Charles Comfort: Captain Vancouver
David Neel: Captain Vancouver Portrait Mask
Lawren Harris: Maligne Lake, Jasper Park
Jin-me Yoon: A Group of Sixty-Seven
Art can reinforce certain images of nation, or propose new symbols and narratives, revealing voices and stories that have been hidden in this complex, multi-cultural, multi-racial society full of multi-faceted human beings. Art images are about power; they give human beings, communities, and cultures the ability and opportunity, to define themselves, to fight stereotypes, to respond to make themselves heard.
There's a big difference between naming oneself and being labelled. This section presents works that are significant because they show artists using existing traditions and symbols to present new stories and new myths about themselves and their experiences. The focus is two artistic "conversations." Each conversation consists of two pieces: one well-known piece of art from the past that contains images that have become symbolic or iconic as representations of Canadian identity, and one contemporary piece of art that responds artistically, through a newly created piece of art in a new medium, to the artistic image from the past. Both examples showcase contemporary artists using their practice to respond to and question imposed identities and narratives of nationhood embodied in images from the past.