Preston Singletary: Geoduck, 2012. Courtesy of Preseton Singletary Inc. Photo: Russell Johnson

RezErect: Native Erotica

August 07, 2020

RezErect: Native Erotica
September 25, 2013 to February 16, 2014

The Bill Reid Gallery presents Rez Erect: Native Erotica, a fresh, playful, provocative insight into sensuality and sexuality. The exhibition features works by 27 mid-career and internationally recognized First Nations artists from the Northwest Coast and central Canada.

Co-curated by Haida Artist Gwaai Edenshaw and Curator/Programmer, Kwiaahwah Jones, this exhibition celebrates that essential force, the reason we all exist today. A few of the participating artists include: Nicholas Galanin, Shawn Hunt, Dionne Paul, Preston Singletary and Alida Kinnie Starr.

In the words of Gwaai Edenshaw, "There have always been those in our community who have shared a very different story, a complex and nuanced narrative. Sex figures prominently in aboriginal stories across the continent, as sexual humour, playful irreverence, spiritual reverence, place names, morality tales or other meanings lost in time. In my world, it’s a safe bet that the laughter coming from that group of grandmothers over there drinking tea is partly triggered by sexual innuendo. We hope to carry on that tradition here - sexy, intelligent, fun and provocative."

Rez Erect: Native Erotica is a powerful platform. Artists draw their inspiration from diverse sources: the natural world, language, oral histories, creation stories, ancient songs of love and heartbreak, dance, ceremony, traditional foods, working with wood and natural fibres. Works offer vivid glimpses of the artists’ identities, but do not necessarily reflect the opinions of everyone in their Nation.

"Artists share a passion for their culture, and strive to transform public opinion on the collective understanding of First Nations’ people and cultures," said Co-Curator, Kwiaahwah Jones. "The works will challenge you to look at sexuality. They might make you laugh, blush, cry or even leave you hungry."

A variety of programming is planned including: storytelling, a brown paper book club, a panel on the pornification of society, nude drawing classes and burlesque.

The exhibition runs from September 25, 2013 through February 16, 2014.

RezErect was made possible by the generous support of: City of Vancouver, British Columbia Arts Council and First Peoples’ Cultural Council.

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