Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art in Border Crossings

My review of "Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art" appears in issue 128 of Border Crossings. I wish I could have been in Winnipeg, my old stomping ground, for the Holiday Launch Party.

Sakahàn, International Indigenous Art” was the first in what is planned to be a quinquennial exhibition devoted to contemporary art by Indigenous artists from around the globe. Its title is an Algonquin word that means “to light a fire,” marking an auspicious beginning to an admirable and ambitious project undertaken by the National Gallery of Canada, which resides in traditional Algonquin territory. The largest ever exhibition of contemporary Indigenous art, it is also the largest art show the gallery has done, period. Featuring over 150 works by 80 artists from 16 countries, with events and exhibitions coordinated with multiple partnering institutions, the exhibition was so sprawling that the handy and much-needed map given to visitors could not even include all the territory it covered. The exhibition confirmed and amplified the institution’s commitment to the collection, study and exhibition of Indigenous art. With the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a touchstone text for the exhibition, the forward thinking on display in Sakahàn provided multiple tools for a general audience to think critically about the issues presented.  

For the complete review, check out Border Crossings 128, available at the finest bookstores, newsstands, and libraries near you.

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