Party at the Art Gallery? Hip Hop and Aboriginal Art at the VAG, this Friday Feb 24

Credit: Vancouver Art Gallery; BeatNation4 -Shawn Hunt, Master of Ceremony, 2011, acrylic on panel.

When making plans for your Friday night, the Vancouver Art Gallery might not be the first option to come to mind.  Except this Friday.

From 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. the gallery will be hosting one of its signature Fuse events ($17.50 for adults; free for gallery members).  Fuse transforms the gallery into a hip, edgy live performance venue with music, DJs, art (obviously) and more.  It’s geared towards an evening crowd and shows a side of the VAG few visitors ever see – the after-dark, let-your-hair-down side.

This Friday’s Fuse event is a really unique one: It kicks off a new exhibit called Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture (the exhibit official opens on Saturday).   Friday’s Fuse party will feature Aboriginal DJs and projectionists Jackson 2 Bears and A Tribe Called Red, plus performance artist Skeena Reece and graffiti artist Dedos, who will be b-boy dancing.

In other words, this may be one of your few chances to hear turntables and hip hop mash-ups in the sacred halls that house Emily Carr and other masterpieces.

And if you can’t make it for Fuse, don’t worry.

The Beat Nation exhibit runs Feb. 25-June 3.   It highlights how young Aboriginal artists are making use of hip hop and other forms of pop culture to create new ways of expressing themselves in painting, sculpture, video and more.

You can check out, for instance, graffiti murals that use Haida figures, sculptures carved out of skateboard decks, hip hop performances in Aboriginal languages and abstract paintings that make use of traditional aboriginal designs.

Credit: Vancouver Art Gallery; BeatNation2 -Jordan Bennett, Turning Tables, 2010, walnut, oak, spruce, sound work. Photo: A Space Gallery.

The exhibit also emphasizes how hip hop is just the latest tool in a long tradition of aboriginal storytelling and political activism.  As explained eloquently in the catalogue, the exhibit aims to show the continuum from drum skins to turntables, natural pigments to spray paints and ceremonial dancing to break dancing.

Anyone been to a Fuse event before?  How was it? 

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed for this post

Comments are closed.