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Remai Modern to open borderLINE, a new exhibition featuring 20 Prairie artists

For immediate release — September 23, 2020

SASKATOON, CANADA — Works by 34 artists and collectives across five treaty territories and two provinces make up the new exhibition borderLINE: 2020 Biennial of Contemporary Art, opening this month at both Remai Modern and the Art Gallery of Alberta.

A partnership between Remai Modern and the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA), this exhibition marks the first time since the inception of the Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art in 1996 that the AGA has collaborated with an organization outside of the province.

The exhibition runs concurrently in both Edmonton and Saskatoon featuring different artists and works presented in each city.

Artists (physically or otherwise within, from, or in proximity to the borders of the Numbered Treaties 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 in Alberta and Saskatchewan) were selected in 2019 through a public call, followed by weeks of studio visits. Artists were invited to consider the concepts of borders; as lines that draw distinctions as well as define areas, practices, cultures and states of mind. The exhibited works include a wide range of mediums, including painting, sculpture, installation, video and more.

borderLINE is the largest exhibition focused on Prairie artists at Remai Modern to date. The structure of the biennial means that many of the artists have created new work for the show,” said Sandra Fraser, Remai Modern Curator (Collections). “It has been an amazing experience to work with such talented artists, who are at different stages of their careers, and to be part of such a dynamic curatorial team.”

“In this iteration, the 2020 Biennial of Contemporary Art shifted from a focus on artists in the province of Alberta to artists situated on Indigenous territory—in relationship to Alberta. As an Indigenous curator, I appreciate the inclusion or disruption (depending on whom you talk to), and what the Art Gallery of Alberta’s curator Lindsey Sharman has articulated as the exhibition as land acknowledgement,” said Felicia Gay, guest curator for Remai Modern. “It has been an honour in my view, to be part of a project, that has situated and acknowledged our shared territories and the artists that inhabit these places outside the traditional biennial format.”

This exhibition probes the ways borders are defined, who has the power to enforce them, and who (or what) is confined by their limits. The artists speak to these critical questions on a formal and conceptual level, uncovering both physical borders and those that exist in our subconscious and unconscious. The works in this exhibition consider how we live with the land and with each other, exposing privilege, reciprocity and erasures.

Featured artists at Remai Modern:

• Judy Anderson and Cruz Anderson

• Cindy Baker

• Elisabeth Belliveau

• Heather Benning

• Lisa Birke

• Bill Burns

• Thirza Jean Cuthand

• Wally Dion

• Blair Fornwald and Nic Wilson

• Don Gill

• Laura Hale

• Laura Kinzel

• Michèle Mackasey

• Barbara Meneley

• Tim Moore

• Lyndal Osborne

• Nurgül Rodriguez

• Laura St. Pierre

On opening day, Saturday, September 26, Remai Modern will host a series of live interactions with artists from the exhibition.

From 1:30-4:30 PM, visitors will have an opportunity to meet the artist and participate in a project by artist Nurgül Rodrigeuz. Her project Out of Place is comprised of 1,095 porcelain cups to represent the number of days she was required to be in Canada during a five-year period to become a Canadian citizen. Visitors will have an opportunity to meet the artist and participate in her project by taking home one of the cups in exchange for answering a question from the Canadian Citizenship Guide. A correct answer isn’t required, but the artist hopes it causes visitors to consider their own knowledge of the country’s history and empathize with the immigration experience. This is the first of several facilitated exchanges of Rodriguez’s work that will take place during the run of borderLINE.

From 2-3:30 PM on Remai Modern’s outdoor terrace, visitors can experience Bill Burns’ performance The Goat, the Honey, the Milk, the Country Singer. Burns will work with fellow artist Monique Blom, who will render honey and milk a goat for Burns to mix together. Burns and Blom will share their knowledge, while Andy Beisel provides musical accompaniment. 

At 3 PM, artist Cindy Baker will perform it could hardly not be Cindy Baker, an artistic gesture meant to recreate one of her dreams. This minimal work involves the artist quietly holding a sculpture while sitting on a cloud-like mat on the landing. Baker’s work in borderLINE continues her exploration of dreamwork and tis relationship to memories, trauma and the body. She catalogues her dreams and realizes them through evocative installations.

Visitors are encouraged to come and go as they please during all three program elements. The outdoor performances are free to the public, while the two indoor programs are free with admission.

borderLINE: 2020 Biennial of Contemporary Art runs from September 26, 2020 to February 14, 2021. The exhibition is curated by Sandra Fraser, Felicia Gay, Franchesca Hebert-Spence and Lindsey Sharman.

About Remai Modern

Remai Modern is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Traditional Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respects to First Nations and Métis ancestors and reaffirm our relationship with one another.

Remai Modern is a new museum of modern and contemporary art in Saskatoon. The museum is committed to affirming the powerful role that art and artists play in questioning, interpreting and defining the modern era.

Open since October 2017, Remai Modern is the largest contemporary art museum in western Canada and houses a collection of more than 8,000 works, including the world’s foremost collection of Picasso linocut prints.

Remai Modern would like to acknowledge the contributions of the Frank & Ellen Remai Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, SaskCulture through the Sask Lotteries Fund, the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the City of Saskatoon.

For additional information contact:

Stephanie McKay, Communications Manager