UBC Museum of Anthropology exhibit aims to ‘correct’ colonial legacy

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — It’s a journey through our collective past and a searing critique of colonialism.

Opening Thursday at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC is Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience, artist Kent Monkman’s solo exhibition on Canada’s colonial history.

It’s also timely, given the current discussion about systemic racism.

“We still have this colonial legacy here in Canada and we need to correct it,” says Dr. Jennifer Kramer, MOA’s curatorial liaison for the exhibition.  “So, [Monkman] brings us all into this dialogue to address our history but to show that it is ongoing.”

Shame and Prejudice uses roughly 80 pieces, from Monkman’s own paintings, drawings, and sculptural works to historical artifacts and art works borrowed from museums and private collections.

“So, not only will you be seeing this monumental ‘re-storying’ of history paintings, you also see three-dimensional installations and it brings this history into the present and even into the future,” Kramer adds.

She says Shame and Prejudice also aims to right some historical wrongs.

“This is a retelling of Canadian history, re-inserting Indigenous presence into the land and forcing us to rethink how we think about how Canada was founded.”

For example, The Daddies is a remake of Robert Harris’s 1884 painting Meeting of the Delegates of British North America to Settle the Terms of Confederation.

In it, Monkman inserts his alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, posing her nude before the future Fathers of Confederation.

MOA is the final stop on the exhibition’s three-year, cross-country tour. It runs until Jan. 3.

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