My first work as a curator : erotica

Chujybear

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Besides the labels that I engraved for my pieces, and a couple jewlery pieces in the show, this might be considered off topic. But I am riding the high coming off opening night of a show that I have been working on for the last year.
Erotica on the northwest coast. Something that has obviously always been around (cos aren't we all the results) but has reviewed nice profile with this show.
I was a guest curator at the bill reid gallery, and it was my privilege to work along Kwiiahwah jones whose experience made this all work smoothly.
I even managed to produce a few pieces myself.
:)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKKdrlmqiFI&sns=em
 

monk

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that's a cool thing to have participated in. at least in these parts this artform is seldom seen. not just the erotic aspect, but the art of the great northwest in general. it seems to be the flipside of some of the work andrew does. i mean it's not only engraving, but a story as well.
 

Chujybear

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Yes. How the artists acted within the form, there is always story, but sometimes the eroticism is only in the story

Sometimes it is mostly in the form.
 

Andrew Biggs

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Very cool.

This sort of art was very common in early indigenous cultures. Genitals of both genders were often depicted in statues and it was the early missionary Christians that came along and chopped them off or discouraged their use.

It's great to see different cultures starting to reclaim their artistic heritage.

Cheers
Andrew
 

Dulltool

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We as a people had limits not so long ago on what was socially exceptionable in public. Now we have city sanctioned nude in your face gay pride parades and young ladies showing off her beaver box complete with pink lining. Don't get me wrong I do get it as a joke, it's clever but as art... I don't think so.
 

Gemsetterchris

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I've got nothing against nice young ladies ripping their clothes off in public, just the older ones that don't cut the mustard.
Anyway with winter coming I'm sure things will quieten down.
 

Gemsetterchris

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Might be a giggle for schoolkids but once you've seen it all its abit like a broken pencil...pointless.
 

Chujybear

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Ouch.
Not sure what strippers and gay pride have to do with the show..
But glad for your two cents.
The topic of vulgarity came up in the process of the show. One story in particular rolled out the etymological origins of the name Skidegate (one of the southern villages).. Without getting into the details of it- the chiefs wife is taught a lesson for her vulgar speech.. There is a legitimate question about where in that spectrum this show lands.. I thought pretty mellow..
As for the video.. News casters choose thier clips, there are twenty eight artists and more than fifty pieces in the show
 

Gargoyle

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While not every piece in the show appeals to me (and that is the case for pretty much every art exhibit I see) it looks like a beautiful show, very well displayed and curated.
 

Andrew Biggs

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Perhaps the title Erotica is the wrong one. It has many negative connotations to some parts of society but from a marketing point of view catches the eye.

I see this type of thing as no different from the nudes in European art galleries. It simply an artistic expression of the human form. Today we call it art but in fact in many cases it wasn't seen as art at the time, it was more an expression (like writing) because they had no written language of their own until the missionaries came along.

Also with many indigenous cultures it was tied in with the gods/religion and signs of fertility and health............no different from the European societies except a lot of native cultures were a bit more open about it in their art form. A fully aroused manhood was seen as a sign of strength, life and fertility. Something to be celebrated and skite about. Christian societies tended to cover up and make out that it was somehow unclean and not to be discussed.

The same goes with the stories that accompanied the artworks. They often had significant meanings within the culture. It was the European influence that often sanitised the story and turned them into nothing more than children's stories. For instance the popular Maori myth about how Maui died in a cave was put there by missionaries. In fact he was crushed to death in the womanhood of a Goddess guarding the entrance to the underworld...........thus bringing the gift of mortality to man. (that's the short version by the way) This was a way of explaining how the world worked around them not some children's fable. It was as real to them in the day as science is to us now.

This type of thing has been around since Adam and Eve in every culture. Today it is overtly displayed in all media but in previous eras in European history it was still there but hidden or underground.

What we are seeing now are modern artists reclaiming their heritage and including these legends that were important to their culture back in the day............ Good for them and seeing it displayed in a tasteful way is great to see.

Cheers
Andrew
 
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