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Dustinn Craig, 4wheelwarpony, (2007)

Dustinn Craig, 4wheelwarpony, (2007), video 09:38 [Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, Feb 25-Jun 3] Courtesy of the Artist

Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture

Vancouver Art Gallery
Vancouver BC – Feb 25-Jun 3, 2012

Skeena Reece, Raven: On the Colonial Fleet (2010)

Skeena Reece, Raven: On the Colonial Fleet (2010), digital photograph [Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, Feb 25-Jun 3] Photo: Sebastian Kriete

Beat Nation features a unique selection of pieces by Aboriginal artists who combine such aspects of urban culture as hip hop, graffiti, pop art, fashion and film with traditional native styles and techniques.

The engaging exhibit includes samples of work by 15 artists and one collective, with an emphasis on First Nations of the West Coast. The paintings, sculptures, installations, performances and video pieces were chosen with the goal of reflecting the changing demographics of Aboriginal people.

Hip hop has been a driving force of activism in the Aboriginal community since the 1990s. As used by the artists in Beat Nation, hip hop culture and music have been transformed into artworks that reveal their current realities and act as “dynamic forums for storytelling and indigenous language, as well as new modes of political expression.”

The hybrid artwork includes graffiti murals with Haida figures, sculptures carved from skateboard decks, abstract paintings with form-line designs, live video remixes utilizing Hollywood films, and hip hop performances in Aboriginal languages. Featured artists include Sonny Assu, Skeena Reece, Nicholas Galanin and Jordan Bennett. Based on an initiative by grunt gallery, the exhibit was organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and co-curated by Kathleen Ritter, associate curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and Tania Willard, a Secwepemc artist, designer and curator.

Mia Johnson

Sonny Assu, Silenced: The Burning, (2011)

Sonny Assu, Silenced: The Burning, (2011), acrylic on 67 elk hide drums [Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, Feb 25-Jun 3] Courtesy of the Artist Photo: Scott Massey

Jordan Bennett, Turning Tables, (2010)

Jordan Bennett, Turning Tables, (2010), sound installation, walnut, oak, spruce, electronics [Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, Feb 25-Jun 3] Courtesy of the Artist


 Sat, Feb 11, 2012