"CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: THE NEXT FIVE HUNDRED YEARS" , INDIGENOUS ART AND THOUGHT

Monday, April 16, 2012 - 7:30pm
The Gladstone Hotel, Main Ballroom, 1214 Queen St. W.
"CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: THE NEXT FIVE HUNDRED YEARS" , INDIGENOUS ART AND THOUGHT
"CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: THE NEXT FIVE HUNDRED YEARS" , INDIGENOUS ART AND THOUGHT
"CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: THE NEXT FIVE HUNDRED YEARS" , INDIGENOUS ART AND THOUGHT
"CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: THE NEXT FIVE HUNDRED YEARS" , INDIGENOUS ART AND THOUGHT

Close Encounters: The Next Five Hundred Years A Celebration of Indigenous Art and Thought

What will happen to Indigenous culture tomorrow? Through the cultural practices of today, we can begin to formulate what the future will bring. Join us for a lively evening of art, storytelling, performance and film as This Is Not A Reading Series and Ryerson Image Centre launch Plug In’s publication, Close Encounters. Featuring the art of Kent Monkman; the storytelling of Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair; the films of Rebecca Belmore, Maria Thereza Alves and Tracy Moffat; a Manifesto performance by Steve Loft; and the curatorial presence of Lee-Ann Martin, Steve Loft and Candice Hopkins. Co-presented by the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, the Trudeau Foundation and the Gladstone Hotel.

Monday, April 16, 2012
The Gladstone Hotel, Main Ballroom, 1214 Queen Street West 
Doors open at 7:00 pm; Event starts at 7:30 pm
Admission is $5 or free with purchase of book.

Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years Edited by Sherry Farrell Racett. Contributors : Anthony Kiendl, Candice Hopkins, Steve Loft, Lee-Ann Martin, Jenny Western, Richard William Hill, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Victor Masayesva Jr, Joane Cardinal-Schubert, Megan Tamati-Quenelle, David Garneau, Edward Poitras, Jaimie Isaac and Loretta Todd.

Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years documents a ground-breaking exhibition of contemporary Indigenous art with artists from Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and South America. Through a myriad of histories, trajectories, tensions, collisions, and self-images, 34 artists imagine the future within the context of present experiences and past histories. By radically reconsidering encounter narratives between native and non-native people, Indigenous prophecies, possible utopias and apocalypses, these artists propose intriguing possibilities for the next 500 years. More than an exhibition catalogue, the writings gathered here provide a thorough, expansive and diversified exploration of indigenous culture. Fourteen contributors present essays that map distinct sub-themes related to the imagined future for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Profusely illustrated with dozens of colour plates, fold-outs and visual surprises, the volume also includes an extensive bibliography and complete artist biographies. Participating artists :  KC Adams, Maria Thereza Alves, Shuvinai Ashoona, Mary Anne Barkhouse, Michael Belmore, Rebecca Belmore, Colleen Cutschall, Wally Dion, Jimmie Durham, Rosalie Favell, Jeffrey Gibson, Brett Graham, Faye HeavyShield, Marja Helander, Jonathan Jones, Brian Jungen, James Luna, Kavavaow Mannomee, Tracey Moffatt, Kent Monkman, Reuben Paterson, Archer Pechawis, Edward Poitras, Postcommodity, Pudlo Pudlat, Lisa Reihana, Paul-Anders Simma, Doug Smarch Jr., Skawennati, Christian Thompson, Marie Watt, Linus Woods, and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun.

STEVEN LOFT is a curator, writer and media artist of Mohawk-Jewish heritage. He is the National Visiting Trudeau Fellow at Ryerson University and a Scholar-in-Residence at the Ryerson Image Centre.

Born in Hamilton, he studied at McMaster University and Humber College of Applied Arts. Loft was the Artistic Director of the Native Indian/Inuit Photographers Association (NIIPA) and the First Nations Curator at the Art Gallery of Hamilton during the 1990s. In 2002, he became the Director of the Urban Shaman Gallery, Winnipeg, Canada's largest Aboriginal artist-run centre. In December 2007, he became the first to hold the two-year position of curator-in-residence, Indigenous Art, at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC). His exhibitions there, which included "Culture Shock", "Back to the Beginning" and "Steeling the Gaze", presented highly contemporary First Nations art that incorporated abstraction, photography and multi-media, and broke new ground in contextualizing Aboriginal art practices. Loft has also written extensively on Aboriginal art and aesthetics for magazines, catalogues and arts publications. Loft co-edited Transference, Technology, Tradition: Aboriginal Media and New Media Art, published by the Banff Centre Press in 2005. His video works, which include A History in Two Parts, 2510037901, TAX THIS! and Out of the Darkness have been screened at festivals and galleries across Canada and internationally.

Candice Hopkins is the Elizabeth Simonfay Curatorial Resident, Indigenous Art, at the National Gallery of Canada and is the former director and curator of the exhibitions program at the Western Front in Vancouver. She has an MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture, Bard College, New York, where she was awarded the Ramapo Curatorial Prize for the exhibition Every Stone Tells a Story: The Performance Work of David Hammons and Jimmie Durham (2004). Her writing has been published by MIT Press, BlackDog Publishing, New York University, Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Fillip, Banff Centre Press, and National Museum of the American Indian, among others. Hopkins has lectured at venues including Witte de With, Tate Modern, Dakar Biennale, Tate Britain, University of British Columbia and University of Victoria.

Lee-Ann Martin is currently the Director, Indian and Inuit Art Centre, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada in Gatineau. She was guest curator for the nationally touring retrospective exhibition, Bob Boyer: His Life’s Work, organized by the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina (2008). She was guest curator for the exhibition, Au fil de mes Jours (In My Lifetime) presented at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (2007 – 2008) and organized for the Musee national des beaux-arts du Quebec in Quebec City (2005). Martin has written extensively on contemporary Indigenous art. In 2004, she edited the publication Making a Noise! Aboriginal Perspectives on Art, Art History, Critical Writing and Community for the Banff International Curatorial Institute.

The Ryerson Image Centre (formerly known as the Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre) is a national and international centre of excellence for the study, teaching, research and exhibition of photography and related media. We are a fully integrated, vibrant contributor and active partner within the academic fabric of the University, the cultural network of greater Toronto, and an ever-expanding international community of exchange and collaboration. We develop programs that speak to and welcome interested parties from many different walks of life, including students, faculty, researchers, artists, curators, as well as the general public. For more information, please visit www.ryerson.ca/ric

This Is Not A Reading Series (TINARS) offers a ground-breaking theatrical dimension to the appreciation of fine writing. Employing music, comedy, psychodrama, dance, multimedia performance, lectures, dialogue—everything but reading—TINARS investigates the creative process behind literary works.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Ryerson Image Centre: Director of Marketing and Communications, Heather Kelly, heatherkelly@ryerson.ca

This Is Not A Reading Series: Anna Withrow, phone: 416-805-2174, awithrow@rogers.com