Opening reception with curator’s tour:
Saturday, 26 April, 5–7 pm
The Canadian Forces Artists Program (CFAP) was launched in 2001 to embed artists alongside Canadian troops. Unlike earlier official war art programs, CFAP does not exhibit or collect the work produced by artists who volunteer for the privileged access it offers. The exhibition Terms of Engagement: Averns, feldman-kiss, Stimson presents work by three artists who have recently been deployed to conflict zones as CFAP participants. Dick Averns was hosted by the Multinational Force and Observers at North Base, Sinai, in Egypt during 2009, nichola feldman-kiss was embedded with the United Nations Mission in Sudan in 2011, and Adrian Stimson was stationed at Forward Operating Base Ma`sum Ghar and Kandahar in Afghanistan in 2010. Working across the mediums of photography, video, sculpture and installation, the works in the exhibition reflect CFAP’s arm’s-length relationship with the military, which allows for greater independence of artistic expression. As curator Christine Conley explains, the artists “are all conscious of the complex relation of culture to conflict, given their situation as embedded observers whose access to war zones depends upon military hospitality, protection and social networks.” Compelled by narratives of genocide, the traumatic legacy of colonialism, and the War on Terror, the works in Terms of Engagement offer an encounter and critical engagement with Canada’s international role as a nation of warriors and peacekeepers.
An interactive website for this exhibition features videos of the artists relating their experiences with CFAP. Go to www.termsofengagement.ca. Tablets are available free of charge to visitors for use within the galleries. Please ask gallery staff for details.
This exhibition is curated by Christine Conley and organized by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in partnership with MSVU Art Gallery, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, and the Esker Foundation, Calgary. A publication with essays by the curator and Kirsty Robertson accompanies the exhibition.
Esker Foundation, Calgary
20 September–28 December 2014
Dick Averns, MFO Canadian Contingent (Corporal Jeremy Duff), 2009, colour digital print.
nichola feldman-kiss, still from after Africa “So Long, Farewell” (sunset), 2011-2012, video, part 1 of multi-channel HD video/audio projection