four-year pro­ject I did about Iñu­piat whal­ing on the Alaskan North Slope. The images and the film are about the iden­tity of Iñu­piat around whal­ing, and a glimpse at what life is like for spe­cific hun­ters out on the sea ice. The pho­to­graphs look at the boats ev­ery­one uses, called skin boats—umiat—and the life of camp­ing with ev­ery­one gath­ered to­gether in a com­mu­nity fash­ion to hunt whales on the ice. My par­ents are refugees, so I’m divorced from my home­land and my com­mu­nity. In a way, this work lets me hang out with a com­mu­nity that I haven’t re­ally got­ten a chance to see since I was a young child. What first brought me up to the North, how­ever, was kayaks and umi­aqs. My cul­ture builds kayaks, and I’ve built kayaks from com­mu­ni­ties all across the Arc­tic and sub­Arc­tic. I wanted to hang out with elders and peo­ple who were still build­ing the boats and had the knowl­edge of it—those who still knew how to sew the skin and how to use the umiaq. I wanted to go to Green­land and chill out with the guys that do kayak rolls. Prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant in­flu­ence in my pho­to­graphs is be­ing pulled into dif­fer­ent cul­tures and the ways that ev­ery­one in­ter­acts with their kayaks and umi­aqs.

Last year I was so busy that I didn’t have the op­por­tu­nity to process that my work would be used as pro­mo­tional pho­tos for this ex­hibit. But it’s ex­cit­ing to see my work very large on the side of a build­ing.


Inuit Art Cen­tre Win­nipeg Art Gallery


Af ter break­ing ground in May of 2018, the Inuit Ar t Cen­tre at the Win­nipeg Ar t Gallery is on track to open in late 2020. De­signed by Michael Maltzan Ar­chi­tec­ture, the build­ing fea­tures 40,000 sq ft in ex­hi­bi­tion space as well as ed­u­ca­tional spa­ces in­clud­ing class­rooms, art stu­dios and a three-story-high glass vault. Filled with thou­sands of sculp­tures, this unique el­e­ment will offer vis­i­tors a one-of-a kind view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, sup­ple­mented with dig­i­tal nav­i­gat­ing and sto­ry­telling op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­hance pub­lic un­der­stand­ing of the unique works on dis­play. To learn more, we reached out to Rachel Baerg, Head of Learn­ing & Pro­grams:

We’re thrilled to bring our col­lec­tion of Inuit sculp­tures from the base­ment vault out where vis­i­tors will be able to ac­cess and en­gage with them like never be­fore. The vis­i­ble glass vault will house over 5,000 carv­ings rep­re­sent­ing artists and com­mu­ni­ties across North­ern Canada and be­yond. Our goal is to ac­ti­vate the vault, al­low­ing vis­i­tors to self-nav­i­gate the col­lec­tion, iden­tify spe­cific works of in­ter­est and even cu­rate their own col­lec­tions. In ad­di­tion, for those in­ter­ested in more in-depth ex­plo­rations of art­work, our dig­i­tal vault plat­form will serve to ‘an­i­mate’ the col­lec­tion through in­ter­ac­tive maps, artist pro­files, videos, artist in­ter­views and other unique mul­ti­me­dia ap­pli­ca­tions.

Given the scope, for this first phase we will be fo­cus­ing on cre­at­ing mul­ti­me­dia in­ter­ac­tives for 100–150 pieces in the vault. Th­ese works will be­come the sub­ject of ‘art sto­ries’ and offer a gate­way into our col­lec­tion, pro­vid­ing greater con­sid­er­a­tion of their his­tor­i­cal, so­cial and cul­tural con­text. Th­ese sto­ries will be pre­sented via a web-based por­tal that can be ac­cessed both in situ on ter­mi­nals around the vault as well as on­line through our web­site.

Key to this pro­ject, funded by the Canada Coun­cil for the Arts Dig­i­tal Strat­egy Fund, will be bring­ing Inuit voices to the fore­front to share sto­ries re­lated to their art­work, their cul­ture and their land. We’re ex­cited to be work­ing with Inuit artists, knowl­edge keep­ers, sto­ry­tellers and stu­dents to bring th­ese works of art to life. It’s a big pro­ject and we see this as just the be­gin­ning of some­thing very ex­cit­ing!

MARCH 14—JUNE 8, 2020

Biennale of Syd­ney Var­i­ous Lo­ca­tions


Cu­rated by Brook Andrew, the 22nd Syd­ney Biennale, Nirin, brings to­gether works by close to one hun­dred artists, cre­atives and col­lec­tives and draws its name from the Wi­rad­juri word for edge. This much an­tic­i­pated pro­ject prom­ises an all-star lineup of in­ter­na­tion­ally acclaimed artists with a heavy em­pha­sis on In­dige­nous artists from around the globe. This year will also fea­ture a num­ber of artists with ties to the cir­cum­po­lar re­gion in­clud­ing Ni­cholas Galanin, Elle-Máijá Tail­feath­ers, col­lec­tive Suoh­pan­ter­ror, As­laug Mag­dalena Juliussen, Sis­sel M. Bergh and An­ders Sunna as well as Nu­ni­vim­miuk Taqra­lik Par­tridge. We caught up with Par­tridge in Kau­tokeino,

Nor­way, as she was put­ting the fi­nal touches on her pro­ject for the biennale:

I met Brook [Andrew] in Kau­tokeino last year as part of the Sáp­miToo event or­ga­nized by Dáid­dadáilu Sámi Artist Col­lec­tive and the Of­fice of Con­tem­po­rary Art, Nor­way. Brook was there with Wanda Nanibush, Cu­ra­tor of In­dige­nous Art, from the Art Gallery of On­tario. For the biennale I’m do­ing a se­ries of six beaded pieces, called apir­sait (Helper Spir­its). Aaju Peter was talk­ing about the name for th­ese spir­its re­cently, and I was happy to hear what they were called. I’m stuck on that kid­ney shape, I just like it! Like my other work, I’m try­ing to use what­ever ma­te­ri­als are avail­able to me, what’s in my kitchen—ma­te­ri­als that are both sig­nif­i­cant and not sig­nif­i­cant. The helper spir­its are an­i­mals that are im­por­tant to me—arc­tic fox, cari­bou, wal­rus, po­lar bear, raven—and the sixth, which I’m cre­at­ing to be touched and is pri­mar­ily for the those who can’t see, will likely be an Aus­tralian an­i­mal. Also as part of my par­tic­i­pa­tion, I’ll be per­form­ing and I have a poem wall-in­stal­la­tion at Artspace in English, Inuk­ti­tut (in both ro­man and syl­lab­ics) and Darug— an In­dige­nous lan­guage local to the Syd­ney re­gion. It’s a short poem I wrote in Toronto, ON. As part of the Arc­tic/Ama­zon Sym­po­sium I was asked to do a re­sponse to an­other artist De­nil­son Baniwa. For Syd­ney I had it trans­lated/adapted by Ida Saun­ders and the or­ga­niz­ers had it adapted by War­muli/ Can­neme­gal writer Co­rina Marino into her lan­guage. Co­rina has also writ­ten a re­sponse poem. I think both will be dis­played in the gallery. There will be a cat­a­logue and an art book where some of my writ­ing will ap­pear.

– Taqra­lik Par­tridge


BE­LOW Kiliii Yuyan (b. 1979 Seat­tle) — Umiaq and north wind dur­ing spring whal­ing 2019 Inkjet print 30 × 20 cm


LEFT Oviloo Tun­nil­lie (1949–2014 Kin­ngait) — Griev­ing Woman 1997 Stone 35 × 12.5 × 11.3 cm


MID­DLE Da­vidi­aluk Ala­sua Amittu (1910–1976 Pu­vir­ni­tuq) — Mytho­log­i­cal Bird 1958 Stone 43.4 × 38.2 × 16.5 cm


RIGHT Joseph Pat­terk (b. 1912 Kangiqlini­q) Legend of the Fam­ily Who Trav­eled on a Wild Goose 1966 Ce­ramic 36 × 25 × 45 cm


LEFT Taqra­lik Par­tridge (Ku­u­jjuaq/Kau­tokeino) — apir­sait 2020 Mixed-me­dia in­stal­la­tion Di­men­sions vari­able

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