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A Season of Africa at the ROM

Source: rom.on.ca

New acquisitions, exhibitions and stirring events this fall

(Toronto, Ontario – Wednesday, September 1, 2010) The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) celebrates a Season of Africa this fall, with a thought-provoking series of exhibitions and events inspired by African art and culture. Featured are two new exhibitions, El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa and Position as Desired/Exploring African Canadian Identity: Photographs from the Wedge Collection, both opening October 2, 2010. Later this fall, significant new African acquisitions to the ROM's permanent collection will be unveiled. A full slate of related public events delves into the complex cultural, social and political issues of modern Africa. Themes range from contemporary arts to geo-political realities of the region will be explored through guest lectures, panel discussions and films.

Season of Africa Exhibitions
El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa
The Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the ROM presents the world

premiere career retrospective of Ghanaian visual artist El Anatsui. This exhibition is

the artist's first solo show in Canada and features 63 works in various media drawn

from public and private collections internationally. Drawing on Ghanaian and

Nigerian cultural references as well as global, local and personal histories, El

Anatsui's 40-year body of work comprises large shimmering metallic wall

sculptures, for which he is best known, as well as paintings and sculptures in wood,

ceramic and metal.
100 Queen's Park 416.586.8000
Toronto, Ontario www.rom.on.ca
M5S 2C6
This retrospective has been organized by the
Museum for African Art (MfAA), in New York, and
will be one of the inaugural exhibitions in the MfAA's

new building, which opens in 2011. El Anatsui: When

I Last Wrote to You about Africa will be on display in

the Roloff Beny Gallery on Level 4 of the ROM's
Michael Lee-Chin Crystal from October 2, 2010 to
January 2, 2011.
Walls and Barriers
In association with the El Anatsui exhibition, the ICC is pleased to present Walls and

Barriers: A Collaborative Project, an innovative education project by diverse youth from

secondary schools and community agencies across the Greater Toronto Area.

Unprecedented in its scale and conception, it involved more than 500 young artists and

teachers who created a public art installation inspired by and in response to the work of El

Anatsui. Walls and Barriers will be on display in Canada Court at the ROM from

September 25 until October 23, 2010.
Position as Desired
The ROM, in association with Toronto's Wedge Gallery, announces

Position as Desired /Exploring African Canadian Identity:

Photographs from the Wedge Collection, a selection of historical and

contemporary photographic works documenting the experiences of

African Canadians. The exhibition will be on display from Saturday,

October 2, 2010 to Sunday, March 27, 2011 in the Wilson Canadian

Heritage Exhibition Room of the ROM's Sigmund Samuel Gallery of

Canada.
New African Acquisitions
Contemporary African artist El Anatsui was commissioned by the

ROM to create an original metallic wall hanging for the Museum's permanent collection,

which will be unveiled in the Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, the Americas and

Asia-Pacific (Level 3, Lee-Chin Crystal) around the time of the opening of the exhibition El

Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa. In addition, several important and neverbefore-

seen objects recently acquired for the African collection will be installed in this

gallery in November and December. More information will be released soon.

*Public Events
Fresh Perspectives – Curatorial Tours of El Anatsui

Select Sundays at 2:00 pm. FREE with ROM admission
Roloff Beny Gallery
Public tours of El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa led by prominent guests

including:
Oct. 10 Julie Crooks, filmmaker and independent curator of African Art

Oct. 24 Rosemary Sadlier, President of Ontario Black History Society

Nov. 7 Kenneth Montague, Director of Wedge Curatorial Projects

Nov. 21 Sarah Quinton, Curatorial Director of Textiles Museum of Canada

Dec. 5 Peter Toh, Artistic Director of Afrofest
Film: Nollywood Cinema
Monday, October 18, 7pm
Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre
Screening of Canadian documentary film Nollywood Babylon on the bustling emergent

Nigerian film industry, followed by a Q&A. Special guests to be announced soon.

Co-presented by ROM's Young Patrons' Circle
Film: Fold, Crumple, Crush: The Art of El Anatsui
Wednesday, November 24, 7pm
Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre
Documentary film on the art and life of El Anatsui, followed by Q&A with director Susan

Vogel.
Talk: Is China good for Africa?
Wednesday, December 1, 7pm
Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre
Panel discussion on the highly debated question of China's new role on the African

continent, with award-winning journalist Doug Saunders, The Globe and Mail's European

Bureau Chief, and John Schram, Senior Fellow with the Queen's Centre for International

Relations, and former Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Sierra Leone, Togo, Liberia,

and former ambassador to Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Angola. Other panelists

to be confirmed soon.
Talk: Three Continents: Roundtable on Contemporary African Art

Wednesday, December 8, 7pm
Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre
Panel discussion by three of today's most high profile scholars on contemporary African

art:Elizabeth Harney, Professor of contemporary African art, University of Toronto; Chika

Okeke-Agulu, Professor of classical and contemporary African art, Princeton University;

Robert Storr, Dean of the Yale School of Art, director of the Venice Biennale in 2007.

Co-presented by ROM's Young Patrons' Circle
*Please note that program details are subject to change.

Institute for Contemporary Culture
The Institute for Contemporary Culture is the Royal Ontario Museum's window on

contemporary societies around the globe. Playing a vital role within the historical museum,

the ICC examines current cultural, social and political issues throughout the modern world

in thought-provoking exhibitions of contemporary art, architecture and design that are

presented in the Roloff Beny Gallery and other galleries of the Museum. In addition, a roster

of public events such as lectures, film series, debates and performances further explore

relevant themes addressed in ICC exhibitions, and serves as a catalyst for stimulating public

conversations. The ROM's extensive collections of world cultures and natural history

through the ages add context, meaning and depth to these engaging discussions of

contemporary ideas. More information at: www.rom.on.ca/icc

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El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa -Supporting Sponsor – Moira and Alfredo Romano

This exhibition is organized by the Museum for African Art, New York, and has been supported, in

part, by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the

Visual Arts.
The Royal Ontario Museum is an agency of the Government of Ontario. Opened in 1914, Canada's

largest museum of natural history and world cultures has six million objects in its collections and

galleries showcasing art, archaeology and natural science. For 24-hour information in English and

French, please call 416.586.8000 or visit the ROM's web site at www.rom.on.ca. Tickets to the ROM

are available online at www.rom.on.ca.
Upcoming ROM Exhibitions:
September 11, 2010 Playful Pursuits: Chinese Traditional Toys and Games

October 2, 2010 Position as Desired/Exploring African Canadian Identity: Photographs

from the Wedge Collection
October 9, 2010 Frederyk Chopin & the Romantic Piano

Upcoming ICC Exhibitions:
September 9, 2010 Soft Rains #6: Suburban Horror (Part 1)

September 25, 2010 Walls and Barriers: A Collaborative Project

October 2, 2010 El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa