Fall exhibitions at the Ottawa Art Gallery

You can also see a musical tribute to Neutral Milk Hotel at Irene’s Pub

Sandra Abma · CBC News · Posted: Oct 04, 2019 4:21 PM ET | Last Updated: October 4

Inaabiwin is a new exhibition drawn from Indigenous celebrations and ceremonies at Ottawa Art Gallery. (Toni Hafkenscheid)

Looking for something to keep you warm this crisp autumn weekend? Warm up with some free art or take in a musical tribute.

2 news show at the OAG

Contemporary Indigenous artists reconnect with sacred traditions and ceremonies in a new exhibition called Inaabiwin, a word that can be interpreted as “the art of seeing.”

A luminescent installation made of reflective discs hangs across the gallery space, sending dappled light and shadows in all directions. Artist Hannah Claus was inspired by a traditional Mi’kmaq water song, that gives thanks for the rivers and oceans. 

Water Song by Hannah Claus is an installation inspired by a recording of the Mi’kmaq water song that celebrates and thanks the water. (Hannah Claus)

Mohawk artist Greg Staats’s series of photographs and symbols recreates the stations of a condolence ceremony — a ritual he first heard about from his grandmother.

Claude Cahun, reflected in mirror, took this self portrait in 1928. (Jersey Heritage Collection)

In Facing Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore,six local artists respond to the legacy of two groundbreaking European artists who challenged the status quo in the 1920s and 30s.Lucy Shwob and Suzanne Malherbe were romantic partners and collaborators who assumed the male names of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore to make their art. They created dramatic and provocative photography that defied categorization, exploring questions of gender and identity.

Curator Michelle Gewurtz invited contemporary artists to respond to the groundbreaking work of surrealists Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore.

The duo were nearly erased from modern art history but recently their ideas have been rediscovered and embraced by a new generation of artists.

“Cahun was dealing with her own ideas around thinking about a new way of being a woman in the world,” said local  artist Laura Taler, who has created a video installation for the show.

“What I like about their work is that it addresses a lot of the same things that I’m thinking about in my work,” said Taler.

  • Where: Ottawa Art Gallery, 50 Mackenzie King Bridge.
  • When:  Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
  • Cost: Free.

‘So poetic, it’s scary’

Local singer-songwriter Jon Hynes remembers the first time he listened to a song by Neutral Milk Hotel.

“It just completely affected me,” Hynes recalls feeling. “It’s so poetic, it’s scary. The melody’s gorgeous and completely without fault.”

Local singer-songwriter Jon Hynes is the founder of the music series paying tribute to influential moments in music. (Sandra Abma/CBC )

Hynes aligns himself with the fans of the Neutral Milk Hotel’s album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, a recording that has reached cult status since its 1998 release. 

“You meet people that either love the record, are obsessed with it and say it’s a huge influence or have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Hynes has assembled a group of like musicians to recreate the album note for note on Saturday, as part of a sporadic concert series which pays tribute to influential moments in music.

  • Where: Irene’s Pub, 885 Bank St.
  • When: Saturday at 9:30 pm.
  • Cost: $15 tickets at the door.

Sandra Abma


Sandra Abma is a veteran CBC arts journalist. If you have an event or idea you want to share, please do at sandra.abma@cbc.ca.

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