Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017 – Saturday, March 4, 2017
Time: All Day
Location: Art Museum at the University of Toronto
Address: 15 King’s College Circle
City/Province: Toronto, ON
The Art Museum at the University of Toronto
Cree visual artist Kent Monkman ushers in Canada’s Sesquicentennial with Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience, a new large-scale exhibition beginning Thursday, January 26 at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto.
Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience narrates a story of Canada through the eyes of Monkman’s alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, from present day to a hundred and fifty years before Confederation.
This exhibition is Kent Monkman’s first major solo-exhibition at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto and will include his own paintings, drawings, and sculptural works as well as historical artefacts and artworks borrowed from museums and private collections from across the country.
Celebrated for his unorthodox approach to history using humour, parody and artistic fiction, Monkman’s project takes aim at stereotypes perpetuated in popular culture, high art, and spectacle. Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience features post-colonial counter-narratives including the Rococo masterpiece The Swing by Jean-Honoré Fragonard reinterpreted as an installation with Miss Chief Eagle Testickle — in a beaver trimmed baroque dress — swinging back and forth between the Generals Wolfe and Montcalm.
Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience provides a searing critique of Canada’s colonial policies in response to celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday. The exhibition visits the harsh urban environment of Winnipeg’s north end, contemporary life on the reserve, and the period of New France and the fur trade. As Monkman explains, “The last 150 years—the period of Modernity—represents the most devastating period for First Peoples, including the signing of the numbered treaties, the reserve system, genocidal policies of the residential schools, mass incarceration and urban squalor.”
Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience will tour across Canada in the coming years after premiering at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. A catalogue is forthcoming in the fall of 2017 and will be published in English, French, and Cree.
Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist and curator of Cree ancestry who works with a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance, and installation. His most recent curatorial project was the exhibition My Treaty is with the Crown at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery at Concordia University in 2011. As an artist, he has had solo exhibitions at numerous Canadian museums including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, Winnipeg Art Gallery, and Art Gallery of Hamilton. He has participated in various international group exhibitions including: The American West at Compton Verney, Warwickshire; Remember Humanity at Witte de With, Rotterdam; 2010 Biennale of Sydney; My Winnipeg at la maison rouge, Paris; and Oh, Canada at MASS MoCA, North Adams. Monkman has created site specific performances at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Royal Ontario Museum, and Compton Verney. He has also made Super 8 versions of these performances which he calls “Colonial Art Space Interventions”. His award-winning short film and video works have been screened at various national and international festivals, including the 2007 and 2008 Berlinale, and the 2007 and 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. His work is represented in numerous public and private collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Denver Art Museum, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Museum London, Glenbow Museum, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and Vancouver Art Gallery.
Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience
Open Tuesday and Thursday – Saturdays from 12 – 5pm
The R.K. Teetzel Lecture in Art by Kent Monkman