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January 31, 2022

Digital AGNES portal

Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen's University

Ezi Odozor, Spirit Banter, 2021. Photograph. Courtesy of the artist.

View of Spirit Banter: Ezi Odozor, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University. Photo: Paul Litherland.

View of History Is Rarely Black or White, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University. Photo: Paul Litherland.

Karin Jones, Freed. Installation view, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University.

View of History Is Rarely Black or White, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University. Photo: Paul Litherland.

View of History Is Rarely Black or White, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University. Courtesy of the artist, Gordon Shadrach. Photo: Paul Litherland.

View of History Is Rarely Black or White, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University. Photo: Paul Litherland.

View of With Opened Mouths, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University. Photo: Paul Litherland.

Left to right, top: Qanita Lilla, Ezi Odozor and Jason Cyrus, Oluseye. Middle: Sebastian De Line, Atlantic Ocean, Jennifer Nicoll. Bottom: Jessie Ray Short and Amy Malbeuf, Britta B, Jameel3DN. 

Digital-borne initiatives create opportunities for participation and exchange across communities, cultures, histories and geographies.

Spirit Banter: Ezi Odozor
Visit the online exhibition on Digital AGNES. Ezi Odozor’s commissioned long-form poem, with audio/visual components creates a narrative arc between the exhibitions History Is Rarely Black or White and With Opened Mouths. The poem invites guests into the space, offering a passageway to the world of the work, but also standing as a bridge for the multiple worlds we all inhabit. Curated by Emelie Chhangur. Supported by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

History Is Rarely Black or White
Access the online exhibition on Digital AGNES to look closely at works, experience a walk-through tour and watch artists speak about their work. The exhibition, in-gallery through 20 March 2022 and online, interrogates cotton garments in Queen’s Collection of Canadian Dress through archival research and scientific analysis that connects these materials to resource extraction, Indigenous displacement, enslaved labour, and the Underground Railroad. Artists Karin Jones, Gordon Shadrach, and Damian Jöel demonstrate the way burdens of colonial history entwines itself in research, making and cultural heritage. Curated by Jason Cyrus.

History Is Rarely Black or White is generously supported by Bader Philanthropies, Inc. Jason Cyrus thanks Queen's Facility for Isotope Research (QFIR) and Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario through the Curatorial Projects: Indigenous and Culturally Diverse program.

History Is Rarely Black or White speaker series
Watch the recorded talks or register for the upcoming February 11 live virtual event.

Black Bodies, White Gold: Unpacking slavery and North American cotton production
Watch now. Global thirst for cotton was fueled by the atrocities of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Anna Arabindan-Kesson joins History Is Rarely Black or White curator Jason Cyrus and conservator Anne-Marie Guérin to discuss ways in which they harnessed science, conservation, and historical research to spotlight Black life at the core of the Victorian cotton industry.

Fully Known: Cotton Production, Black History, and the Canadian Experience
Watch now. Charmaine Nelson and Shannon Prince join Jason Cyrus tell stories of Black people on both sides of the border by connecting the Victorian cotton industry with the Underground Railroad and settlement in Canada, addressing the related colonial legacies that still affect Black Canadian life today.

Style as Armour: Identity, Clothing, and Self-Fashioning in History Is Rarely Black or White
Online, February 11, 2022, 1–2:30pm ET.
Sign up. Julie Crooks and Nigel Lezama join Jason Cyrus to explore the use of style to both affirm one’s personhood and challenge oppression. Together they examine archival tintypes, contemporary portraiture, and Victorian cotton clothing to shine a light on clothing’s important role in constructing Black identity.

Supported by the David and Patti Bain Memorial Fund and the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

With Opened Mouths podcast
Qanita Lilla, Associate Curator, Arts of Africa and curator of With Opened Mouths, sits down with artists, musicians, curators and spoken word poets to discuss the expression of their practice. Reflecting Agnes’s new curatorial approach of working along a continuum of exhibitions and programs, the podcast is mobilizing a range of guests including artist Oluseye, rapper Jameel3DN, spoken word poet Britta B, Métis artists and curators Jessie Ray Short and Amy Malbeuf, curator Jason Cyrus and writer Ezi Odozor, and Agnes’s Associate Curator, Indigenous Care and Relations Sebastian De Line and Collections Manager Jennifer Nicoll.

Seven episodes are currently streaming at Digital AGNES, CFRC’s website, and on popular podcasting platforms like Apple, Google and Spotify. Be sure to subscribe now to stay up to date. Original music by Jameel3DN, produced by Elroy “EC3” Cox III and commissioned by Agnes, 2021. Produced in partnership with CFRC 101.9 FM and supported by the Justin and Elisabeth Lang Fund and the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

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