Deanna Bowen Curator: Kimberly Phillips A Harlem Nocturne

Date(s): Sep 12 to 30 2020


Deanna Bowen, Theatre Under the Stars’ cast photo from Finian’s Rainbow, Circa 1953, 2019. Photo: SITE Photography

Exhibition presented by OBORO, Ada X and GIV

Circulated by the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, with the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts

The three artist-run centers of 4001 Berri are pleased to present Deanna Bowen’s first major exhibition in Quebec.

Deanna Bowen’s artistic practice concerns itself with histories of Black experience in Canada and the US. Her focus is the “dark matter” in our midst: figures and events that have remained below the threshold of visibility not because they are impossible to find but because their existence reveals a systematized racism difficult for the majority culture to acknowledge. Bowen reactivates historic material sourced from overlooked archives through a process of extraction, translation and enlargement, and then reinserts this material into public consciousness in a new form.

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Deanna Bowen, Theatre Under the Stars’ cast photo from Finian’s Rainbow, Circa 1953, 2019. Photo: SITE Photography

Deanna Bowen is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist whose practice examines race, migration, historical writing, and authorship. Bowen makes use of a repertoire of artistic gestures in order to define the Black body and trace its presence and movement in place and time. In recent years, Deanna’s work has involved rigorous examination of her family lineage and their connections to the Black Prairie pioneers of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Creek Negroes and All-Black towns of Oklahoma, the extended Kentucky/Kansas Exoduster migrations, and the Ku Klux Klan.

Kimberly Phillips is a Vancouver-based writer, curator and educator. she holds a doctorate in art history from the University of British Columbia, with research interests sited at the convergence of dis- courses on memory, identity and interventions in urban space. She is Director/Curator of Access gallery and regularly teaches on curatorial practices and the history of visual culture at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

A discussion between artist Deanna Bowen and curator Kimberly Phillips on the exhibition A Harlem Nocturne, presented by OBORO, Ada X and GIV. This conference was held online on October 15, 2020 in English and ASL.

Interviews with Verónica Sedano, Natacha Clitandre and Tamar Tembeck about Deanna Bowen’s exhibition, A Harlem Nocturne, which will take place at 4001 Berri from September 12 to October 17, 2020.

Deanna Bowen, view from the exhibition A Harlem Nocturne, 2020. Photo : R. Alannah Morrison

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