The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC has reopened after its months-long COVID-19 closure with new safety protocols and timed-entry tickets.
This week, MOA is preparing for their upcoming exhibition, Kent Monkman’s timely Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience, on display from August 6, 2020 to January 3, 2021.
Curated by Monkman — a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry — Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience is a searing critique of Canada’s colonial policies over the past 150 years. Prioritizing First Nations’ perspectives during a pivotal moment in the ongoing global discourse on systemic racism, the provocative exhibition features roughly 80 pieces, including the artist’s own paintings, drawings, installations, and sculptures. As well as historical artifacts and artworks borrowed from museums and private collections from across Canada.
“The last 150 years have been the most devastating for Indigenous peoples in this country,” says Monkman. “And yet I could not think of any historical paintings that conveyed or authorized the Indigenous experience in the art history milieu. Where are the paintings from the 19th century that recounted, with passion and empathy, the dispossession, starvation, incarceration, and genocide of Indigenous peoples? Shame and Prejudice activates a vital dialogue about the impact of European settler cultures on Indigenous peoples and about Indigenous resilience.”
MOA’s curatorial liaison for the exhibition, Dr. Jennifer Kramer says: “MOA is honoured to present Shame and Prejudice, particularly in these times of protest and resistance against the oppression of marginalized peoples. This exhibition is a ‘restorying’ that transforms the familiar nationalist myth of British-French settlers discovering a new world ripe for possession and resource extraction into a counter-narrative focused on Indigenous strength, healing, and resurgence. Shame and Prejudice is part of a continuum of work at MOA that showcases Indigenous voices through contemporary art and social discourse.”
MOA is the final stop on the acclaimed exhibition’s three-year, cross-country tour which premiered at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto in January 2017, in an iconoclastic commentary on Canada’s sesquicentennial. Appropriating European aesthetic traditions from Caravaggio’s realism to Manet’s impressionism and Picasso’s cubism, the artist’s series of paintings, drawings, and installations takes aim at the stereotypes of Indigenous peoples perpetuated in popular culture and high art.
Through a darkly humorous narrative — told through the omniscient perspective of Monkman’s two-spirited alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle — Monkman boldly confronts the devastation of colonialism while also celebrating the resilient spirit of Indigenous peoples.
Lauded for his fearless commentary on critical issues relating to life for Indigenous people in Canada, Toronto-based Monkman is one of Canada’s best-known contemporary artists. As an artist, he has had solo exhibitions at numerous Canadian museums including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, Winnipeg Art Gallery, and Art Gallery of Hamilton.
Pre-booked timed-entry tickets are required to visit MOA – including Kent Monkman’s Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience. Tickets are on sale now at moa.ubc.ca