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SUBJECT: Grenfell: Grenfell College art gallery to host First Nations video series

DATE: Nov. 4,2008

           Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery will host a series of videos by First Nations artists and filmmakers from across Canada. The series shows 27 videos by 19 artists and vary in length from just over a minute to nearly 10 minutes in length. The series will play continuously throughout the day and the viewing time of the whole series is approximately two-and-a-half hours.
           The exhibition is curated by Ryan Rice, an independent curator who is also a Mohawk from Kahnawake, Que. The films deal with stereotyping, image, identity and politics and range considerably in theme and approach – from Kent Monkman’s satirical and amusing, Group of Seven Inches, which sets up the stereotype of Native Americans as portrayed in Hollywood movies and frontier paintings, to Shelley Niro’s beautiful, poetic, The Shirt, which documents the effects of colonialisation on First Nations peoples. Together and individually, the films are thought-provoking and timely.
            Video and film have been used for decades by aboriginal communities as a method of documenting cultural practice and language and also as a method of telling their own stories firsthand. For artists, these media are immediate and user-friendly and as the curator points out, can be high- or low-tech. 
            The exhibition titled Red Eye: First Nations Short Film and Video.opens Thursday, Nov. 6, and continues until Saturday, Jan. 10. A forum, Artistic Expression, Identity and the Aboriginal Experience in Western Newfoundland, will take place at the Grenfell art gallery. Details regarding time and location to be announced.
             An opening reception will be held on Thursday, Nov. 6, 6-8 p.m.; all are welcome.     
             Refreshments will be served and admission is free. 
            .


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      For further information about the exhibition, the forum or to arrange tours, please contact Charlotte Jones, acting director, SWGC Art Gallery, cjones@swgc.mun.ca, (709) 637-6209, www.swgc.mun.ca/artgallery

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