University of Calgary and MacKenzie Art Gallery
Revolutionaries and Ghosts is constructed around Thien’s suggestion that the names alone of lost loved ones can create a palpable (yet intangible) presence. Just so, the works in this exhibition summon stories of political and personal responses to and memories of many impactful and sustained world events from the 20th and 21st centuries. The first iteration of the exhibition, curated by Timothy Long, was shown at Regina’s MacKenzie Art Gallery in the summer of 2018. Here, stories are added from the collection of Nickle Galleries, through works by Bill Rodgers, William MacDonnell, Dominique Blain, John Will, Garry Neill Kennedy and Faye Heavyshield.
Diversity in local and global contexts requires a willingness to share histories, acknowledge inequities, and work toward justice and reconciliation. The works in this collaborative exhibition grow out of this desire and address a broad range of topics, from the Cultural Revolution to the Holocaust, from 9/11 to the mistreatment of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. Together, the works point to the important role of Canadian artists in asking hard questions of ourselves, our histories, and the global power structures in which we are all enmeshed. The collaboration between MacKenzie and Nickle, points further to the role that galleries and institutions in amplifying those questions.