BACA | Une révolution culturelle : Redéfinir l'identité

BACA | Cultural Shift: Challenging Identity

April 29 to June 18, 2016

The Canadian Guild of Crafts (La Guilde) was happy to take part, for the very first time, in the third edition of the Contemporary Native Art Biennial. For this edition, La Guilde presented an exhibition entitled Cultural Shift: Challenging Identity, from April 29 to June 18, 2016. This major exhibition questioned the acquired and recognizable perceptions that inspire traditional Inuit art images, which seem to depict an idealized vision of nordicity, frozen in time and looking back nostalgically into the past.

Cultural Shift: Challenging Identity proposed, on the other hand, a more realistic vision of contemporary Inuit life anchored in the present. Shouldered by the creations of thirteen artists living in Nunavut and in Greenland, Ningeosiaq Ashoona, Shuvinai Ashoona, Bolatta Silis-Høegh, Geronimo Inutiq, Qavavau Manumie, Ohotaq Mikkigak, Jamasee Padluq Pitseolak, Tapaungai Qatsiya, Nicotye Samayualie, Toonoo Sharky, Ningeokuluk Teevee, Jutai Toonoo and Samonie Toonoo, this multidisciplinary exhibition was comprised of sculpture, prints, drawings, paintings and video.

Northern communities have been profoundly transformed, given the notable changes that occurred successively in the second half of the twentieth century. Inuit artists’ pictorial choices have altered, and as can now be seen, they speak of a renewed and hybrid identity rooted in tradition yet also resolutely turned towards the future. From April 29 to June 18, 2016, La Guilde invited its visitors to come and confront their ideas and perceptions of Inuit art by way of a transcending and innovative exhibition held in an environment of multicultural sharing and exchange.


    Born from the need to have a recurrent event that provides long-term support to the development of a native artistic language, the Contemporary Native Art Biennial highlights, for an exponential public, indigenous and non-indigenous, the plurality of artistic practices which stem from Native North American cultures. Strengthened by the two previous editions, the third edition of the Biennial was presented in four different Montreal venues, in the form of pavilions: Art Mûr Gallery (Central Pavilion), Stewart-Hall Museum (West Coast Pavilion), the Canadian Guild of Crafts (Northern Pavilion), and McCord Museum (Educational Pavilion). Fifty-six First Peoples artists were represented. Mike Patten, the invited curator, had chosen to underline the changes that are currently unfolding in native artistic productions and their evolution across the continent. The works gathered in Culture Shift — Une révolution culturelle bear witness to a rich native cultural heritage, in which the variety of traditional techniques and motifs used, as well as the subjects broached continue to nourish artistic productions.


    Established in 1996, Art Mûr has evolved into one of the largest private contemporary art galleries in Canada. The gallery represents both emerging and established artists with practices ranging from painting and sculpture to new media and performance art. Well-known for its dynamic programming, which includes both solo and thematic group exhibitions, Art Mûr plays an important role in the diffusion of contemporary art in Montreal. It is a cultural hot spot where collectors, curators, artists and clients coalesce. Art Mûr represents over thirty artists collected by numerous museums throughout North America and who have participated to events as important as the Venice Biennale, the Prague Biennial and the Sharjah Biennial and have won prizes as prestigious as the General Governor’s award, the Borduas Prize and many others. Art Mûr is proud to call itself the only contemporary commercial art gallery in Quebec to represent as many Quebec artists as artists from the rest of Canada, as many women as men artists. Art Mûr also initiates regular collaborations with young independent curators, curators and directors of various Canadian museums.

    Image : Jamasee PADLUQ PITSEOLAK, Scrub, 2011. © Dorset Fine Art.