Two colossal inflatable sculptures by the Winnipeg-based artist prod the colonial roots of economic and racial inequality in the country.
After Divya Mehra uncovered the colonial history behind a misidentified 18th-century statue, the Mackenzie Art Gallery repatriated it and acquired Mehra’s work about the figure in its stead.
Divya Mehra offers a complex view of race and identity that supplants the myth of a monolithic Other.
At Winnipeg’s Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, art acts as a kind of magnifying glass, exposing the city’s unconventional and, at times, undesirable aspects.
Divya Mehra and I met briefly, almost in passing at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada a couple years back. In what seemed moments we were arguing about the role artists have in society, and the problems and difficulties of institutional support. This quickly led to a deep respect for Divya and her work.
NORTH ADAMS, Massachusetts — Framed on the faux-log-cabin wall of Kent Monkman’s piece “Two Kindred Spirits” (which depicts the American western characters of Tonto and the Lone Ranger as lovers in a sort of Horatio/Hamlet life-sized diorama death scene) is a hand-embroidered phrase: “The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name.” This Oscar Wildean quotation also encapsulates the ever-nuanced Canada/U.S. relationship, and may give us a clue as to what’s really up with our neighbor to the north.