Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years

Close Encounters

Mary Anne Barkhouse, The Four Horses of the Apocalypse and the Donkey of Eternal Salvation

Shuvinai Ashoona, Untitled (Chapel), 2004.

The world is changing. Now is the moment to reconfigure our notions of time to reveal alternative ways of thinking and being for the future. In Close Encounters, Indigenous artists imagine the future within the context of present experiences and past histories. By radically reconsidering encounter narratives between native and non-native people, Indigenous prophecies, possible utopias and apocalypses, this exhibition proposes intriguing possibilities for the next 500 years. “We all in different measure have carved out the future,” observes Hopi photographer and filmmaker, Victor Masayesva, in his book Husk of Time. “We are all clairvoyants, soothsayers, prophets, knowingly assuming our predictions.”

Close Encounters brings together over 30 Indigenous artists from across Canada, the United States, South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, including newly commissioned work from Rebecca Belmore, Faye HeavyShield, Kent Monkman, and Edward Poitras. Close Encounters showcases artists and artworks that collectively invent provocative futures from a diversity of perspectives and practices.

At the WAG

The WAG’s portion of the exhibition will consist of a selection of prints and drawings by Shuvinai Ashoona and Pudlo Pudlat. Pudlat is described as the “first Inuit modernist,” and representations of new technologies frequently occur in his prints and drawings. Pudlat was particularly interested in documenting the rapidly changing North, and his reflections on the encounters between nature and technology create a world in which the everyday takes on the extraordinary. Shuvinai’s drawings sometimes explore the fantastical, with intricately rendered rock formations that take on the shape of animals.

Also at the WAG will be a commissioned work by Faye HeavyShield comprised of folded paper arrowheads taken from digital images of the Assiniboine and Red River. These elements will be woven together like a grid using fishing line formed into a banner shape. The banner will suspend from the Eckhardt Hall ceiling.

The exhibition takes place at Close Encounters exhibition site, 109 Pacific Ave. • Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, 460 Portage Ave. • Manitoba Hydro Head Office Lobby, 360 Portage Ave. • Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Close Encounters is being presented as part of the Winnipeg Cultural Capital of Canada 2010 ARTS FOR ALL program. Throughout 2010 (and into 2011) free-large scale events and community based programs will continue to bring the arts into the lives of all Winnipeggers. Close Encounters helps realize of the ARTS FOR ALL vision by providing a massive multi-site exhibition of groundbreaking work free of charge to the public, and by providing a platform to present work by leading Aboriginal artists.

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Related Programs & Events

Past Programs & Events

  • Bringing It All Back Home

    Tuesday January 18, 2011 at 7pm

  • Close Encounters films

    As part of the exhibiton Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, the WAG will be screening four films in the Muriel Richardson Auditorium. The films will be running in a continous loop.

    Tuesday January 25, 2011 at 11am
    Sunday, February 6, 2011 from 11am to 4:30pm
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 from 11am to 1:30pm
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 from 5pm to 9pm
    Thursday, March 24, 2011 from 11am to 1:30pm
    Thursday, March 24, 2011 from 5pm to 9:30pm
    Saturday, April 2, 2011 from 11am to 5pm
    Thursday, April 14, 2011 from 11am to 1:30pm
    Sunday, April 17, 2011 from 11am to 5pm
    Thursday, April 28, 2011 from 4pm to 9pm
    Thursday, May 5, 2011 from 4pm to 9pm

  • Horse

    With voice, drum, video, and cello, Archer Pechawis begins a dramatic retelling of one of the most devasting moments in North American history—the Sand Creek Massacre

    Thursday April 14, 2011 at 7pm


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