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Within the newest of a swarm of open letters which have beleaguered the artwork world, the Toronto-based Indigenous Curatorial Collective (ICCA) has written a letter to the Artwork Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in regards to the sudden departure final 12 months of their curator of Indigenous artwork Wanda Nanibush.
Nanibush, the primary curator of Canadian and Indigenous artwork on the AGO, left the group in November after “seven extremely productive years” in what AGO director and chief govt Stephan Jost informed ARTnews was a “mutual resolution.”
The ICCA’s letter, which was first reported on by The Artwork Newspaper, calls for that the group “launch Nanibush from any authorized obligations stopping her from talking publicly about her tenure and dismissal, about how she sees what occurred and why.”
It’s unclear if any such authorized obligations or agreements exist. When requested for remark an AGO spokesperson stated “usually the AGO doesn’t touch upon inner personal issues,” and referred to Jost’s assertion that was launched after Nanibush’s departure.
Nanibush’s departure was first reported by The Globe and Mail, which described “years of outspokenness that brought on friction with some on the gallery and within the arts group – which got here to a head with the Israel-Hamas battle.”
Her departure got here similtaneously a letter from the Israel Museums and Arts, Canada (IMAAC) and signed by its management workforce that accused Nanibush of “posting inflammatory, inaccurate rants in opposition to Israel” and “hate speech”.
The IMACC letter pointed to a 2016 article by Nanibush that attracts an affiliation between the Indigenous individuals of Canada and the Palestinian individuals wherein she wrote that “colonization marks a earlier than and after the place identification is radically altered by loss.”
Three separate letters adopted the IMACC letter, every lambasting the AGO for Nanibush’s departure. Jost responded with an open letter of his personal, wherein he writes “the AGO, together with many different cultural establishments, is being requested to higher outline the rights and limits of political and creative expression in a regionally various however globally complicated atmosphere. We are going to undergo a course of to hear, to grasp a number of views after which collectively we are going to articulate our institutional place.”