This timely celebration of self-expression and radical togetherness features photography, video, performance and sculpture. The show’s impressive roster of 15 international artists includes Nick Cave, Dana Claxton, Zadie Xa, Carrie Mae Weems, Zanele Muholi, Aïda Muluneh, Skeena Reece, Yinka Shonibare and Sin Wai Kin.
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The title of the art exhibit comes from Rabelais and His World, a scholarly work by 20th-century Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin. It examines the power of folk traditions, such as Carnival and grotesque realism, as ways to subvert using chaos and humour. The book also considered the use of play and performance to express the full depth and dynamism of race, gender, and identity.
“Whether through social media feeds or identity politics, we are constantly told that the ‘self’ is a true, immutable thing — this is a vast oversimplification,” curator Justin Ramsey said in a statement.
“Every single person is a work in progress, with the potential and the courage to change and be changed. Interior Infinite speaks to the capacity for an individual to break free of normative limitations that are defined by a white supremacist, male chauvinistic, heteronormative lens.”
Ramsey continued, “The exhibition draws attention to the fact that these so-called norms are far from the lived experiences of many people and that ‘the way things are’ can change with social imagination. We have collectively imagined our present injustices into being; we can just as easily imagine a better, fairer, more inclusive way forward.”
Some of the pieces in Interior Infinite include a sound suit and video from performance artist Nick Cave, a portrait by Dana Claxton showing her wearing leather purses handmade by Indigenous artisans, a film by Zadie Xa that reimagines Korea’s ancient shamanic traditions, and a triptych of self-portraits by trailblazing artist Carrie Mae Weems.
Interior Infinite continues The Polygon Gallery’s long tradition of presenting adventurous art. It runs from June 25 until September 5, 2021.
When: June 25 to September 5, 2021
Where: The Polygon Gallery, 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
Wednesday 10 am–5 pm, Thursday 10 am–8 pm, Friday–Sunday 10 am–5 pm
Cost: Admission by donation