Making History
272 pages, 7 3/4 x 10 3/4
Release Date:15 Feb 2023

Making History

Visual Arts and Blackness in Canada

UBC Press, On Point Press

Making History is an unprecedented reflection on the positioning of Black history and art within the Canadian cultural landscape. Featuring boundary-breaking artists and others from the art world, Making History brings together poems, artist statements, and art portfolios that showcase a careful and thoughtful understanding of Black aesthetics. This beautifully illustrated book also discusses the presence of Black contemporary art in Canadian institutions and offers artistic perspectives on contemporary and historical art practices.

The many voices and points of view within this publication present ideas that corroborate the state of cultural emergency in which we are living, where museums are rethinking and rewriting the stories of their collections. The book explores alternate ways of approaching the relationship between institutions, artists, and audiences, emphasizing the significance of collaboration, resisting hierarchical and hegemonic curatorial practices, and making room for multiple perspectives to bring about transformative change.

Through powerful essays and striking visual art, Making History highlights the dynamism and complexity of African and diasporic experiences seen through the lens of museological interventions and artistic practices at large.

RELATED TOPICS: Art, Black Studies, Canadian Art
Julie Crooks is head of the Department of Arts, Global Africa, and the Diaspora at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Dominique Fontaine is a curator and founding director of aposteriori, a non-profit curatorial platform. Silvia Forni is a senior curator for Global Africa at the Royal Ontario Museum and an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Toronto.

Foreword | Josh Basseches
Introduction | Julie Crooks, Dominique Fontaine, and Silvia Forni

Residues of History and Ongoing Challenges

1 Of Africa: A Reflection on “Speaking Back” | Julie Crooks and Dominique Fontaine
2 Opening Spaces: Of Africa, Hauntings, Hesitations, and Possible Futures | Silvia Forni
3 The Into the Heart of Africa Exhibition and the Coalition for the Truth about Africa: A Personal Journey | Afua Cooper
4 Lessons Learned from the Heart of Afro-Canada: Into the Heart of Africa 30 Years Later | Rita Shelton Deverell
5 A Life in the Day of an Object | Nourbese Philip

Black Art/Black Canada

6 Here We Are Here: Creating in the Black Atlantic | Sylvia D. Hamilton
7 Sweet Childhood, Art, and Memory | Bushra Junaid
8 From Souvenir to How She Read: The Poetry behind the Design | Chantal Gibson
9 Between Absence and Presence: The Politics and Poetics of (In)Visibility in the Work of Sandra Brewster | Pamela Edmonds
10 On Sucking Teeth | Michèle Pearson Clarke
11 Hoodies and Regimentals: Black Attire and Access in the Canadian Art Museum | Joana Joachim
12 What to Wear in Canada in Winter | Sally Frater
13 Longing and Belonging: A Personal Journey through Art and Identity | Karin Jones
14 Singularity and Strangeness: One-on-One with Eddy Firmin | Dominique Fontaine
15 On Quiet Happiness, Charcoal, Wood, and Metal: Charmaine Lurch’s Being, Belonging and Grace | Katherine McKittrick
16 Esmaa Mohamoud: Playing the Game | Kelsey Adams
17 Twisted Together: The Sweet Ironies of Belonging in the Art of Bushra Junaid | Honor Ford-Smith
18 A Self-Portrait of Creation: Depi m sòti nan Ginen | Stéphane Martelly
19 Digging Us: Making Visible Black Canadian Narratives | Andrea Fatona

Towards a History of Black Art in Canadian Institutions: Here We Are Here?

20 Travelling Exhibition: Here We Are Here at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts | Shelley Ruth Butler
21 Why Are There No Famous Black Canadian Artists? Here We Are Here and How Diversity and Inclusion Trump Aesthetic Critique | Rinaldo Walcott
22 The Pervasive Persistence of Primitivism: Face-to-Face and Exhibition Practices in the 21st Century | Elizabeth Harney


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