Beat Nation

5 July 2014 – 7 September 2014

Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture

Opening Reception: Friday July 4, 2014 | Free Admission
Curator Led Tour: Saturday July 5,  2 pm | Free Admission.

July 5 to September 7, 2014

Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture describes a generation of artists who juxtapose urban youth culture with Aboriginal identity to create innovative and unexpected new works—in painting, sculpture, installation, performance and video—that reflect the current realities of Aboriginal peoples today.

Since the early 1990s, hip hop has been a driving force of activism for urban Aboriginal youth in communities across the Americas. The roots of this music have been influential across disciplines and have been transformed to create dynamic forums for storytelling and Indigenous languages, as well as new modes of political expression. In the visual arts, artists remix, mash up and weave together the old with the new, the rural with the urban, traditional and contemporary as a means to rediscover and reinterpret Aboriginal culture within the shifting terrain of the mainstream.

As Aboriginal identity and culture continue to change, and as artists reinvent older traditions into new forms of expression, their commitment to politics, to storytelling, to Aboriginal languages, to the land and rights remains constant, whether these are stated with drums skins or turntables, natural pigments or spray paint, ceremonial dancing or break dancing.

The MacKenzie Art Gallery is pleased to be one of the select venues for this nationally touring exhibition organized and circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery, featuring artists: Jackson 2bears, KC Adams, Sonny Assu, Bear Witness, Jordan Bennett, Raymond Boisjoly, Kevin Lee Burton, Nicholas Galanin, Maria Hupfield, Mark Igloliorte, Duane Linklater, madeskimo, Dylan Miner, Kent Monkman, Marianne Nicolson, Skeena Reece and Hoka Skenandore.



The exhibition is accompanied by a 96-page publication presenting the work of the 28 participating artists and texts by Co-Curators Kathleen Ritter and Tania Willard, available in the Gallery Shop.

Member Price: $18, Regular Price: $20

Image: Maria Hupfield, Jingle Boots, 2011, (detail), felt, jingles, Courtesy of theartist. Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery. 

Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture is organized and circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery and based on an initiative of grunt gallery. Beat Nation is cocurated by Kathleen Ritter, Associate Curator (former), Vancouver Art Gallery and Tania Willard, a Secwepemc artist, designer and curator.

This exhibition was made possible with the generous support of Mark McCain and Caro MacDonald / Eye and I, The Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts, Gary R. Bell, Rick Erickson and Donna Partridge.