In preparation for Making a Noise, an Aboriginal-focused curatorial symposium, the Walter Phillips Gallery, in conjunction with the Banff International Curatorial Institute, at The Banff Centre is requesting presentation abstracts on one of the four following themes. I. Curating and Constructing Art History, II. Critical Writing about Aboriginal Art, III. Curating in Relation to Community, IV. The Canada Council for the Arts Program of Assistance to Aboriginal Curators for Residencies in Visual Arts. Abstracts will be selected by a committee, led by Lee-Ann Martin, comprised of Amber-Dawn Bear Robe, Candice Hopkins, Anthony Kiendl and Melanie Townsend. Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to speak at this national conference entitled Making a Noise: Aboriginal Curators and their Environment.
I. Curating and Constructing Art History
Ongoing critical discourse challenges the privileged frameworks for selected art histories and contemporary art practices associated with public art galleries. Additionally, much historical Aboriginal art resides in the collections of history and anthropology museums, and within Aboriginal communities. How can and/or should historical and contemporary Aboriginal art be presented in a gallery in relation to historical and contemporary Euro-Canadian art? How then does the art gallery collect, document and exhibit these historical works in order to develop Aboriginal art histories and represent continuous artistic traditions?
II. Critical Writing about Aboriginal Art
The need to support and encourage critical thinking and writing is extremely important across the arts environment. Due to the lack of representation of writing from Aboriginal perspective, it is particularly urgent within the Aboriginal arts. Should Aboriginal Curators assume sole responsibility for the body of writing on Aboriginal art history? Is it appropriate for non-Aboriginal writers also to contribute to this process? Should a separate Aboriginal art history be written or should the information be integrated into the greater Canadian art history cannon?
III. Curating in Relation to Community
Today, Aboriginal curators often negotiate between the sometimes conflicting value- systems of diverse Aboriginal communities and those of art museums in Canada and internationally. What is community and how do we define it (for example, Aboriginal community, community of artists, arts community)? What is the responsibility of the Aboriginal curator toward their cultural community? Whether as guest curator or full-time staff, what is the curator's role in developing strategies to engage Aboriginal audiences? What is the institution's role in this process?
IV. The Canada Council for the Arts Program of Assistance to Aboriginal Curators for Residencies in Visual Arts
In 1997, in response to the recommendations from the Aboriginal Curators' meeting in Ottawa, the Canada Council for the Arts developed this program to provide support for professional development projects in Canadian art museums for individuals with previous curatorial experience. Is this initiative working? What are the experiences of former curatorial residents and institutional supporters? What are the current challenges and successes of the program? How do we develop/sustain a long-term commitment to the program's goals?
Interested candidates are encouraged to send a letter of intent, curriculum vitae and abstract of no more than 500 words, by May 1, 2003 to:
Amber-Dawn Bear Robe
Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre
107 Tunnel Mountain Road
Banff, Alberta, T1L 1H5
Abstracts will be selected by a committee, led by Lee-Ann Martin, comprised of Amber-Dawn Bear Robe, Candice Hopkins, Anthony Kiendl and Melanie Townsend. Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to speak at this national conference entitled Making a Noise: Aboriginal Curators and their Environment. Following this event, papers will be published in a book of the same name. For more information contact Amber-Dawn Bear Robe by phone at (403) 762-6336, by fax at (403) 762-6659 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org