Connections unites the work of seven Canadian contemporary artists from culturally diverse communities, who were inspired by the Museum’s world cultures collections. Commissioned thanks to the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, under the New Chapter program established to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary, these works will be integrated into the new Stéphan Crétier and Stéphany Maillery Wing for World Cultures and Togetherness, set to open next June.
Connections is an opportunity for the public to preview seven modern artworks alongside the artists’ objects of inspiration, and (re)discover the Museum’s collections. This exhibition project is rooted in the postcolonial theories of Indian philosopher Homi K. Bhabha and, more specifically, his rich and empowering concept of hybridity. Given that our collections are essentially composed of objects acquired from Western collectors, they offer but a partial reflection of the artworks’ cultures of origin and are often associated with visions of exoticism and rarity rather than cultural representativeness.
Therefore, inviting artists from culturally diverse communities to reappropriate the world cultures collections by creating and exhibiting selected works makes way for a cultural recontextualization that is both imaginative and inclusive. Without denying the past, this approach emphasizes the coming together of the many peoples and cultural hybridities that make up today’s world.