IIt’s high season for beaches and movies, of course, but don’t forget there’s plenty to see in galleries all over Halifax this summer. Soak up the beauty of great interiors while expanding your mind and heart with these seven must-see shows:
The world of Yousuf Karsh: a private essence at Pier 21
While the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is, logically, a summer-long tourist hub, this photographic exhibit is a case for locals making the trip to the water’s edge, too: Yousuf Karsh was the type as a portrait photographer who was not content to capture faces, but also the times and places they evoke. These 100 black-and-white snapshots of some of the 20th century’s brightest personalities – Portia White, Nelson Mandela and Earnest Hemingway, to name a few – show Karsh’s ability to render even lines and the outlines of history’s most famous faces as intimate as a hand-drawn map.
Until October 16
Reveal the stories at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
If Stan Douglas’ name doesn’t ring a bell just yet, know that the chime will soon come: his 30-year resume includes commissions from New York’s Empire State Development and the honor of representing Canada at the 59th Venice Biennale this year. Halifax then enjoys the brilliance of a legendary talent as the exhibition Reveal the stories occupies the lower level of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. The large-scale photos aren’t just taken by Douglas: he stages them as micro-movies of a scene, complete with dramatic lighting, period-appropriate costumes, and a mix of CG imagery. In the final photos, the story of a people (a narrative of events from everyone’s point of view, not that of those responsible) is captured and considered: a new angle on the real events, drawing parallels that will turn in the spectator’s head during days.
Until November 6
Bright Night at studio 21
Since it takes a car to get to Nova Scotia’s Dark Sky Preserve (located in Kejimkujik National Park), and winter really is the best time for stargazing anyway, the artist Kristine Richer backs you up with a showcase of night sky shots so good they’ve won NASA’s prestigious Astronomical Photo of the Day competition, twice. Here, in her first solo exhibition, the artist invites viewers to slow down and reflect: “At night, far from the ‘whisper’ of the city glow, I feel humbled. Darkness is no longer in darkness and there is light in that darkness. This dazzling light reveals a connection to something outside of our domestic lives, something big, something remarkable, something unknown,” Richer says in his artist statement. “I become an explorer, mapping the vast splendor of the cosmos. The relationship between earth’s terrain and nightscape creates a narrative of our natural home in the limitless universe.
Until August 15
To be free, everything you hate and fear the most at the blue building
Lucie Chan must have a hard time fitting all facets of her work into the limited characters of a social media bio: the Guyana-born artist’s practice involves multiple mediums (although she’s best known for her large-scale installation drawings) and she often interviews her subjects to make deep connections between seemingly unrelated topics, much like an anthropologist or even a journalist would. Here, Chan presents a series of works including drawings, photographs, videos, found materials, audio recording, and more. Thematically, Be free responds to Chan’s curiosity about how the experiences of people of color, especially black people, differ and are intertwined. “Chan brings together many explorations of how race has been portrayed, misinterpreted and reclaimed, framing it all with a set of questions,” the gallery adds in a statement. “How close can we come to understanding the complexities of experiences different from our own? How are those who experience oppression remembered and interpreted? How to address these issues relating to identity and merchandise?
Until September 10
lick the dream at the Khyber Center for the Arts
A solo exhibition of brand new works awaits you at Khyber. lick the dream sees artist Cadence Planthara examine grief, power, agency, legacy and identity through an installation showcase, thinking of their artist’s statement: “My hope is that sharing this work oblique and poetic with others will be somewhat generative – new conversations, relationships, connection, healing? »
Until August 6
Ta’n me’j Tel-keknuo’ltiek (Da’n mej Del-geg-new-ol-tee-egg): How unique we are always at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
In the internationally successful memoir of Billy Ray Belcourt A story of my brief body, the award-winning poet describes being an Indigenous person in so-called Canada as the experience of living inside a museum and how he hopes his memoirs will climb the walls of that museum so that the scene can be seen from the ceiling. As viewers interact with the sprawling TK exhibit with feet firmly on the ground, the wish for subversion in the name of truth feels similarly fulfilled. The exhibit takes up approximately half of the ground floor of the Maritime Museum, a multimedia exploration of Mi’kmaq history and their connection to the water and land of their ancestral home, the Mi’kma’ki . Traversing from time immemorial to the recent past (pandemic-era violence against Sipekne’katik First Nation rights-based fishing is included), it weaves together art, interviews and historical archives to illuminate and celebrate these first peoples.
Lived Room: Objects Frozen in Time at the Mary E. Black Gallery
Multidisciplinary artist Camila Salcedo returns to Halifax after some time away for this exhibition, which sees her and fellow artist/collaborator denirée isabel (who create works together under the name Comrades) examine how immigration cleaves a life between a before and an after.
The complex and problematic relationship between migration and assimilation is explored through a mix of atmospheric elements (think smells and sounds) and craftsmanship that tell the personal stories of diverse Canadian newcomers.
July 29-August. 28