Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Killed the Group of Seven: A Rejection of the Past?

With less than two weeks until the opening of the new show, we are considering what the meaning of it actually is.

When people ponder the importance of Canadian Art, they often conjure images of the Group of Seven. Their landscapes essentially changed and shaped the perception of Canada to the world beyond and the group, in theory, are considered quintessential in shaping Canada’s cultural image. For the sake of argument, one could say that popular opinion determines that the Group of Seven represent an ideal, artistic vision of Canada.

To say that one “killed the Group of Seven”, therefore, is to say that one is attempting to transform the popular definition of “Canadian Art”. From just considering the title alone, for me, this becomes a celebration of all things that go against the traditional. It celebrates and favours the reconstruction of a new Canadian cultural identity through works that seek to expose a new image – an image that goes beyond the painted landscape. To have a show of chaotic, thought-provoking, crazy, disturbing, and cool art with this title is basically to say, “this is how we really want Canadian Art to be known.” This is what’s happening now. It’s a rebranding of Canadian Art through a rejection of its past.

I think that this show is pretty important for the Ottawa art scene based simply on this idea. We want to get more thought-provoking work out into the world and this is how we do it.

Just a final note about myself: I am interning with Patrick until December and I’m very excited to see how this show does in the next few weeks!


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