My Winnipeg Project

Please join us Friday, September 7 at 7 pm for the first opening reception of the My Winnipeg Project, organized by Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art with multiple institutional partners. The My Winnipeg Project is a series of consecutive exhibitions presenting artwork by more than 100 artists, who have worked, lived or had an association with the city of Winnipeg. As a psycho-geographic territory, Winnipeg is the birthplace of the Métis nation and the province’s forefather Louis Riel, the 1919 General Strike, the original headquarters for Harlequin Romance novels. Childhood home of Neil Young and Marshall McLuhan, Winnipeg has evolved as a remarkable centre of cultural production.

Nonetheless, ‘Winnipeg’ resists idealization as it suffers the legacies of colonialism that include racism and child poverty. It is also the coldest large city on the planet and has been plagued by floods and fires.  My Winnipeg, taking its name from the title of Guy Maddin’s award-winning film, brings together subjective and conflicting impressions of this mid-sized prairie capital, versions in which truth mingles with fiction, history, and speculation. The exhibition playfully and critically conjures diverse interpretations of Winnipeg through contemporary art and reference to ephemeral, archival, and historical materials. My Winnipeg depicts the city as a mytho-poetic place of reverie, catastrophe, carnal desire, and (sub) conscious inspiration.

There are numerous strands explored throughout these exhibition chapters, which are by no means meant as an objective survey of artwork from the city. By contrast, the My Winnipeg project focuses on recurring themes, images and aesthetics that coalesce, creating an all but momentary coherence of this place — as the artists vary widely in age, background, and media. Among such diversity, this project proposes that perhaps there is a vocabulary that is uniquely “Winnipeg,” albeit perhaps with one foot in “truth” and one foot in “fiction.”

The project will be displayed in four consecutive chapters, coalescing as the My Winnipeg Project, following a successful tour of France where more than 35,000 viewers witnessed the previous incarnations of the project.

My Winnipeg: There’s No Place Like Home, September 8 to October 7, 2012

My Winnipeg: Maps & Legends, October 27 to November 25, 2012

My Winnipeg: Winter Kept Us Warm, December 15 to January 20, 2013

My Winnipeg: The Artists’ Choice, February 9 to March 17, 2013

The artists include: Ed Ackerman, Steve Ackerman, Sharon Alward, C. Graham Asmundson, Jackson Beardy, Daniel Barrow, Louis Bakó, H. Eric Bergman, Betty and Grampy, Border Crossings Study Centre, Teresa Braun, Janessa Brunet, Paul Butler, Susan Chafe, Paul Cherwick, Kelly Clark, Eddy Cobiness, Sharron Zenith Corne, Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan, Dan Donaldson, Jamie Drew, Michael Dumontier, Marcel Dzama, Alexandra Elliott, Cliff Eyland, Ivan Eyre, Erica Eyres, Neil Farber, Rosalie Favell, Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald, Jeff Funnell, Lewis Benjamin Foote, The Fu Fu Chi Chi Choir, Tim Gardner, Liz Garlicki, Brenna George, Larry Glawson, Noam Gonick, Ken Gregory, Samantha Halas, Andrew Harwood, Gilles Hébert, Thomas Glendenning Hamilton, Richard Hines, Catherine Hunter, Vav Jungle, Alex Janvier, jaymez, Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline, Wanda Koop, Jake Kosciuk, Ernie Kovacs, Rob Kovitz, Lyndsay Ladobruk, Guy Maddin, Bonnie Marin, Doug Melnyk, Bernie Miller, Kent Monkman, Jake Moore, Norval Morrisseau, Kristin Nelson, Robert Nelson, Darryl Nepinak, Steve Nunoda, Daphne Odjig, Freya Olafson, Natasha O’Rielly, Deb Patterson, Robert Pasternak, Linda Pearce, Hope Peterson, Alex Poruchnyck and Vern Hume, Don Proch, Jon Pylypchuck, Jeanne Randolph, Carl Ray, Paul Robles, Mélanie Rocan, Julia Ryckman, Royal Art Lodge, Chris Sabel, Joseph Sanchez, Sara Shyiak, Colleen Simard, Amy Simoes, Slomotion, Kevin B.C. Stafford, Lionel McDonald Stephenson, Elaine Stocki, Diana Thorneycroft, Andrew Valko, Jordan Van Sewell, Andrea Von Wichert, Andrew Wall, Esther Warkov, Gord Wilding, Richard Williams, Adrian Williams, David Wityk, Lisa Wood, and Collin Zipp.

My Winnipeg is co-curated by Paula Aisemberg, Sigrid Dahle, Hervé di Rosa, Noam Gonick, Anthony Kiendl, Cathy Mattes and Cassidy Richardson. It is co-organized by Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, la maison rouge, Musée international des arts modestes (Sète), School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba, and the National Arts Centre (Ottawa).

Plug In ICA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Manitoba Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Winnipeg Arts Council, Canadian Heritage, the Winnipeg Foundation, our donors, members and volunteers.

Chapter Sponsor: Michael F.B. Nesbitt
Exhibit Sponsor: Cambrian Credit Union

Make sure to check Plug In ICA’s website for the complete artist list, additional programs, events, and talks during the run of My Winnipeg (September 2012 through March 2013).

A publication accompanies this exhibition and is available in the Plug In ICA Art Book Shop.

Click here to watch a video of My Winnipeg in Paris: