The exhibition, titled "If I have a body," is a collaboration by three Remai Modern curators to bring in the works of six Canadian artists.
“Even though we’re working with six different artists, (the exhibition) has a nice, cohesive feel,” says Troy Gronsdahl, curator of live exhibitions for the Remai Modern gallery.
The new exhibit, If I have a body, opened at the gallery on May 31 and features the work of six Canadian artists working in a variety of mediums. Shuvinai Ashoona’s drawings, Steven Beckly’s photographic pieces, Laurie Kang’s sculptures, Veronika Pausova’s paintings, and Dominique Rey’s collages are all unified in the gallery through Billy-Ray Belcourt’s poetry.
The exhibition will be up through the summer until the beginning of September, and offers an interesting variety of artwork and dialogues between them.
It also offers a look into how exhibits are curated at the gallery. Gronsdahl said he worked with fellow curators Rose Bouthillier and Sandra Fraser to select the artists for the exhibition, and each had the opportunity to bring in two artists to be part of the show.
“I think that’s an opportunity to see a range of artists working at this moment,” he said. “We’re interested in bringing artists who haven’t presented their work in Saskatoon, or maybe haven’t had a significant museum exhibition before … in conversation with more established artists.”
Gronsdahl joked that he might be a bit biased, since it involves one of the artists he invited, but one of the parts of the exhibition that stands out most to him is the use of Belcourt’s poetry. Gronsdahl said fragments of one of Belcourt’s poems are scattered throughout the gallery space among the other pieces of artwork as a way of connecting all the different pieces.
The exhibition is organized through pairings — Kang and Pausova, Ashoona and Rey, Beckly and Belcourt — but Gronsdahl said the aim was for a more solidified experience for the public to see some of the best Canada has to offer in the visual and literary art fields.
Gronsdahl said the exhibition is unique in a way solo shows can’t be, and this is a strong example of the type of collaboration the Remai wants.
“There’s a certain kind of energy in the work; there’s a real rich material diversity,” he said. “I’m hoping people can encounter these works in different ways … there’s a certain kind of discovery that’s invited in this exhibition.”
If I have a body runs until Sept. 2 at the Remai Modern.