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