EAHR RESEARCH RESIDENCY: DIVERSIFYING ACADEMIA AT CONCORDIA
In Collaboration with the Concordia Library.
Made possible with the support of Concordia’s Department of Art History.
Researcher-in-Residence 2018: Chelsy Monie
Residency Founder & Coordinator: Kimberly Glassman
Art History Librarian Supervisor: Jenna Dufour
The current vitrine exhibit, Art & Africa: Africans as Critical Producers and Consumers of Art, proudly displays the results of the first-ever EAHR Research Residency: Diversifying Academia at Concordia organized by Concordia's Ethnocultural Art Histories Research Group (EAHR). An annotated bibliography was completed over the summer by Concordia undergraduate student Chelsy Monie, as an extensive open source reference tool that promotes critical engagement with issues of ethnic and cultural representation within the visual arts, further instigating a conversation that opens up fundamental spaces for communities that are often misrepresented and/or erased. Monie specifically focused on locating these critical spaces for Africans in art history and demonstrating that Africans are both the creators and consumers of their own art practices.
Accompanying the bibliography on display is a photographic series entitled, Voiceless Utterance (2018) created by Monie as an artistic response to her research during her residency. The series brings together nine women from across the African continent to represent the ‘new’ Venus, one that is far from her typical position as an archetypal symbol of the ideal - the supposed pinnacle of classical Western femininity. By digitally smearing away their mouths, the artist does not remove their voices, but instead emphasizes their silence. Their erotic bodies simultaneously repel and attract viewers, inviting visitors to think critically about the consumption of contemporary African artistic creations in spaces that are fundamentally Western.
Quotes excerpted from “Portrait of the Artist in the Shadow of Discourse: Narrating Modern African Art in 20th Century Art History” (2007) by Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie accompany the photographs. Coming from Nigeria, Ogbechie’s research focuses on the visual culture and art of Africa and its Diasporas, with an emphasis on the values granted to African cultures in the discourse of art history in the age of globalization. His text contextualizes the photographs within a critical discourse of art history that continuously undervalues and negates the works and practices of contemporary African artists. In so doing, Monie calls attention to how African creations are too often rendered voiceless, decontextualized, and misrepresented. Using the epitome of “classical” art, the reclining-nude Venus - whose body represents love, beauty, fertility, and sexuality - Chelsy Monie re-contextualizes a staple of canonical art history.
The full annotated bibliography will be available on the Concordia Library in the Art History Subject Guide as of Thursday, September 13th, 2018. The Residency program is set to recur annually each summer. If you are interested in participating, follow EAHR on Facebook and watch for their next call-out near the end of the Winter Term.
A speaker event also took place on August 30th, 2018 at the VAV Gallery, where the photographic series was first exhibited as part of their Resonance exhibition. Videos of the event will be available here soon.
VIDEO RECORDINGS OF THE EVENT TO COME SOON.
This panel discussion presents four African artists and curators currently living in Canada— Chelsy Monie, Soukayna, Nènè Myriam Konaté, and Kosisochukwu Nnebe—in conjunction with Monie’s photographic series, Voiceless Utterance, featured as part of Galerie VAV Gallery’s exhibition, Resonance // Vernissage.
The panelists shared their experiences as creators, cultural organizers, and consumers working to assert artistic autonomy and agency free of distortion by predetermined ideas about contemporary African art in Euro-American contexts. Their contributions speak volumes to the curatorial challenges of exhibiting the complexities of African artistic practices in today’s contemporary art institutions.
Voiceless Utterance: Speaker Event is presented by EAHR’s 2018 Concordia Library Research Residency: Diversifying Academia in collaboration with the VAV Gallery and Fasa Concordia. EAHR’s activities are made possible with the support of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institution for Studies in Canadian Art and the Department of Art History at Concordia University, Faculty of Fine Arts.
CANADA 389 Exhibition
@ Studio XX in partnership with Atelier Céladon
Vernissage: Fri. Dec. 2, 5 - 7pm
Exhibition: Dec. 1 - 4, 11am - 8pm
PRIYA ZOE JAIN
MARY SUI YEE WONG
With texts by Nick Cabelli, Melinda Pierre-Paul Cardinal, Gianna Mardakis, and Gabrielle Montpetit
The Ethnocultural Art Histories Research Group (EAHR) is proud the group exhibition Canada 389, featuring the work of four artists who engage with complexities of commemoration, race and ethnocultural representation in Canada. This exhibition seeks to expand our understanding of diversity and national identity by addressing histories of inclusion and exclusion in the realm of what constitutes the nation state in the public imaginary.
The year 2017 will mark significant historic anniversaries for Quebec and Canada, including the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation (1867), the 375th anniversary of the City of Montreal (1642), the 70th anniversary of Canadian Citizenship Act (1947), and the 50th anniversary of Expo 67. Bearing in mind an ethics of commemoration, this exhibition asks how contemporary art can help us to understand the responsibility to commemorate as a critical practice especially when historical facts of racism in Canada force us to confront the underrepresentation of culturally-diverse communities in official national histories. Canada 389 is a clear reference to the year 1648 when the first Black slave, a young 8 or 9 year-old boy given the name of Olivier Le Jeune, was sold in Montreal (New France). The exhibition unfolds as a generative space to develop and trigger a conversation concerning identity issues that confronts the present and the future with notions of stereotypes, acculturation, ethnic visual markers, reclamation of histories, and hidden and undocumented sites.
Montreal (QC) - Ethnocultural Art Histories Research (EAHR) is delighted to present Dissonant Integrations, a group exhibition and video program investigating disruption as a tool to challenge dominant representations of race, ethnicity and other forms of fixed identities. Featuring twelve artists and collectives based in Canada and the United States, Dissonant Integrations seeks to expand our understanding of diversity through artworks that disrupt ethnic and/or racial stereotypes, and redress essentialist narratives of cultural identities and representations.
From photography and video to sculpture, the selected artists work in a range of media and draw on various creative practices, such as upcycling, auto-ethnography and appropriation. Exploring themes of displacement, immigration and diaspora, the artists use irony, humor and experimentation to navigate between public and self-representation, national and global identity, the familiar and the unfamiliar. By unraveling the everyday challenges faced by ethnocultural communities, these artists engage with pressing social-political issues that continually fuel and challenge contemporary art discourse.
Dissonant Integrations marks the fifth-year anniversary of Ethnocultural Art Histories Research Group (EAHR) since its founding in 2011 and demonstrates EAHR’s ongoing pursuit to facilitate opportunities for exchange and creation in the examination of issues of ethnic and cultural representation within the visual arts in Canada. EAHR is a community of students and researchers from across Canada, including Concordia University, McGill University and University of Montreal.
Ifeoma U. Anyaeji, Victor Arroyo, Pansee Atta, Minhee Bae, Richenda Grazette, Fanny Latreille Beaumont, Nathalie Lemoine, Eva-Loan Pontom-Pham, Shay (Shawn M. & Ayse B.), Team Sagittarius, Alisi Telengut, Karen White.
EAHR would like to thank the generous support of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art, the Fine Arts Student Alliance, the Concordia Council on Student Life, Concordia’s Department of Art History and Art History Graduate Student Association, Concordia Student Union, Z Art Space, Kafein, articule and OPTICA.
EAHR @ ARTEXTE: Uncovering Asian Canadian and Black Canadian Artistic Production
Exhibition and catalogue launch
When: Thursday April 2, 2015: 5-7PM
Where: Artexte, 2 Ste. Catherine St. E., Room 301 (Metro: St-Laurent)
Admission is free
Join the Ethnocultural Art Histories Research group (EAHR) as we proudly launch two new exhibitions and a corresponding catalogue, EAHR @ ARTEXTE: Uncovering Asian Canadian and Black Canadian Artistic Production. The exhibitions and catalogue are the culmination of an intensive research-based residency at Artexte, which has focused on promoting the representation and visibility of artworks and artists from Asian Canadian and Black Canadian communities – two ethnocultural communities that have been historically underrepresented in Canada’s art scene. Both exhibitions will be presented at Artexte and in the Department of Art History at Concordia University from April 1st – 30th, 2015. The catalogue will be available both online and at the launch party.
With Artexte’s support, this research has fostered connections between the two projects by tracing the strategies employed by artists to resist misrepresentations about Asian Canadians and Black Canadians in visual culture, emphasizing the importance of continuing to fight back against negative tropes. Along with the exhibitions and corresponding catalogue, the results of EAHR’s research residency will be presented in the form of two comprehensive bibliographies that will serve as valuable tools for the advancement of scholarship on ethnocultural art histories.
The exhibition and catalogue launch will take place on April 2nd 2015 at 5:00pm. Copies of the publication will be available at the reception.
The exhibitions will be on display at the following locations on the indicated dates:
"[Dis]Identifications: Challenging Dominant Narratives of Black people in Canada"
Exhibition: Artexte, April 1-15, 2015; Concordia, April 16-30, 2015
"Tracing Asian Canadian Art Histories and Aesthetic Alliances"
Exhibition: Concordia, April 1-15, 2015; Artexte, April 16-30, 2015
2 Ste. Catherine St. East
EAHR gratefully acknowledges Bryan Jim (Image CONNEXXION) for the design of the catalogue, along with the support of Artexte, the Concordia University Department of Art History, and the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art. The catalogue and launch party are made possible with the further support of the Faculty of Fine Arts Dean’s Discretionary Fund.
"CRISIS OF NARRATIVE" Vitrine Exhibit, Concordia Department of Art History
Adrian Gorea · Aditi Ohri · Stephanie Raudsepp · Solafa Rawas · Alisi Telengut
"To raise the question of the nature of narrative is to invite reflection on the very nature of culture and possibly, even on the nature of humanity itself. So natural is the impulse to narrate, so inevitable is the form of narrative for any report on the way things really happened, that narrativity could appear problematical only in a culture in which it was absent..."
Hayden White, The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1987) 1.
Crisis of Narrative presents artwork by five Concordia students: Adrian Gorea, Aditi Ohri, Stephanie Raudsepp, Solafa Rawas, and Alisi Telengut. Through their practice, these artists examine the role of storytelling in the representation and definition of reality. More specifically, this exhibition explores the crisis of narrative generated by exclusionary institutional discourses within the field of Canadian visual arts, negotiating the transmission of knowledge, issues of place, identity, gender and history.
The vitrine will be up from March 15th to April 15th 2013 in the Art History Department vitrine on the 3rd floor of the EV building.
This exhibition seeks to investigate the role of narrative in the representation and definition of reality. More specifically, it explores the function of narrative in the transmission of knowledge and its negotiation of issues of place, identity, gender, history, hegemony, and representation within the visual arts. Narrative represents systematic ways for articulating knowledge. "Even when we look at something as static and as completely spatial as a picture," author H. Porter Abbott writes, "narrative consciousness comes into play." As taxonomical, static definitions, grand narratives perpetuate the dichotomies that inform power hierarchies, thus producing an oppressive relationship between dogmatic narratives and the realities of cultural pluralism. The works in this exhibition respond to this crisis of narrative wrought by exclusory institutional discourses upon which many of our contemporary social and cultural systems are founded.
Narrative seen in this way moves towards encompassing the heterogeneity of knowledge. The varied works and strategies deployed by the five Concordia students presented here, feature diverse voices that critique narrative as a "discursive reproduction of power, abuse and social inequality."" Rather, they express negotiations of the struggle to articulate cultural identities.
H. Porter Abbott, The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 6.
Teun A van Dijk, Discourse and Power (New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2008), 1.
EAHR Curators: Carolina Garcia Amatos Cécile Charvel • Samantha Wexler . Rajee Jejishergill • Adrienne Johnson
Katerina Korola Sara Catherine de Montigny Racher. Genevieve Wallen Brittany Watson
This exhibition was made possible with the support of The Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art, the Fine Arts Student Alliance (FASA), the Concordia Council for Student Life (CCSI) and the Department of Art History at Concordia University.