Kent Monkman : The Rise and Fall of Civilization
This elegant oversized publication documents Monkman's site specific installation focusing on the near extinction of the American bison in the 19th century and the consequent destruction of Aboriginal peoples' way of life. Comprised of a nine-foot high structure simulating a buffalo jump as well as two full-sized bison and a sculpture of Miss Chief, the artist's alter ego, the work incorporates smashed ceramics that recall both the piles of bones found at buffalo jumps and Indigenous ceramics found at sites across North America. Thematics ranging from Picasso's modernism to the Lascaux caves are interlaced throughout the work. Two essays and an interview explore Monkman’s work as a radical take on the natural history museum as well as an ingenious investigation into one of the world’s finest collections of ceramics. The work is featured in several full page colour plates. Kent Monkman is a multidisciplinary Canadian artist who has had solo exhibitions at numerous Canadian museums and participated in several international group exhibitions notably, The American West at Compton Verney (Warwickshire, UK), Remember Humanity at Witte de With (Rotterdam), and Oh Canada! at MASS MOCA (Boston). Kelvin Browne is Executive Director and CEO of the Gardiner Museum. Sarah Milroy is one of Canada’s leading art writers and curators. Tasha Hubbard (Cree) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker.
2015, 32 pages