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Portraits: Unsettled Subjects

June 24, 2001 - July 22, 2001

This exhibition showcases portraits from the MSVU collection, together with loans from various Canadian sources. Realized in painting, photography, sculpture, print media and video, these mostly contemporary works deploy individual likenesses in the service of social critique.

At the heart of the exhibition is Mary and Brigid 1917, an allegorical painting by the late Irish artist Margaret Clarke. This treasure of the MSVU collection vividly demonstrates the ability of portraits to incorporate politically charged meanings.

The works by Aaron Anais Keimberly depicted in this website consist of the Autoportraits the artist made during her studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. They document her performance in the tradition of “passing” women. In her poses for the camera, Keimberly mimes a bourgeois masculinity to foreground the everyday performance of gender, always inflected by race, class and sexuality.