Adorned with acanthus leaves on one side and Kufic script on the other, a marble stele from the permanent collection of the Aga Khan Museum is the central object around which HERE: Locating Contemporary Canadian Artists radiates. The stele, which bears inscriptions separated by seven centuries, was originally an architectural decoration in the Roman period - yet in the tenth century it was repurposed to mark the grave of a leather merchant in Cairo. Its many layers speak to and though one another; its present is the sum of at least two different pasts.
The contemporary artists featured in HERE suggest that Canadian identity, too, is made up of many "inscriptions" and embedded stories. Whether Canadian-born or naturalized, permanent residents, or ex-pats, these artists carry experiences from multiple geographies and generations, from neighbours old and new. Building a future means recognizing our complex, multivalent histories. We are learning that the idea of "here" is not fixed, and we are not static.
Dimensions: 25 x 20 x 1.7 cm