GHOST DANCE Activism. Resistance. Art.

Exhibition runs September 18 – December 15, 2013

Ghost Dance: Activism. Resistance. Art. At the Intersection of Events and Artistic Practice Aboriginal Artists Manifest an Aesthetic of Resistance combines commissioned works, existing works and photographs from the Black Star Collection to examine the role of the artist as activist, as chronicler and as provocateur in the ongoing struggle for Indigenous rights, self determination and sovereignty.

The exhibition, curated by Steven Loft, will be on view September 18 – December 15, 2013 in the Ryerson Image Centre’s Main Gallery, University Gallery, and on the Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall.

Artists include Sonny Assu, Vernon Ah Kee, Scott Benesiinaabandan, Dana Claxton (AHVA Visual Art Faculty Member), Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Alan Michelson, Theo Sims, Skawennati, and Jackson 2bears.

The public opening reception for Ghost Dance: Activism. Resistance. Art. in Indigenous Art will take place Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 6-8pm.

Steven Loft, the exhibition’s curator, explains, “Indigenous art is not predicated on colonialism, but on the events caused by it. At first glance it would seem counter—­‐intuitive. Colonialism has been the cause of the suffering, oppression and violence perpetuated against Aboriginal people in this and many other countries, for centuries. But attributing the rise of resistance, activism and the art associated with it to colonialism itself, is disingenuous. Societies, and the people in them, are changed by events. It is the interactions of people which manifest the destructive ideologies inherent in colonialism. By concentrating on events, we humanize the process, allowing a more nuanced and human response. We can see it was people who committed atrocities against others, not the ideology behind it. And we can see the presence of real people that stand up and resist it.”

Ryerson Image Centre
33 Gould Street Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Image caption: Michael L. Abramson, American Indian Movement: Lakota Indians, Wounded Knee, South Dakota, 1973. BS.2005.285357 / 187-546. Reproduction from the Black Star Collection at Ryerson University.