Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/12/2008 (4675 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
1. Kent Monkman, Dance of the Berdashe, at Urban Shaman Gallery, Aug. 28 to Oct. 4; and The Triumph of Mischief, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, June 6 to Aug. 17
It was the year of Monkman in Winnipeg. He had two extremely strong and profound exhibitions that examined colonialism in aboriginal culture and history while bringing queer politics, history and viewpoints into the picture. His large, luscious paintings were breathtaking at the WAG, while his looming video installation at Urban Shaman was an intense experience of the expansion of the themes he was exploring through the paintings.
2. Sheila Spence, Pictures of Me, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Nov. 13 to Feb. 15, 2009
Finally, a retrospective of the work of one the city's most celebrated photographers has appeared at the WAG. Pictures of Me is a moving and authentic examination of the human emotion and being through the faces and expressions of Winnipeggers from all across the city. If you haven't seen this show yet, head down to the WAG on a quiet day and soak in the brilliance of Spence's powerful photos.
3. (in)visible cities performance festival, Sept. 6-13
Take several venues, many amazing performance artists and a city with a lengthy history of churning out talented groundbreaking performance artists and place them all together into a weekend-long festival and you have the (in)visible cities performance festival. Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, FASTWÜRMS, Jessica Thompson and other fantastic artists made this festival a success and, one hopes, something that will occur each year.
4. Decades of Style at Graffiti Gallery, Aug. 21 to Oct. 2
How often does a New York City graffiti legend like Erni Vales come to Winnipeg to collaborate with some of our best local street artists? This is why Decades of Style was an awesome way to celebrate the Higgins Avenue gallery's 10th anniversary. It combined sharp style and wicked visuals under the umbrella of collaborative graffiti -- a breath of fresh air in the sometimes territorial world of street art.
5. Kristin Ómarsdóttir and Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir, Audition, at aceartinc., May 10 to June 7
These two Icelandic artists created a surreal world at aceartinc. this spring in association with the Nuna(now) Festival. In a gallery space filled with uprooted trees, prawns in milk and a stage that doubled as a gallows, viewers got to experience fantastical stories through a variety of senses.
6. Public Art in Winnipeg
Could it be that public art is going to be a permanent and important fixture in Winnipeg's landscape and culture? From Gordon Reeve's shining glacial work in Assiniboine Park to Leah Decter's community-based work in the inner city, there is plenty of evidence that public funding of culture enhances life in the city.
7. Annie Pootoogook, at Plug In ICA, July 11 to Aug. 23
Pootoogook's work in this show brought the contemporary face of Inuit printmaking to the city. Her colourful prints gave Winnipeggers a sometimes uncomfortable glimpse into the realities of isolation in the North.
8. Adrian Fish, Staged, at Platform Centre for Digital + Photographic Arts, July 10 to Aug. 23
Fish turned the camera on the audience in Staged, creating an interesting exploration of exhibitionism. This premise, combined with the grandiosity and overwhelming images of the empty auditoriums and theatres, created a truly thought-provoking show.
9. Mother's Mother's Mother: The Legacy and Rebellion of Aboriginal Women's Art, Urban Shaman Gallery, July 10 to Aug. 16
Curated by the fabulous Jenny Western, this show packed six stellar artists into one potent, engaging exhibition. This was the second show this year to look specifically and significantly at aboriginal women's art (the other being Crème Moitié Moitié at La maison des artistes visuels francophones inc.). The connections that the artists created through generational viewpoints and media generated a conversation that needed to happen.
10. Galen Johnson, Aerograd, at Semai Gallery, Dec. 12 to Jan. 24, 2009
Johnson's dizzying and detailed architectural drawings are, one hopes, a promise of what is to come from his own future showings and from other Winnipeg exhibitions in 2009.