School of Art Gallery Spring 2021 Exhibitions

School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba, launches a new season of exhibitions and virtual programming.
Please note that the School of Art Gallery is open by appointment only.

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Audie Murray, chi fii embraces the old ones, 2021, digital print on vinyl.
Photo: courtesy of the artist.

. . . a story in the middle . . .

Catherine Blackburn, Lucien Durey, melannie monoceros, and Audie Murray
Curated by Blair Fornwald
April 1 to May 14, 2021

In medias res, Latin for “in the midst of things,” is a literary device wherein a story opens mid-plot. Dropped abruptly into a pivotal scene, the reader pieces together backstory and gets to know characters through flashbacks and dialogue. We live in medias res, learning how and why and who we are relationally – through the people, places, and things in our orbit, and through the stories contained within them.

By incorporating found and gifted materials, recreating and referencing significant spaces and objects, and utilizing techniques passed down through generations, the artists in a story in the middle explore how traditions, skills, values, sensibilities, and sensitivities are inherited and carried forward. The handmade object is a conduit for conversations between ancestors and descendants, loved ones and strangers. Here, Catherine Blackburn, Lucien Durey, melannie monoceros, and Audie Murray use handmade objects to articulate, with crystalline specificity, the nuanced complexities of their family relationships and histories.

Adjunct Programming:

Lucien Durey and melannie monoceros: A screening, a reading, and a discussion
Thursday, April 22, 7:00 pm CDT
Facilitated on Zoom and live-streaming on the School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba YouTube channel
Live captions and ASL available. Event will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube.

Learn more


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Florence Yee, PROOF—Chinatown Anti-Displacement Garden, 2020, hand-embroidered thread on cotton voile print. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

cause to become

Whess Harman, Mariana Muñoz Gomez, Florence Yee, and Hagere Selam (shimby) Zegeye-Gebrehiwot
Curated by Christina Hajjar
April 1 to May 14, 2021

To be living in a diaspora, away from the lands of our lineage, creates a generative longing that is stubbornly, rightfully unquenchable. Instead of characterizing longing through the void, cause to become engages memory, imagination, and rumination as processes that generate alternative life paths, self-determined and with creative defiance. Through criticality and sentimentality, the aesthetic practices of queer diaspora “disorient and reorient us”—as scholar Gayatri Gopinath puts it—representing liminality and states of suspension as active, productive, disruptive sites.

To “cause to become” is to render. For many queer people of colour, living in a hostile world necessitates art-making as a validating method of identity exploration, intimacy, and world-building. This group exhibition brings together works in various media ranging from Super 8 film and CMYK screen printing to typography, poetry, and embroidery. Artists Whess Harman, Mariana Muñoz Gomez, Florence Yee, and Hagere Selam (shimby) Zegeye-Gebrehiwot demonstrate the value in remembering, imagining, or anticipating home or place, and constructing alternative modes of becoming.

Adjunct Programming:

Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic Practices of Queer Diaspora: A Lecture by Dr. Gayatri Gopinath
Thursday, April 15, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. CDT
Facilitated on Zoom and live-streaming on the School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba YouTube channel
Live captions and ASL available. Event will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube.

mapping elsewhere: A Reading by Mariana Muñoz Gomez
Thursday, May 6, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. CDT
Facilitated on Zoom and live-streaming on the School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba YouTube channel
The panel will be ASL interpreted and recorded, and uploaded to YouTube.

Learn more


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Kyath Battie, Night Garden, 2019, video, 5:50. Image: courtesy of the filmmaker.

Kyath Battie: Night Garden

April 1 to May 14, 2021
Curated by Blair Fornwald

Kyath Battie’s Night Garden presents a series of telephone conversations with her mother, who faces the “late life crisis” of a fourth cancer diagnosis. A saturated video montage of nearly still lives – home décor objects and furnishings, stacks of paperbacks, trays, and baskets of perfume, pill bottles, hairclips, and cosmetics – are intercut with lush, heady footage of dramatically lit garden blossoms, captured at night. Over the quiet, mechanical hum of late summer cicadas, we hear Dianna Battie’s voice and words, plaintive, reflective, and matter of fact as she grapples with her prognosis and the emotions it has stirred or stilled in her. Tender and loving but unsentimental, Night Garden reflects on the comforts of home, the strange wonder and simultaneous banality of being, and the unstoppable passage of time.

Kyath Battie is a filmmaker with specific interests in mysteries, landscapes and sound design. Her work ranges from personal and observational documentaries to atmospheric spatial explorations of space. Her work also involves large-scale viewership, often creating a fine line between a ‘cinematic’ and still photographic experience.

Her films have been screened internationally including Edinburgh International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, L’Alternativa Independent Film Festival of Barcelona, and Images Festival, Toronto. Kyath teaches film production at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington.

Learn more


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School of Art Gallery
255 ARTlab
180 Dafoe Road
Winnipeg MB R3T2N2
umanitoba.ca/schools/art/gallery

For more information, contact School of Art Communications and Events Coordinator Cailyn Harrison, cailyn.harrison@umanitoba.ca.

The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories, we acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past, and we dedicate ourselves to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

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