Art Speaks is delighted to present a fascinating conversation between artist CATHERINE OPIE and poet ROBIN COSTE LEWIS. This candid dialogue will be grounded on ideas that intersect in their work such as feminism, motherhood, identity, representation and the colour blue. Opie and Lewis were both recipients of Guggenheim Fellowships in 2019.
Catherine Opie (b. 1961) is an artist working with photography, film, collage, and ceramics. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States, and abroad. In 2008, the Guggenheim Museum in New York opened a mid-career exhibition titled, Catherine Opie: American Photographer. She is a professor of photography at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Robin Coste Lewis (b.1964) is the poet laureate of Los Angeles. Her poetry debut, Voyage of the Sable Venus (Knopf, 2015) was honoured with the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry. Lewis has published her work widely in various journals and anthologies, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The New York Times, among others. Currently, she is a Writer-in-Residence at the University of Southern California.
‘サモアについてのうた (Samoa ni tsuite no uta) | A song about Sāmoa’(2019–) detail by Yuki Kihara. Funding received from Creative New Zealand – the national arts development agency of the Government of New Zealand. Courtesy of Yuki Kihara and Milford Galleries Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand.
ART SPEAKS is a proud sponsoring partner for the keynote lecture of the Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange (GAX 2019) in Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal) on the theme of Asian indigenous Relations in Contemporary Art.
In this keynote presentation, Yuki Kihara discusses her new body of work, whose title is adapted from a popular Japanese song entitled ‘サモア島の歌 (Samoatou no uta)’ meaning ‘A song from Samoa.’ Music textbooks for elementary school students in Japan feature the song. The lyrics describe the Samoan archipelago situated in the Moana — an Indigenous pan-Polynesian name for the Pacific continent — as a paradise on earth settled by ‘noble savages’ — a typically romantic, Orientalist imagining of neighbouring Island nations held by Japan dating back since the Edo period in the 17th century.
The work serves to subvert the colonial gaze by shedding light on the lived experience in the Moana while reframing the relationship between Japan and the Moana, specifically Sāmoa. The work takes an Indigenous interpretation of trans-Moana identity, gender and history, while referencing the interracial Samoan and Japanese heritage as a point of conceptual departure.
This lecture explores the conceptual threads behind the work’s first five of 20 ‘Indigenized’ kimono presented across five iterations — from 2019 until 2023 — and created by the artist with the Indigenous audience in mind.
A launch of her book, Samoan Queer Lives (Little Island Press, NZ) co-edited by Kihara and Dan Taulapapa McMullin, will follow the keynote lecture.
About Yuki Kihara
A native of Sāmoa, Yuki Kihara is an interdisciplinary artist whose work seeks to challenge dominant and singular historical narratives through visual arts, dance and curatorial practice, engaging with postcolonial history and representation and how they intersect with race, gender, spirituality and sexual politics. Kihara lives and works in Sāmoa. The Metropolitan Museum of Art featured Kihara solo exhibition, Living Photographs, in 2008, and subsequently acquired her works for their permanent collection.
Kihara’s works are also in other major collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the British Museum and Giorgio Armani, as well as in numerous exhibitions including the Asia Pacific Triennial (2002 and 2015), Auckland Triennial (2009), Sakahàn Quinquennial (2013), Daegu Photo Biennale (2014), Honolulu Biennial (2017) and Bangkok Art Biennale (2018). Kihara is a research fellow at the National Museums of World Cultures in The Netherlands.
This Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC) event is co-presented as part of the international 2019 Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange, entitled “GAX 2019 Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal: Asian Indigenous Relations in Contemporary Art,” from June 11-15.
The CISSC is working in collaboration with the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU GAX Network; NYU Global Research Initiatives; the Office of the Provost; the Concordia University Research Chair in Ethnocultural Art Histories; Art Speaks; and the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute of Studies in Canadian Art.
Check out the complete program or email GAX2019Montreal@gmail.com.
“Art tells you things you didn’t know you needed to know.” – Jerry Saltz
Art Speaks is pleased to present leading art critic, JERRY SALTZ for its upcoming talk.
Jerry Saltz’s witty, provocative writing portrays art and the shifting art market with sharp insight. He has been dubbed the “people’s critic” for his ability to bring art to a broader audience, and for his notable role in stimulating energetic debates on art and politics through social media.
Since 2007, Saltz has been the senior art critic at New York magazine, and has formerly held the same position at the Village Voice from 1998 to 2007. He is the recipient of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, as well as the 2015 National Magazine Award for Columns & Commentary. He has taught at Columbia University, Yale University, and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has written for Frieze, Parkett and Art in America, among many other publications.
As a dynamic thinker and successful social entrepreneur, ZITA COBB has inspired many around the world with her visionary approach to creating meaningful change in her home of Fogo Island, Newfoundland. Zita’s initiatives have helped build a new leg on the Island’s economy that had been left bereft by the collapse of the cod fishing industry. Her first project, Fogo Island Arts, is a world-class artist-in-residence program that brings Canadian and international artists, curators, writers and thinkers to live among the island’s communities and work in architect-designed studios placed on bluffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Alumni of the program include artists Jumana Manna, Abbas Akhavan, Brian Jungen and Janice Kerbel.
Through Shorefast, the charity she founded with two of her brothers, Cobb has added numerous initiatives that admirably accomplish her goal of creating resilience for her community. Her powerful story and her commitment to philosopher Dr. Gill Chin Li’s belief in “creating a global network of intensely local places,” will be at the heart of her talk in Montreal. Zita Cobb’s exemplary approach to rural renewal has earned her global praise, an honorary doctorate from Mcgill University as well as the 2016 Order of Canada.
The talk will be followed by a conversation with Nicolaus Schafhausen (Strategic Director) and Alexandra McIntosh (Director of Programs and Exhibitions) of Fogo Island Arts.
ART SPEAKS is dedicated to presenting a platform of international artists and thinkers to provoke and stimulate thought.
Theaster Gates, photo by Sarah Pooley, courtesy of the artist and White Cube.
Art Speaks and DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art are proud to present The Black Madonna, a talk by the artist Theaster Gates.
Theaster Gates is internationally renowned for his interdisciplinary practice that spans sculpture, installation, painting, sound, performance and urban interventions. Known for his recirculation of art-world capital, Gates’ work focuses on the possibility of the “life within things.” Gates smartly upturns art values, land values, and human values. In all aspects of his work, he contends with the notion of Black space as a formal exercise – one defined by collective desire, artistic agency, and the tactics of a pragmatist.
For this special event, Gates will discuss his latest research for The Black Madonna, a multi-part project that comprises a series of exhibitions and performances which draw on a range of sources, from influential depictions of the Madonna in European churches and museums, to the extensive print archive of the Johnson Publishing Corporation, the Chicago-based publisher of Jet and Ebony magazines. This exploration of the history of the black female and her image will manifest in exhibitions in four institutions in 2018.
The Black Madonna will be presented at Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland (June 9–October 21, 2018); Sprengel Museum, Kurt Schwitters Prize Exhibition, Hannover, Germany (from June 22, 2018); Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (September 2018–January 2019); and Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (from October 2018).
Theaster Gates (b. 1973, Chicago, USA) lives and works in Chicago. Gates has exhibited and performed at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA (2017); Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada (2016); Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (2016); Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2013); Punta della Dogana, Venice, Italy (2013) and dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012). He was the winner of the Artes Mundi 6 prize in 2013 and the Nasher Prize for Sculpture 2018 and is the recent recipient of the Légion d’Honneur, awarded 2017.
Art Speaks hopes to create dynamic conversations and further our understanding of the world through the lens of contemporary art. The organization is dedicated to presenting a platform of international artists and thinkers to provoke and stimulate thought. All events are free and open to the public.
DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art
Established in 2007, DHC/ART is a non-profit organization dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art. Housed in two heritage buildings located in the heart of Old Montreal, DHC/ART’s programming has met with critical acclaim both at home and around the world. Each year we offer two to three major exhibitions, a series of public events, special collaborative projects and a forward thinking education program. International in scope while responsive to the context of the city of Montreal, all of DHC/ART’s programming is offered free of charge as a way to reinforce its commitment to accessibility while fostering a discussion on how contemporary art is invested with the topics and ideas that reflect and touch our everyday lives.
Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, has profoundly influenced the way we look at art. Since the early 1990s, her visionary exhibitions have instigated relevant dialogues surrounding race and culture in the U.S. With the conviction that art is a catalyst for political and social change, her work challenges the viewer to confront the world anew.
Golden was one of the curators of the thought-provoking 1993 Whitney Biennial, which prompted her to work on her landmark exhibition Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art, presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1994. Her exhibitions at the Studio Museum, including Freestyle (2001), Frequency (2005) and Flow (2011), aim to define and reveal the experiences of a new generation of black artists from around the world.
Hajra Waheed’s multidisciplinary practice ranges from interactive installations to collage, video, sound and sculpture. Prompted by news accounts and extensive research, Waheed uses complex narrative structures to explore issues surrounding covert power, mass surveillance, cultural distortion and the traumas and alienation of displaced subjects via mass migration. Over the last decade, Waheed has participated in exhibitions worldwide, most recently including the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, VIVA ARTE VIVA, Venice (2017); 11th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2016); The Cyphers, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2016); Still Against the Sky, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015); L’avenir (Looking Forward), La Biennale de Montréal, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, QC (2014).
She received the prestigious 2014 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for outstanding achievement as a Canadian mid-career visual artist and was shortlisted for the 2016 Sobey ArtAward, Canada’s preeminent contemporary art prize. Waheed’s works can be found in permanent collections including MOMA, New York; British Museum, London; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Burger Collection, Zurich/Hong Kong and Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi.
Hajra Waheed (b. 1980, Canada) lives and works in Montréal.
Frances Stark is a mid-career, interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. Using text, images and literary sources, she mines the complexities of everyday life for her provocative subject matter. Celebrated for her unabashed approach, she reveals herself in her work — utilizing the personal to speak to complex concerns related to the broader public, in the manner of literature.
Osservate, leggete con me, currently on view at La Biennale de Montréal will be a jumping off point for Stark’s discussion on the important role dialogue has played in her work.
Stark’s most recent solo exhibitions include Intimism at the Art Institute of Chicago (2015) and Uh-Oh: Frances Stark 1991-2015, a traveling survey exhibition currently on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She was the 2015 recipient of the Absolut Art Award.
The historical transition from modern to contemporary art has lead to a change in the way artists use the support of paper and, often, a change in the manner of displaying these works in museum spaces. Museums dedicated to contemporary art are currently confronted with a choice regarding the consolidation of these historical periods in the conservation of works on paper. A panel of invited curators will discuss their various approaches and the place of historical works in their collections.
Moderator: Jean Gagnon,director of preservation and access to collections,Cinémathèque québécoise
Guests: Stéphane Aquin, chief curator, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
John Zeppetelli, director and chief curator, MAC Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal