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Histórias Indígenas [Indigenous Histories]. Organized by Museu de Arte de São Paulo (Brazil), in collaboration with the Kode Bergen Art Museums (Norway). The exhibition opens at MASP and runs from October 20th, 2023 to February 25th, 2024, and then travels to Kode Bergen from April 26th to August 25th 2024. The exhibition is accompanied by a major catalog published in separate editions in Portuguese and English, reproducing all the works in the show as well as essays about each of the sections written by their curators.
Indigenous histories is curated by Abraham Cruzvillegas (Mexico City); Alexandra Kahsenni:io Nahwegahbow, Jocelyn Piirainen, Michelle LaVallee, Wahsontiio Cross (Ottawa, Canada); Bruce Johnson-McLean (Camberra, Austrália), Edson Kayapó, Kássia Borges Karajá and Renata Tupinambá, Curators-at-large of Indigenous Art, MASP; Irene Snarby (Tromsø, Norway; Kode); Nigel Borell (Auckland, New Zealand) and Sandra Gamarra (Lima, Peru), and has a curatorial coordination by Adriano Pedrosa, Artistic Director, MASP, and Guilherme Giufrida, Assistant Curator, MASP.
The major group exhibition Histórias Indígenas presents different accounts of Indigenous histories of the world through art and visual cultures, bringing together works from multiple media, typologies, origins, and periods. The exhibition comprises of eight sections: seven dedicated to different regions of the world and one themed around indigenous activism. The seven regional sections will address indigenous histories from different territories in Oceania, North America, South America, and Scandinavia.
Ace’s works Sacred Water I and Sacred Water II from the collection of the National Gallery of Canada are included. First exhibited at Karsh-Masson Gallery in his solo exhibition Mnemonic (Re)Manifestations, the diptych Sacred Water I and Sacred Water II focuses attention on the adverse impact of climate change and global warming. The beaded works on paper focus on two found antiquated water flow graph charts. Ace notes that these two charts are actually drawn by water through an electronic measuring device. In Sacred Water I, the flow chart depicts a complete floral-like motif drawn in ink by water. For Ace, this complete floral image denotes a world (as referenced by the circular chart) in balance as a living organism and the floral motif is reminiscent of Anishinaabe floral beadwork referencing healing and medicine. The green beaded area represents the earth’s vegetation in balance with the nurturing flow of water.
Sacred Water II is the antithesis of Sacred Water I. Here the floral image has been replaced by fragmented and broken lines depicting a world out of balance. The green surrounding vegetation is displaced and severed by a circular band of blue beads denoting an increase of the oceans brought on by rapidly melting glaciers. The porcupine quills in both works represent the sacred winged beings including the eagle and thunderbird who bear witness to our global plight, while the tip of quill emphasizes the sharp poignancy of global concerns over the rapid onset of climate change.
Two additional works that address the concerns on the impacts of climate change and protection of water are Ace’s Flux and Nibi Emosaawdang Mkiznan (Water Walker Moccassins).