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New art connects The Reconciliation Pole to Musqueam territory



A new large-scale bronze artwork co-created by xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) master carver Kayám̓ Richard Campbell and Haida master carver and hereditary chief James Hart, 7idansuu (Edenshaw) now anchors Hart’s The Reconciliation Pole (2015-17) to Musqueam territory.

The new art, titled θəʔit, was commissioned with support from the Audain Foundation and the University of British Columbia.

The 15-foot-wide disc depicts four salmon carved by Campbell. The artwork name θəʔit translates to truth in English, which acknowledges the continued need for Indigenous peoples’ truths to be uncovered and remembered.

musqueam,reconciliation,musqueam territory,Indigenous art,Audain Foundation,Indigenous People

Details from The Reconciliation Pole (2015-17) by Haida master carver and hereditary chief James Hart, 7idansuu (Edenshaw).

The Reconciliation Pole tells the story of the time before, during and after the residential school system and symbolizes the path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. It was installed at UBC’s Vancouver campus in 2017 at a large celebration that included ceremony held in accordance to Haida cultural protocols.

As part of his vision for The Reconciliation Pole, Hart invited Campbell to design and carve the artwork for the bronze disc. The new artwork acknowledges that the pole – which was carved and raised according to Haida tradition – stands on Musqueam ancestral territory.

Kayám̓ Richard Campbell is a Musqueam Elder, knowledge holder, archaeologist, master carver and residential school survivor. He was raised in Musqueam with traditional cultural teachings, and first learned to carve from his grandfather and uncles.

Carving professionally since 1979, Kayám̓ trained and collaborated primarily with Wallace Baker (Squamish) in his early career, eventually transitioning from traditional Musqueam design into a contemporary, interpretative style. He specializes in private commissions for largescale yellow cedar carvings, and is still frequently asked to carve items for many of Musqueam’s community and ceremonial events.

Since 1998, Campbell has been a field technician with Musqueam’s archaeology department. He now brings his cultural knowledge to the role of full-time senior archaeological field technician and works with partners throughout Musqueam territory to ensure Musqueam’s heritage is protected and respectfully managed. Kayám̓ is the proud father of six and grandfather of nine, all of whom were born and raised in Musqueam.

θəʔit is a special project to me for many reasons. It is important that Musqueam art and design is shown on Musqueam territory because it shows that we are here, and it shows who we are,” said Kayám̓ Richard Campbell. “By anchoring Jim’s Haida pole, θəʔit is setting a strong foundation to connect The Reconciliation Pole to the land it stands on for generations to come. It is emotionally meaningful for me to represent Musqueam in this way, and to honour all those who attended Indian residential schools.”

“Musqueam’s cultural protocols guide much of our daily lives, and is the foundation of who we are. Although we have maintained many of these teachings over thousands of years, many are lost forever because generations of Musqueam children were forcibly removed from our community to attend residential schools,” said yəχʷyaχʷələq, Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow. “Kayám̓ embodies the spirit of resiliency that has enabled Musqueam to not only continue our cultural practices, but strengthen them by bringing pride to his family and community.”

Richard Campbell and Max Chickite carving into high-density foam for casting in bronze, 2021. Photo: Jeremy Jaud

Richard Campbell and Max Chickite carving into high-density foam for casting in bronze, 2021. Photo: Jeremy Jaud.

To bring the new artwork to life, Campbell and Hart also collaborated with artist Max Chickite (Lekwiltok, Kwakwaka’wakw), with support from the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and department of art history, visual art and theory (AVHA) at UBC.

Campbell drew the initial design in 2D, which was then enlarged and applied to an at-scale high density foam to carve his design into. The panels were then transported to the Burton Bronze Foundry on Salt Spring Island to begin the process of having it cast in bronze. The bronze panels were then taken back to UBC and installed in sections at the base of The Reconciliation Pole.

“The Bronze Disc pays respect to the Musqueam people, whose territory the pole stands on. It was wonderful to have a Musqueam artist, Richard Campbell, do the carving,” said Hart. “The Reconciliation Pole was carved in Haida tradition, but the meaning of the pole is for everyone.  People leave offerings at the base of the pole –  I hope that carries on. This helps with bringing attention to the whole story of the residential schools and hope for the future.”

“The Audain Foundation is grateful to Richard Campbell and James Hart for the opportunity to participate in reconciliation through art,” said Michael Audain, Chair of the Audain Foundation and Honorary Chair of FORWARD, the campaign for UBC.

While the new artwork completes the physical form of The Reconciliation Pole, it invites continued reflection on UBC’s relationship with Musqueam and what it means to work towards truth, reconciliation and decolonization as settlers on traditional Musqueam territory.

θəʔit highlights the importance of collaboration with Musqueam on new Indigenous public art and strengthens the university’s commitment to expand the presence of Musqueam art and culture on campus, as part of goal five of UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan (2020).

In addition to θəʔit, Musqueam art was unveiled in March of this year as a secondary logo for the UBC Thunderbirds, while in 2022, five new UBC student residence buildings were gifted hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ names.

The Reconciliation Pole is a powerful reminder of the legacy of the residential school system, and the deep work of reconciliation we must all undertake,” said Dr. Deborah Buszard, interim president and vice-chancellor of UBC. “The addition of Richard Campbell’s artwork is another important step in UBC’s ongoing relationship with Musqueam and an opportunity to highlight Musqueam artwork and culture as visible symbols of the traditional, ancestral and unceded lands upon which UBC’s Vancouver campus stands.

“We also gratefully acknowledge the longstanding commitment from the Audain Foundation towards this deeply meaningful installation.”



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ACCC discontinues investigation into 'white hands on black art' allegations – ABC News



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ACCC discontinues investigation into ‘white hands on black art’ allegations  ABC News


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Home + Away artwork opens in Vancouver’s Hastings Park



A new art installation now towers over Vancouver’s Hastings Park fields in celebration of the city’s history of spectators and sports.

Home + Away is a sculpture by Seattle artists Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo of Lead Pencil Studio, which opened Monday in the southeast end of the historic park.

It’s a 17-metre-tall structure that resembles a narrow set of bleachers — similar to the stands of the Empire Stadium, which stood on the site of the park from 1954 to 1993 and hosted The Beatles, among many others. It recalls a covered ski jump that stood there in the 1950s and the nearby wooden rollercoaster at the PNE.

The city says the public is invited to walk the stairs and sit on the benches.

“In addition to being visually striking, this artwork is intended to be ascended, sat on and experienced. It offers exciting experiences of height and views and provides 16 rows of seating for up to 49 people, making for a unique spectator experience when watching events at Empire Fields,” the city said in a release Monday.

The idea for the park to include public art was outlined in the Hastings Park “Master Plan,” first adopted by the city in 2010. The city says Han and Mihalyo first presented their design in 2015.

“It’s wonderful to see this piece realized within the context of such a well-used public space,” said Han.

Home + Away was inspired directly by the site history of spectatorship, and we hope it will connect Hastings Park users to that history and the majestic views of the environment for many decades to come,” added Mihalyo.

The artwork features a large light-up sign, in the style of a sports scoreboard, that reads “HOME” and “AWAY.”



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Bill Viola, Video Artist Who Established the Medium as an Integral Part of Contemporary Art, Dies at 73



Bill Viola, whose decades-long engagement with video proved vital in establishing the medium as an integral part of contemporary art, died on July 12 at his home in Long Beach, California. He was at 73 years old. The cause was complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. The news of his passing was confirmed by James Cohan Gallery.

Viola’s works are centered around the idea of human consciousness and such fundamental experiences as birth, death, and spirituality. He delved into mystical traditions from Zen Buddhism to Islamic Sufism, as well as Western devotional art from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in his videos, which often juxtaposed themes of life and death, light and dark, noise and silence. These explorations were achieved by submerging viewers in both image and sound with cutting-edge technologies for their time.

“I first used the camera and lens as a surrogate eye, to bring things closer, or to magnify them, to experiment with perception, to extend vision and make lengthy observations of simple objects,” Viola said in a 2015 interview. “Once you do that, their essence becomes visible. So I suppose I was always interested in the inner life of the world around me.”

Beginning in the 1970s, Viola created videotapes, architectural video installations, sound environments, electronic music performances, flat panel video pieces, and works for television broadcast—all of which expanded the scope of the medium and established Viola as one of its most notable practitioner.

Video still of a man diving into water that has been reversed. The image is mostly black and teal.

In 2003 the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; Tate, London; and the Centre Pompidou in Paris jointly acquired Bill Viola’s 2001 three-channel video installation Five Angels for the Millennium.

Photo Kira Perov/©Bill Viola Studio

Bill Viola was born in 1951. He grew up in Queens and Westbury, New York, and attended P.S. 20 in Flushing, before receiving his BFA in experimental studios from Syracuse University in 1973. There, he studied with visual art with the likes of Jack Nelson and electronic music with Franklin Morris.

Following his graduation, between 1973 to 1980, Viola studied and performed with composer David Tudor in the music group Rainforest, which later became known as Composers Inside Electronics. He also worked as technical director at the pioneering video studio Art/tapes/22 in Florence, Italy from 1974 to 1976. During that time he encountered the work of other seminal video artists like Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, and Vito Acconci.

Viola was subsequently an artist-in-residence at New York’s WNET Thirteen Television Laboratory between 1976 to 1983, wherein he created a series of works that premiered on television. He traveled to the Solomon Islands, Java, and Indonesia to record traditional performing arts between 1976 and 1977. Later that year, Viola was invited to show work at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, by cultural arts director Kira Perov, with whom he married and began a lifelong collaboration.

He was appointed an instructor in advanced video at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California in 1983. He was the Getty Research Institute scholar-in-residence in Los Angeles in 1998 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000.

In 1985, Viola received with a Guggenheim Fellowship for fine arts, and later that decade, in 1989, he was awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. His work was also featured in some of the world’s most notable exhibitions, including Documenta VI in 1977, Documenta XI in 1992, the 1987 and 1993 editions of the Whitney Biennial, and the 2001 Venice Biennale.

In 1995, he represented the United States at the 46th edition of the Venice Biennale. For the pavilion, Viola produced the series of works “Buried Secrets,” including one of his most known works The Greeting, which offers a contemporary interpretation of Pontormo’s oil painting The Visitation (ca.1528–30). The Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin and New York’s Guggenheim Museum commissioned the digital fresco cycle in high-definition video, titled Going Forth By Day, in 2002.

Viola’s work was the subject of a major 25-year survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1997, which subsequently toured internationally. His work has been the subject of major museum retrospectives in the years since, including at the Grand Palais in Paris (in 2014), the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence (2017), the Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain (2017), and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia (2019), as well as an exhibition pairing his work with that of Michelangelo at the Royal Academy of Art in London in 2019.

Viola is survived by his wife Kira Perov, who has been the executive director of his studio since 1978, and their two children.

“One thing that’s very exciting about video that has turned me on since I first saw this glowing image way back in 1970 is that it can be so much,” Viola said in a 1995 with Charlie Rose on the occasion of this US Pavilion at the Biennale. “Furthermore, what’s really exciting is I don’t think it’s been since really the Renaissance where artists have been able to use a medium that one could say is the dominant communication form in society.”


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