Memory, Politics, Place | Conversations at the Art Gallery of Guelph

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The Art Gallery of Guelph presents a series of conversations focused on issues of public history and memory, politics, and place in conjunction with our fall exhibitions. All are welcome; registration is free.

Monument to the Unelected: In Conversation with Nina Katchadourian and John Spiak
Monday, November 2, 3 pm ET

Join us Monday, November 2, at 3 pm for a virtual conversation with artist Nina Katchadourian, John Spiak (Director and Chief Curator of California State University Fullerton’s Grand Central Art Center), and Shauna McCabe (Director of the Art Gallery of Guelph). A day before the United States election, this discussion will focus on Katchadourian’s project Monument to the Unelected, on view currently in sites across the country. Endorsing the runner-up in every presidential election in American history, the 58 signs speak collectively to what might have been – to choices not made – and the peaceful transfer of power that has followed every election cycle in US history. Registration is free. This talk will take place via Zoom – please register to receive the link to the event. register here>

Art of Memory: In Conversation with Charles Pachter
Tuesday, November 10, 7 pm ET

Join us on Tuesday, November 10, at 7 pm for a virtual conversation with artist Charles Pachter and Shauna McCabe (Director of the Art Gallery of Guelph). Marking a century since the First World War, artist Charles Pachter was approached by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario to create a series of paintings about the “war to end all wars” and its legacy for Canadians. While Pachter is well known for his playful approach to the representation of Canadian figures and landscapes, the series Lest We Forget is more contemplative, depicting iconic objects and figures associated with World War l. Donated by the artist to the gallery in 2019, the series asks us to consider this history and how we continue to contribute to preserving this memory. Registration is free. This talk will take place via Zoom – please register to receive the link to the event. register here>

Monument Lab: In Conversation with Ken Lum
Thursday, December 3, 7 pm ET

Join us on Thursday, December 3, at 7 pm for a virtual conversation with Ken Lum (artist and Chief Curatorial Advisor for Monument Lab), Al Miner (Director/Chief Curator of the Georgetown University Art Galleries), and Shauna McCabe (Director of the Art Gallery of Guelph). In 2012, Lum founded Monument Lab with Paul Farber with the goal to cultivate critical conversations around the past, present, and future of monuments. A public art and history studio, Monument Lab aims to engage our inherited symbols in order to unearth the next generation of monuments that elevate stories of resistance and hope. Registration is free. This talk will take place via Zoom – please register to receive the link to the event. register here>

These talks are presented in conjunction with the exhibitions Sites of Memory and Lest We Forget, on view October 27, 2020 to January 10, 2021 at the Art Gallery of Guelph.

Sites of Memory
October 27, 2020 – January 10, 2021

Challenges to monuments worldwide have illuminated the contested nature of collective memory, confronting commemorative forms and the way they eclipse individual stories and voices of dissent. At the same time, these events have pointed to the importance of strategies of counter-memory that disrupt colonial histories. This exhibition explores art practices in relation to such sites of memory, for these “lieux de mémoire” encompass not only elements of the physical and built landscape for historian Pierre Nora but accommodate the many ways memory is woven into the tangibility of communities. Highlighting recent additions to the Art Gallery of Guelph’s collections, the exhibition features the work of artists who are Black, Indigenous and persons of colour, including KC Adams, Shellicka Anglin, Shuvinai Ashoona, Sonny Assu, Sandra Brewster, Lindsay McIntyre, Kent Monkman, Padloo Samayualie, and Camille Turner. read more>

Lest We Forget
October 27, 2020 – January 10, 2021

Marking a century since the First World War, artist Charles Pachter was approached by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario to create a series of paintings about the “war to end all wars” and its legacy for Canadians. Through large, abstracted fields of colour, Pachter renders iconic scenes and objects associated with World War I. Distilling narratives to essential symbolic elements, the paintings evoke Canada’s commitment to the war effort, while probing the consequences for those involved and the generations that have followed. read more>

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Images: Nina Katchadourian, Monument to the Unelected, 2020, installation view (Orange County). Courtesy of Grand Central Art Center; Charles Pachter, Emblem, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 121.9 x 122.6 cm. Gift of Charles Pachter, 2019. Collection of the Art Gallery of Guelph.

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