The Power Plant

Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture

Jackson 2bears, KC Adams, Sonny Assu, Bear Witness, Jordan Bennett, Raymond Boisjoly, Corey Bulpitt & Gurl 23, Kevin Lee Burton, Raven Chacon, Dana Claxton, Nicholas Galanin, Maria Hupfield, Mark Igloliorte, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Duane Linklater, madeskimo, Dylan Miner, Kent Monkman, Marianne Nicolson, Skeena Reece, Hoka Skenandore, Rolande Souliere

Past Exhibition

Dec 15 2012 – May 05 2013

Skeena Reece, Raven: On the Colonial Fleet (detail), 2010. Performance regalia. Courtesy the artist. Photo by Sebastien Krete.

& TANIA WILLARD, A SECWEPEMC ARTIST, DESIGNER AND CURATOR


PARTICIPATING ARTISTS

Jackson 2bears, KC Adams, Sonny Assu, Bear Witness, Jordan Bennett, Raymond Boisjoly, Corey Bulpitt & Gurl 23, Kevin Lee Burton, Raven Chacon, Dana Claxton, Nicholas Galanin, Maria Hupfield, Mark Igloliorte, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Duane Linklater, madeskimo, Dylan Miner, Kent Monkman, Marianne Nicolson, Skeena Reece, Hoka Skenandore, Rolande Souliere

Beat Nation describes a generation of artists who juxtapose urban youth culture with Aboriginal identity to create innovative and unexpected new works—in painting, sculpture, installation, performance and video—that reflect the current realities of Aboriginal peoples today.

Since the early 1990s, hip hop has been a driving force of activism for urban Aboriginal youth in communities across the Americas. The roots of this music have been influential across disciplines and have been transformed to create dynamic forums for storytelling and indigenous languages, as well as new modes of political expression. In the visual arts, artists remix, mash up and weave together the old with the new, the rural with the urban, traditional and contemporary as a means to rediscover and reinterpret Aboriginal culture within the shifting terrain of the mainstream.

While this exhibition takes its starting point from hip hop, it branches out to refer to pop culture, graffiti, fashion and other elements of urban life. Artists create unique cultural hybrids that include graffiti murals with Haida figures, sculptures carved out of skateboard decks, abstract paintings with form-line design, live video remixes with Hollywood films, and hip hop performances in Aboriginal dialects, to name a few. Beat Nation brings together artists from across the continent—from the West Coast as far north as Alaska and Nunavut, as far east as Labrador and south to New Mexico—and reveals the shared connections between those working in vastly different places.

As Aboriginal identity and culture continue to change, and as artists reinvent older traditions into new forms of expression, their commitment to politics, to storytelling, to Aboriginal languages, to the land and rights remains constant, whether these are stated with drums skins or turntables, natural pigments or spray paint, ceremonial dancing or break dancing.

Organized and circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery and based on an initiative of grunt gallery.
Vancouver Art Gallery

This exhibition was made possible with the generous support of Mark McCain & Caro MacDonald/ Eye and I, Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts, Gary R. Bell and Rick Erickson & Donna Partridge.

Presenting Sponsor

TD

Lead Donor

Appleton Foundation Barry Appleton and the Appleton Foundation

Learn More

Watch an Artist Talk by Duane Linklater

Artist Talk: Duane Linklater / 1 May 2013 from The Power Plant on Vimeo.


Winter 2012-13 Program Guide

Click here to read more about The Power Plant's Winter 2012-13 exhibitions and programming for the season!

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Join the conversation

Are you on Twitter? Tweet us at @ThePowerPlantTO using the hashtag #PPBeatNation to talk about Beat Nation at The Power Plant, share your viewing experiences, and keep the conversation going about the exhibition!

4 lowrider bikes, mixed media. Courtesy the artist. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Single-channel video, 5:00. Courtesy the artist. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Walnut, oak, spruce, audio. Courtesy the Artist. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Performance regalia. Courtesy the artist. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

About the Artists


Duane Linklater


Dylan Miner

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Maria Hupfield

Maria Hupfield is an Indigenous Anishinaabe artist and a member of the Wasauksing First Nation. Hupfield is working in a variety of media, including video and performance.

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Skeena Reece

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