Winter

October 7 - November 4

Kent Monkman
The Human Zoo

Opening Saturday October 7th from 3pm to 6pm

963 rue Rachel Est
Montréal QC H2J 2J4

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ABOUT THE SHOW   /  WORKS AVAILABLE   /  LINKS   / 


ABOUT THE SHOW

Pierre-Francois Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to a series of video works which augment the depth of theme and persona in Monkman's representations of indigenous roles across several colonialist ages. These "video paintings" incorporate performance, storytelling, and art-historical innuendo - with painted backgrounds where live-action characters interact and exist indefinitely.

In his series of four video paintings, Kent Monkman explores historical precedents and themes of First Nations peoples in Europe. Since the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, Indigenous peoples traveled to Europe as embassadors for their own people, captives, performers and as specimens for human zoos, popular in the 19th century. Both Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and George Catlin’s Gallery of the North American Indian featured Native American performers. Monkman constructs a back story for Miss Chief who began her own career as an artist and performer with her nemesis George Catlin before launching her own Taxonomy of the European Male. The Emergence of Legend photo series touches on this mythology.

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Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who works with a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance, and installation. He has had solo exhibitions in numerous Canadian museums including the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Hamilton. He has participated in various international group exhibitions including: The American West, at Compton Verney, in Warwickshire, England, Remember Humanity at Witte de With, Rotterdam, the 2010 Sydney Biennale, and Oh Canada!, MASS MOCA. The Musée d’art contemporain de Rochechouart in France presented his first solo Museum exhibition in Europe in 2014. Kent has worked for the last two years on Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience a major touring exhibition which started at the University of Toronto Art Museum. Currently also on view at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery are the works of his Four Continents shown together for the first time. His work is represented in numerous public and private collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Denver Art Museum, Musée d’art contemporain de Rochechouart, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, la Fondation de la Maison Rouge (Paris), the Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal, Rideau Hall, Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, the Glenbow Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Claridge, BMO Financial Group and the RBC Art Collection.


WORKS

(click on images below for larger view, please ensure browser pop-up blockers are disabled)

VIDEOS

Monkman   The Immoral Woman
2015
HD monitor, file on SD card, Media player, Wall mount
6:37m, framed 117 cm (46")
edition of 5

A young cardinal is tempted by Miss Chief Eagle Testickle in St. Peter’s Square. Representing the plural sexuality and gender variance (two spirit traditions) of the Americas, Miss Chief tests the mores and hypocrisy of the Christian mantra - Let he who is without sin cast the first stone…Source painting: View of the Colonnade, St. Peter’s Square in Rome by C.W. Eckersberg (1813-16)


Monkman   The Transfiguration
2015
HD monitor, file on SD card, Media player, Wall mount
4:23m, framed 117 cm (46")
edition of 5

Miss Chief Eagle Testickle’s chauffeur escorts her from the backseat of her limousine to a Cubist figure lying prone on the road in front of the vehicle. Miss Chief shows compassion for the less fortunate and downtrodden by kneeling down to offer her care to the butchered female nude. When Miss Chief learns that the sculpture has already passed, she performs a smudging ceremony. To her amazement, the spirit rises from the body and ascends into the heavens as fully beautiful angel. Source painting: View of the Forum in Rome by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1814)


Monkman   The Human Zoo
2015
HD monitor, file on SD card, Media player, Wall mount
5:05m, framed 117 cm (46")
edition of 5

Exuberant showman George Catlin has staged part of his gallery on the street in a German city. He announces that a grand performance will soon begin and urges the townspeople to gather around. An unimpressed Miss Chief Eagle Testickle refuses to ready herself for the performance as Catlin begins to drum for her Corn Dance. Catlin nudges her out of her fur coat and pressures her to begin her performance. She reluctantly begins her dance but becomes increasingly more enthusiastic and energized by the applause of the delighted audience who cheer and toss coins into Catlin’s top hat. When the dance concludes, Catlin collects the coins, giving nothing to Miss Chief as she resentfully puts her fur coat back on. Source painting: Rear view of the Houses at Schloßfreiheit by Eduard Gaertner (1855)
German: Ansicht der Rückfront der Häuser an der Schloßfreiheit


Monkman   The Symposium
2015
HD monitor, file on SD card, Media player, Wall mount
3:24 m, framed 46”
edition of 5

Miss Chief paints a young adonis who stands before her, removing his toga to reveal more of his muscular physique. Four young men surround them, eating and drinking wine, reading and carousing against a rolling landscape of ancient ruins. The Symposium is Miss Chief’s homage to the classical artistic, aesthetic, and philosophical traditions of ancient Greece. Source painting: The Erechteion on the Acropolis, Athens by Lancelot-Theodore Turpin de Crisse (1805)





LINKS

- Kent Monkman's website
- Kent Monkman's page on the PFOAC website
- Click here to download the artist's recent C.V.



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