Our focus on art and artists during the 150th anniversary of Confederation demonstrates how a 53-year commitment to presenting and collecting Canadian art has changed in light of the many transformations of this country-changes in technology, in how we understand our history, and in the role of artists in our cultural fabric. This exhibition provides an overview of the scope of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery’s collection of historic, modern, and contemporary art works-objects and images that connect, challenge, and expand our understanding of the history of art in Canada.
The ongoing acts of collecting and arrangement for display and dissemination produce a constantly shifting narrative. Newly acquired works alter the context of those already collected. RE:collection aims to register this shift through creative juxtaposition, placing works in constructive dialogue. Collection, by its very nature, extracts objects from their original contexts. Rather than attempting to recreate those contexts through the demonstration of a chronological narrative that fixes them in time, in this exhibition we address the status of historical art works in the present. What do they tell us now? How, for example, does a 19th century landscape produced during the heyday of the colonial imagination look when placed next to a contemporary inquiry into the use and ownership of the land today? RE:collection aims to generate questions about how we see ourselves and our place in the world, how we are continuous with the visual imagination of the past, how we have broken with it, and where we are going in a longstanding quest to see and to shape what surrounds us.
– KEVIN RICE and PAN WENDT, CURATORS