november, 2021

27nov(nov 27)1:00 pm21mar(mar 21)5:00 pmHistory Is Rarely Black or WhiteAt Agnes Etherington Art Centre

Event Details

The cotton industry advanced climate change, widened global
income disparity and commercialized the oppression of marginalized communities.
Lives were irrevocably changed by these effects. History Is Rarely
Black or White
 focuses on people groups brought forcibly to North
America through the Transatlantic Slave Trade, as well as their descendants in
the United States and Canada.


The exhibition interrogates cotton garments in the Queen’s Collection of Canadian Dress through
archival research and scientific analysis that connects these materials to
resource extraction, Indigenous displacement, enslaved labour, and the
Underground Railroad. This history is also shown through tintypes and artifacts.


History Is Rarely Black or White engages
contemporary art and fashion to examine colonial history and envision a
radically positive future. Artists Karin Jones, Gordon Shadrach and Damian Joel
demonstrate the manner in which the burden of colonial history entwines itself
in research, making and cultural heritage. Jones and Shadrach discuss the
ongoing legacies of oppression that created the global cotton industry. Joel
mines the history of enslavement, migration and making in his fashion story, Songs
of the Gullah
. The inclusion of his work brings the exhibition full circle
by juxtaposing the collections at Agnes with contemporary pieces based on
similar networks of relation.


Curated by Jason Cyrus


History Is Rarely Black or White is generously supported by Bader
Philanthropies, Inc. Jason Cyrus would like to thank the Ontario Arts Council,
an agency of the Government of Ontario through the Curatorial Projects:
Indigenous and Culturally Diverse program for supporting this exhibition.


Find out more:



November 27 (Saturday) 1:00 pm - March 21 (Monday) 5:00 pm


Agnes Etherington Art Centre

Queen’s University, 36 University Avenue, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, K7L 3N6

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