Exhibitions

Katie Ohe

January 25 - May 3, 2020

Esker Foundation is pleased to present an in-depth look at Katie Ohe’s sculptural practice and her unparalleled approach to material, form, space, and movement.

This exhibition will bring together sculptural work spanning six decades of Ohe’s remarkable career, marking the largest and most comprehensive solo exhibition of her work to date. The exhibition will also draw from Ohe’s material archive, revealing a glimpse of a process devoted to research, inquiry, and visual or formal problem solving.

Jeffrey Gibson: Time Carriers

September 28 - December 20, 2019

‘Time Carriers’ conjures a vision of many hands providing a framework of support, a fluid utopia where trust and movement go hand in hand. It evokes a time frame that both unites and collapses present, past, and future into an undulating and responsive single unit, something that could best be described as community or family. This idea is especially appropriate when considering Jeffrey Gibson’s work, as he has always pushed to create kinship among unlikely partners. Collaboration is at the heart of his practice; working and learning with artists and craftspeople as a way to resist acculturation, support a strong legacy of making, and to build and honour community.

Nep Sidhu: Divine of Form, Formed in the Divine (Medicine for a Nightmare)

September 28 - December 20, 2019

Curated by cheyanne turions

‘Divine of Form, Formed in the Divine (Medicine for a Nightmare)’ examines how memories persist in the present, especially when related to personal and collective practices of resistance, resilience, and ritual. This mid-career survey is anchored by recent works that reflect upon Sikh histories amongst other collectively formed and formative histories considered through collaborations with Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes and Nicholas Galanin. Across different bodies of work produced over the last decade, Sidhu explores how memorialization practices can transfigure grief and loss, and how they can speak to the power and harmony of the divine.

The exhibition is produced in partnership with Mercer Union, Toronto and Esker Foundation, Calgary.
Support in part for the project is through the Ontario Arts Council.

Marjie Crop Eared Wolf: Iitsi’poyi

October 28, 2019 - January 26, 2020

Marjie Crop Eared Wolf continues her ongoing project to learn Blackfoot in the drawing, sound, and video installation, ‘Iitsi’poyi.’ Using thousands of Blackfoot words transcribed from the ‘Blackfoot Dictionary’ as well as an audio tape made by her mother, this work addresses cultural legacy and resilience by actively engaging in language preservation.

Kablusiak: Qiniqtuaq

July 29 - October 20, 2019

Project Space

‘Qiniqtuaq’ (searching/looking) invites viewers to peer through a multi-eyed ghost sheet to witness a looping projection of a video collage screened in front of a piece of oil-stained cardboard. ‘Qiniqtuaq’ is meant to evoke a dream-like state imaging a hypothetical place and time; a representation of what is felt but not known. ‘Qiniqtuaq’ invites a presence of nostalgia, spectatorship, and diaspora.

Kablusiak is an Inuvialuk artist and curator based in Mohkinstsis and holds a BFA in Drawing from the Alberta University of the Arts, Calgary. They use art and humour as a coping mechanism to address cultural displacement. The lighthearted nature of their practice extends gestures of empathy and solidarity; these interests invite a reconsideration of the perceptions of contemporary Indigeneity.

ᐊᕙᑖᓂᑦᑕᒪᐃᓐᓂᑦᓄᓇᑐᐃᓐᓇᓂᑦ Among All These Tundras

June 1 - August 30, 2019

Among All These Tundras, a title taken from the poem ‘My Home is in My Heart’ by famed Sámi writer Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, features contemporary art by Indigenous artists from around the circumpolar world. Together, their works politically and poetically express current Arctic concerns towards land, language, sovereignty and resurgence. Artists from throughout the circumpolar north share kinship with each other and their ancestors, love for their homelands, and respect for the land and its inhabitants.

CHANNEL 51: IGLOOLIK – Celebrating 30 Years of Inuit Video Art

June 1 - August 30, 2019

Esker Foundation is pleased to present selected films from the first large-scale tour of Igloolik Inuit video art from the Isuma and Arnait Women’s Video collective, a collection of over 40 works (short films, documentaries, and feature films) from 1987 to today. It is the product of a 30-year filmmaking practice rooted in Inuit values of consensus, working together, service to the community, and cultural authenticity. It is also a non-hierarchical collaborative artistic vision developed by eight celebrated video artists (six Inuit and two non-Inuit): Zacharias Kunuk, Paul Apak Angilirq, Pauloosie Qulitalik, Madeline Ivalu, Susan Avingaq, Mary Kunuk, Norman Cohn, and Marie- Hélène Cousineau.

This collection highlights the unique power of Inuit filmmaking: an approach that challenges individualistic notions of the “artist,” and centers itself in an ethical obligation to serve Inuit first through thoughtful self-representation. Beyond the immediate social effects of cultural production and cooperation, the work of Isuma and Arnait is also a model for how non-Indigenous artists can contribute to decolonial artistic practice.

May G N: Occlusion Field

May 6 - July 21, 2019

Project Space

‘Occlusion Field’ is a singular moment in time and space made of the stuff of trans defense mechanism: tattoos, liquid gender concepts, and hormonally transforming surfaces that come together to speak to an idiosyncrasy, a gestalt, a whole that transcends its constitutive parts. The Field is a shifting space of images and materials that represent the space between you and me. Beyond that space is me and you, respectively: two Occlusions who belie understanding, who promote narratives of deflection and anxiety. The Field, however, isn’t necessarily keen to divulge its disparate natures; it needs to be seen, first.

Presented in partnership with Untitled Art Society.

Glenna Cardinal: mourning home

February 4 - April 28, 2019

Project Space

Through Cardinal’s beautifully crafted work that includes home furnishings, taxidermy, and rocks from the area around her former childhood home, Cardinal’s work explores themes of land and home, displacement and loss related to the construction Calgary’s Southwest Ring Road through >> read more

Neil Campbell: wheatfield

January 26 - May 12, 2019

One might say that the primary focus of Neil Campbell’s practice is perception. Sensory and sensational, his works are meticulously devised to address and influence the physical and phenomenological aspects of the act of viewing. Campbell’s geometric paintings and graphic interventions >> read more