When and Where We Enter: Situating the Absented Presence of Black Canadian Art
My thesis situates recent black visual arts practices in the context of exhibition practices and art history. I undertake a content analysis of 10 years of black visual arts reviews in FUSE Magazine and perform a close read of Tau Lewis’ 2017 exhibition cyphers, tissues, blizzards, exile. Through the FUSE content analysis, I am able to explore how an artist’s gender and race influence if and how black arts are discussed in a Canadian context. In my exploration of Lewis, I find that in the exhibition, she—a black woman artist—uses opacity as an aesthetic strategy to avoid presenting her work in a traditional, consumable way. In both of these chapters, the ongoing absented presence of blackness in Canada frames my approach to the case studies.