Marcel Dzama, Untitled (Winnipeg Map), 2007, Courtesy David Zwirner, New York.
My Winnipeg Project:
My Winnipeg is an exhibition project presenting artwork by more than 100 artists, who have worked, lived or had an association with the city of Winnipeg. As a psycho-geographic concept, Winnipeg is the birthplace of the Métis nation and the province's forefather Louis Riel, the 1919 General Strike, the original headquarters for Harlequin Romance novels, and the childhood home of Neil Young and of Marshall McLuhan. Nonetheless, 'Winnipeg' resists idealization as it suffers the legacies of colonialism that include racism and child poverty. It is also the coldest large city on the planet, plagued by floods and fires. My Winnipeg, taking its name from the title of Guy Maddin's award-winning film, brings together subjective and conflicting impressions of this mid-sized prairie capital, versions in which truth mingles with fiction, history, and speculation. The exhibition playfully and critically conjures diverse interpretations of Winnipeg through contemporary art and reference to ephemeral, archival, and historical materials. My Winnipeg depicts the city as a mytho-poetic territory of reverie, catastrophe, carnal desire, and (sub) conscious inspiration.
The exhibition will be displayed in four consecutive "chapters", coalescing as the My Winnipeg Project.
My Winnipeg is co-curated by Paula Aisemberg, Sigrid Dahle, Hervé di Rosa, Noam Gonick, Anthony Kiendl, and Cathy Mattes. It is co-organized by Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, la maison rouge, MIAM, School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba, and the National Arts Centre (Ottawa).
Make sure to check Plug In ICA's website for additional programing, events, and talks during the run of My Winnipeg.
My Winnipeg: There's No Place Like Home
September 8 – October 7, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 2012
Security detail for Nuit Blanche provided by the Rangers of Lesbian National Parks and Services, Saturday September 29, 2012
The opening chapter of this four-part series writes a multi-media narrative of Winnipeg's myths, histories, and collective practices. The exhibition includes curator Sigrid Dahle's There's No Place Like Home, which explores the processes by which 'place' transforms into 'home' – a feat that requires material, intellectual, psychological, imaginative, social, and political interventions of the most complex and challenging kind. This poetically charged, troubled social environment is evoked in a library reading room that is also a cabaret nightclub. Viewers are invited to linger and peruse ephemera that remembers Winnipeg's haunted past and thumb through texts that narrate the city's conflicted present. By night, they can gather around tables, when Conférencier Grant Guy presents Club Plug In, a collage of current live art that builds on Winnipeg's storied history of vaudeville/variety theater, the cabaret, and the nightclub.
This chapter also includes work by the Professional Native Indian Artists' Inc. curated by Cathy Mattes. The work of these seven artists—Daphne Odjig, Jackson Beardy, Norval Morrisseau, Carl Ray, Joseph Sanchez, Eddy Cobiness, and Alex Janvier—exemplifies the transgressive pioneering and collaborative spirit engendered by this city.
Other artists include: Daniel Barrow, H. Eric Bergman, Joanne Bristol, Michael Dumontier, Marcel Dzama, Ivan Eyre, Neil Farber, Rosalie Favell, Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald, Lewis Benjamin Foote, Gilles Hébert, Wanda Koop, Rob Kovitz, Bernie Miller, Kent Monkman, Robert Nelson, Darryl Nepinak, Hope Peterson, Alex Poruchnyck and Vern Hume, Don Proch, Jon Pylypchuck, Royal Art Lodge, Colleen Simard, Lionel McDonald Stephenson, Andrew Wall, Esther Warkov, and Adrian Williams, among others.
My Winnipeg: Maps and Legends
October 27 – November 25, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, October 26, 2012
My Winnipeg: Maps and Legends exposes private and political histories that have contributed to Winnipeg's identity. Engaging the viewer through her installation House on Fire, Sarah Anne Johnson grapples with her family's hardships and their strained relationship with the medically-altered mind of her maternal grandmother, an effect of CIA-funded brainwashing experiments. Karel Funk's hyperrealist, neo-Renaissance portrait of an unknown young urbanite deliberately obscures the subject's face by the hood of a winter jacket, Winnipeg's unofficial eight-month uniform. My Winnipeg: Maps and Legends stimulates viewers to reflect on their own personal and public encounters and struggles as shaped by living in this socially complex city.
Artists include: KC Adams, Eleanor Bond, Aganetha Dyck, William Eakin, Karel Funk, Tim Gardner, Noam Gonick, Robert Houle, Simon Hughes, Sarah Anne Johnson, Kavavaow Mannomee, Diana Thorneycroft, among others.
My Winnipeg: Winter Kept Us Warm
December 15, 2012 – January 20, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, December 14, 2012
Social, political, and libidinal experiences consort and co-mingle in My Winnipeg: Winter Kept Us Warm. The exhibition includes a curated section by Noam Gonick—a contained installation referencing the back-door entrances of video, sex-stores, and 19th Century drawing rooms. The exploration of Winnipeg's fevered underworld continues in the film Cowards Bend the Knee by Guy Maddin. Presented for the first time in an updated version of the nickelodeon peepshow, it re-frames the film's salacious, chaotic, and of course, hockey-related plot line.
Artists include: Ed Ackerman, Sharon Alward, C. Graham Asmundson, Louis Bakó, Paul Butler, Kelly Clark, Sharron Zenith Corne, Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan, Dan Donaldson, Cliff Eyland, Erica Eyres, Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald, Tim Gardner, Larry Glawson & Doug Melnyk, Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline, Jake Kosciuk, Guy Maddin, Bonnie Marin, Robert Pasternak, Linda Pearce, Mélanie Rocan, Paul Robles, Slomotion, Kevin B.C. Stafford, Diana Thorneycroft, Andrew Valko, Jordan Van Sewell, Gord Wilding, and Richard Williams, among others.
My Winnipeg: The Artists' Choice
February 9 – March 13, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, February 8, 2013
My Winnipeg was created as a joint curatorial exploration of self-deprecating humour and surrealist-inspired allusions to current revelations of Winnipeg's troubled past, political tensions, and gothic histories. For its final installment at Plug In ICA, the curators invited each participating artist to nominate a new Winnipeg artist and one artwork by that artist to partake in My Winnipeg: The Artists' Choice. While aimed at the collective Winnipeg imagination, the selection has no specific restrictions regarding theme, medium, or content, except the city, allowing the installation to articulate a dynamic and critical examination of My Winnipeg. Perhaps one may find compelling counter-narratives to those put forward in chapters one to three.
Rosalie Favell, I Awoke to Find My Spirit Had Returned (from Plain(s) Warrior Artist), 1999, digital print on paper, Courtesy the artist.
Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art
1-460 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada R3C 0E8