International Exhibition of Contemporary Indigenous Art

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg MB
January 22 – May 11, 2011

Now is the moment to reconfigure our notions of time to reveal alternative ways of thinking and being for the future. In Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years Indigenous artists imagine the future within the context of present experiences and past histories. By radically reconsidering encounter narratives between native and non-native people, Indigenous prophecies, possible utopias and apocalypses, this exhibition proposes intriguing possibilities for the next 500 years. "We all in different measure have carved out the future," observes Hopi photographer and filmmaker Victor Masayesva, in his book Husk of Time. "We are all clairvoyants, soothsayers, prophets, knowingly assuming our predictions."

Close Encounters brings together over 30 Indigenous artists from across Canada, the United States, South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, including newly commissioned work from Rebecca Belmore, Faye HeavyShield, Kent Monkman, and Edward Poitras. Jimmie Durham's sculptural work Pole to Mark the Centre of the World (at Winnipeg) challenges widely held ideas surrounding space and location, while James Luna's poignant installation The Spirits of Virtue and Evil Await My Ascension addresses issues of ritual and the passing of time. Close Encounters showcases artists and artworks that collectively invent provocative futures from a diversity of perspectives and practices.

With its myriad histories, trajectories, tensions, collisions and self-image(s), the city of Winnipeg offers an intriguing juxtaposition for these artistic mediations. Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years presents international Indigenous perspectives in a city that in many ways also epitomizes the future of Aboriginal people in Canada. Works in multiple venues throughout the city will serve as catalysts to invent different ways of thinking, acting, and being in the world of our shared future. At this pivotal moment in time, Close Encounters invites engagement with the speculative, the prophetic, and the unknown.

Presented by the Winnipeg Cultural Capital of Canada 2010 (; Organized by Plug In Institute for Contemporary Art with The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Urban Shaman: Contemporary Aboriginal Art and partnering organizations

Featuring work by: KC Adams, Maria Theresa Alves, Shuvinai Ashoona, Mary Anne Barkhouse, Michael Belmore, Rebecca Belmore, Postcommodity, Colleen Cutschall, Wally Dion, Jimmie Durham, Rosalie Favell, Jeffrey Gibson, Brett Graham, Faye HeavyShield, Marja Helander, Jonathan Jones, Brian Jungen, James Luna, Manomee Kavavow, Tracey Moffatt, Kent Monkman, Fiona Pardington, Reuben Paterson, Archer Pechawis, Edward Poitras, Pudlo Pudlat, Lisa Reihana, Paul Anders Simma, Doug Smarch Jr., Skawennati Tricia Fragnito, Christian Thompson, Marie Watt, Linus Woods, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun

Curatorial Collective: Candice Hopkins, Steve Loft, Lee-Ann Martin and Jenny Western

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art acknowledges the ongoing support of the Winnipeg Arts Council, the Manitoba Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Winnipeg Foundation, the WH and SE Loewen Foundation, supporters, members and volunteers.

Plug In
Institute of Contemporary Art
1-460 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg MB
Canada, R3C 0E8
T +1 (204) 942-1043
F +1 (204) 944-8663

Image Credits:
1. Postcommodity, Repellent Eye 2010 Winnipeg. Photo by Jason Grubb.
2. Wally Dion, Thunderbird, 2008, 121 x 296 x 9.4cm

Graphic Design by Ishmael Annobil /  Web Development by Ruzanna Hovasapyan