Àbadakone | Continuous Fire | Feu continuel
Art is happening in every corner of the National Gallery of Canada
Àbadakone | Continuous Fire | Feu continuel, the second exhibition in the National Gallery of Canada’s series of presentations of contemporary international Indigenous art, features works by more than 70 artists identifying with almost 40 Indigenous Nations, ethnicities and tribal affiliations from 16 countries, including Canada.
Àbadakone animates both galleries and public spaces with art in all media, including performance art, video and commissioned installations, complemented by a dynamic program of workshops, performances, film screenings, talks, and more.
Building on themes of continuity, activation, and relatedness, this exhibition explores the creativity, concerns and vitality of Indigenous art from virtually every continent. Àbadakone is led by National Gallery of Canada curators Greg A. Hill, Christine Lalonde and Rachelle Dickenson, with consulted curators Candice Hopkins, Ariel Smith and Carla Taunton, as well as a team of advisors from around the globe.
Don’t miss this opportunity to experience compelling contemporary art, as Àbadakone taps into and amplifies the global pulse of Indigenous artistic production.
07 NOVEMBER 2019 – 25 OCTOBER 2020
Level 4, Collection Galleries
This exhibition inaugurates a dedicated space for the institution’s collection in the following galleries. Titled Two Together, the show is built around major themes explored by artists from Africa and its diaspora represented in the collection, and each gallery contains a pair: either two objects, or multiple works by two artists, or two major themes – either in dialogue, as counterpoints, or in sync. As couples do, in comedic duos or in romance, the exhibition embraces a rigorous engagement between objects and ideas.
So, what happens when two come together? Two photographers can subvert a gaze, while probing issues around representation, presence, omission, authorship and voyeurism. Speaking from contrasting geo-political vantage points, two can highlight the perpetual and impeding undertone of violence manifested in a present-day psyche. The numerous lines between collective memory, imagination and folklore are blurred when two artists use material to venerate and to make visible intangible heritage.
When two come together, there can be a conversation around absence and nostalgia expressed by cutting; tearing images from archives or ripping apart strips of cloth, both done to express loss.
Referencing the history of slave trades across the Atlantic or the Indian Ocean, two can use portraiture as a medium to re-imagine routes journeyed by ancestors. Two together can amplify resistance. Using satire and sophistication, they can resist the imposed taxonomy of time, place, gender and history.
African Arts—Global Conversations
February 14–November 15, 2020
Lobby Gallery, 1st Floor, Collection Galleries, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th Floors
African Arts—Global Conversations puts African arts where they rightfully belong: within the global art historical canon. It brings those works into greater, meaningful art historical conversations and critiques previous ways that encyclopedic museums and the field of art have or have not included them.
The exhibition’s unique transcultural approach pairs diverse African works across mediums with objects from around the world. By considering how shared themes and ideas—such as faith, origins, modernism, and portraiture—developed independently in different parts of the globe, it offers new theoretical models for discussing African arts in relation to non-African arts. Moving beyond the story of European modernists’ so-called “discovery” of African arts, it fills in the blanks in decades of art history textbooks (as shown by examples on view).
African Arts—Global Conversations presents thirty-three works, including twenty by African artists. On view are new acquisitions and never-before-exhibited objects, among others, in a first-floor introductory gallery and also in groupings throughout the Museum. Highlights include a celebrated eighteenth-century Kuba sculpture, fourteenth- to sixteenth-century Ethiopian Orthodox processional crosses, and a mid-twentieth-century Sierra Leonean Ordehlay or Jollay society mask. Also featured are recent works by Atta Kwami, Ranti Bam, Magdalene Odundo OBE, and Taiye Idahor, which are paired with artworks by Māori, Seminole, Spanish, American, Huastec, and Korean artists.
African Arts—Global Conversations is curated by Kristen Windmuller-Luna, Sills Family Consulting Curator, African Arts, Brooklyn Museum.