October 25, 2007 - Agnes Etherington Art Centre - WORLD UPSIDE DOWN
October 25, 2007


Terrnace Houle and Jarusha Brown
Untitled, 2006, from the Urban Indian Series
Photo: Don Lee, Courtesy the Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre

20 October to 17 February

Queen’s University
Kingston Ontario
Canada K7L 3N6
tel 613.533.2190
fax 613.533.6765


Through works from a range of cultures, genres and periods, World Upside Down looks at the ways in which artists have used role reversal and displacement as a subtle (and not-so-subtle) tool of social satire. Exhibition curator Richard William Hill invites us to imagine a very different world, one where Superman is a Soviet hero, killer rabbits hunt humans, and British aristocrats dressed in “African” fabrics lose their heads. He explains, “The world upside down is one in which the symbolic order is turned on its head. As an artistic strategy, symbolic inversion illuminates and challenges the visual conventions that police social hierarchies.”

Featuring work by artists Ahmoo Angeconeb, Lori Blondeau, T.C. Cannon, Renée Cox, Jack Daws, Rosalie Favell, General Idea, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Terrance Houle and Jarusha Brown, Goyce Kakegamic, Jim Logan, Shelley Niro, Roger Shimomura, and Yinka Shonibare, the show additionally draws upon popular culture, including films such as Planet of the Apes and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the DC comic Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar, and In the Shadow of No Towers, by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman.

Terrance Houle and Jarusha Brown’s billboard images from the Urban Indian series will be on view at the intersection of Princess and Division Streets in downtown Kingston, 22 October to 18 February. In this series of sweetly parodic images, Houle performs mundane tasks of daily life while dressed in full powwow regalia to highlight the perceived, but far from actual, schism between traditional indigenous identity and
contemporary life.

World Upside Down opens with a curator’s walk-through tour of the exhibition at 8 pm on Saturday, 20 October, followed by the opening reception. Terrance Houle’s Casting Call–a participatory performance in which natives audition for roles as white actors playing natives–takes place on the same day at 2 to 5 pm and 7 to 8 pm. Richard William Hill will present the Rita Friendly Kaufman Lecture on Sunday 21 October at Ellis Hall Auditorium, Queen’s University from 2 pm. Additional programs are planned for the winter: details will be posted at www.aeac.ca

World Upside Down is curated by Richard William Hill, organized by the Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre and produced in collaboration with Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and the Musée d’art de Joliette. This exhibition is presented with the support of the Museums Assistance Program of the Canadian Department of Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the government of Ontario.

For further information, please contact Matthew Hills at 613-533-2190 or refer to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre website: www.aeac.ca

Agnes Etherington Art Centre
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