On view November 9, 2019 to April 5, 2020
This exhibition is the first one of its kind for Althea Thauberger. She was first shown at the Gallery in 2004 as part of the second Sobey Art Award. Her work, Not Afraid to Die was acquired for the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Permanent Collection. While she has gained international attention and praise, this is the first exhibition that presents an overview of her practice, and, as such, the first to allow visitors access to her collaborative artmaking practice over the course of a decade’s worth of work.
The four works selected represent the breadth of her practice and underline her commitment to giving space to community. She builds her artworks in collaborative fashion. First establishing a link and trust within a specific community, then building the script, movements, and narrative in partnership with the community of collaborators. She feels this is an imperative part of her practice, allowing her to share the privilege she feels her position affords her. This includes payment for collaborators, mentorship of local artists, filmmakers, producers, and sharing the vision and visibility with those in the film. In many cases, this includes women, and often people in marginalized or institutionalized positions.
In each of the four works of art we will present, the architecture of place and in a couple of cases, the institution, is critical to the framework of the piece. Expo 67, the Kandahar International Airport, and the Capri Cinema in Karachi each play a role in the specific works, and like that specific architecture, she creates a framework in each piece that reinforces that architecture. Physical architecture, or scaffolding will be incorporated in the exhibition production and display, a nod to building phase the Gallery itself is entering.
Althea Thauberger is a thoughtful, challenging artist whose work examines and re-examines the ideas and use of archive and institution, and asks questions of authorship and collaboration.
Image: Althea Thauberger, Kandahar International Airport, 2009, digital c-print, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the Artist.