Close Strangers; Distant Relations

19 September 2009 – 2 January 2010

 Portrait of a Woman, c. 1500-1600.

Portrait of a Woman, c. 1500-1600.

One of the ways the MacKenzie Art Gallery is working to create opportunities for visitors to experience the permanent collection in new and interesting ways is through artist interventions. 

This exhibition will be the fourth in a series of artist engagements with the Permanent Collection, involving artists as catalysts for engaging audiences with contemporary art. For this exhibition Metis artist and educator David Garneau will create an audio-based storytelling experience with works from the collection. The gallery will be made into a simple, wide maze and the participant will be on a journey with a head set. As she stops before various works of art an audio story unfolds that links each work to the others. The full narrative will take about twenty minutes and is told in twenty voices.

 “Close Strangers; Distant Relations consists of works of art selected from the vaults of the MacKenzie Art Gallery. They are things that move me, pictures I return to again and again because I am intrigued by their strangeness, incompleteness, mystery or pleasures – beings that I have a long-term relationship with. The exhibition comes with an audio walking tour. The voices are non-authoritative responses, the sort of things that go on in my head when I look at art or that I imagine go on in the heads of others. Conventional audio tours explain the history and meaning of works of art. There is some of that here; however, thespeakers are unreliable. They mix fact and fancy, history and fiction. Some speak about and to the art; others purport to be the voices of the people in the pictures.”

– David Garneau, Guest Artist

Organized by the MacKenzie Art Gallery with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and the City of Regina Arts Commission.

 Image: Unidentified (Italian)

Portrait of a Woman, c. 1500-1600
oil on canvas, 42.1 x 33.7 cm