Installation shot of the exhibition at the MIAM. Painting by Rosalie Favell I Awoke to Find My Spirit Had Returned (from Plain(s) Warrior Artist), 1999. (Cassidy Richardson)
From the group of Winnipeggers transplanted in Sète for the second installation of My Winnipeg at the Musée International des Arts Modestes (MIAM), I was the only one who hadn't seen the show installed in Paris.
I initially prepared to fight against the presumed stereotype of the 'other' that can be innocently placed on artwork from a colonial region, no matter how long ago it was. I was immediately at ease when introduced to Hervé Di Rosa, the director of MIAM, by his explanation of the trait Sète shares with Winnipeg, an otherness, a forgotten city, close but yet still far from the 'real' south of France to the east as Winnipeg can also be forgotten to its larger siblings on either side.
My three days of install with the artist and curatorial team lead me to interpret the exhibition as a transient investigation into Winnipeg as a poltergeist; Winnipeg acts as a subconscious theme, not always present, but always there, hidden just beneath the surface of the work.
As with any city there are numerous roads that lead you to the different areas and My Winnipeg is no different. The first road is an interpretive historical section called There's No Place Like Home that consists of archival ephemera and videos of stereotypical Winnipeg scenarios.
This road forks and forks again, down paths that include large scale paintings, video works, Royal Art Lodge, an entire section devoted to eroticism, and many others. A consistent installation design combines and detaches the works over the two levels of the gallery, creating visual conversations that would otherwise been left unsaid.
What is obvious is that My Winnipeg is to be understood as just that, singular interpretations of Winnipeg's otherness through the artists and curators involved in the project.
Cassidy Richardson (Cassidy Richardson)
Winnipegger Cassidy Richardson is a Masters candidate in the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at the California College of the Arts in San Fransisco.
Watch this video about the My Winnipeg exhibit in Paris, below:
The above blog post is provided by Cassidy Richardson. The views expressed do not express the views of CBC. CBC is not responsible for this content.