May 10 – September 5, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 10 at 7 pm
Featuring works by Alethea Anarquq-Baril, Katherine Takpannie, Couzyn van Heuvelen, and Tanya Tagaq, as well as selected works from the AGG’s permanent collection by Jessie Oonark, Parr, Tivi Etook and Peter Pitseolak.
Inspired by Inuk filmmaker Alethea Anarquq-Baril’s award-winning documentary Angry Inuk, this unique exhibition is grounded in intergenerational art and activism that speaks to the central role of the seal and seal hunting within Inuit culture and society. Considered a critically important Indigenous right to Inuit communities and essential to sustainability, the practice has been dramatically impacted by international bans and protests since the 1980s that have failed to engage the Inuit themselves. As Anarquq-Baril’s film shows, these campaigns have long used misinformation, images of the clubbing of baby seals, for example, a method long banned and never practiced by the Inuit.
Bringing together contemporary expression with art work from the AGG’s Inuit collections, Getting Under Our Skin highlights the primacy of lived tradition and its transformation into visual culture in forms including contemporary film, video, music and fashion in dialogue with work from the Art Gallery of Guelph’s Inuit collections. Key to the exhibition are the voices, ideas and actions of an emerging generation of Inuit, including youth living in the Guelph area and students from Ottawa’s Nunavut Sivuniksavut college program who recently staged a Pro Seal Hunt Rally on Parliament Hill (March 28, 2018) – a hybrid fashion show, dance performance and protest, documented by Katherine Takpannie. Excerpts from Angry Inuk, a music video from Tanya Tagaq’s Polaris Prize winning album Animism as well as Couzyn van Heuvelen’s Avataq, provide a contemporary contrast to the prints, sculptures and drawings of generations who experienced life on the land and the forced transition to settlements. Getting Under Our Skin continues the AGG’s forty-year commitment to Indigenous culture and reflects a critical engagement with food security and sustainable communities prominent in the Guelph region.
Getting Under Our Skin is curated by Andrew Hunter and presented by the Art Gallery of Guelph with the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Image: Katherine Takpannie, Pro Sealing Rally, Parliament Hill, Ottawa, featuring Inuit throat singers Leanna Wilson and Tooma Dianna Laisa, March, 2018