Acclaimed Cree visual artist Kent Monkman will get a major solo show at the Royal Ontario Museum in the fall, including 35 works painted especially for the exhibition.
“Kent Monkman: Being Legendary” will open Oct. 8 and run until March 19, 2023.
“This exhibition is quintessential Monkman: subversive, playful and brilliant,” ROM CEO Josh Basseches said in a news release. “It is also a tribute to Cree storytelling and creativity, which challenges the way we think about everything from museum collections to origin stories.”
Monkman said in the same release that “Being Legendary” will explore “how Indigenous presence and knowledge is embedded in this land much longer and deeper than how it’s been presented in the colonial version of history here on Turtle Island.”
That will include references to “the interruption of knowledge caused by the colonial attempts to erase us, but it also talks about life before Europeans arrived and how leaders in our communities shine a path for us to move forward into the future,” Monkman said.
Monkman’s new works will use a “Cree lens” to refer to and depict objects from the ROM’s collection, such as fossils, meteorites and moccasins, which will be part of the show, which is described as a dialogue with the collection.
Exhibit co-curator Craig Cipolla said it will showcase “art, culture and science from a Cree perspective while confronting the limitations — and violence of — Western ways of knowing and being in the world.”
The exhibit will be narrated by Monkman’s gender-fluid alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, and will illustrate “the cosmic origins of Miss Chief and other Cree legendary beings, as well as prehistoric dinosaurs and mastodons that once roamed the Earth.”
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