In this online tour Block Museum curators Essi Rönkkö and Kate Hadley Toftness discuss the work of two artists whose works seek to reframe the narratives of history. The discussion focuses on the work of Shan Goshorn and Rosalie Favell, two contemporary artists presenting art as a critical intervention in the histories of harm and erasure faced by indigenous communities.
The online tour was originally presented as part of part of WHO SAYS, WHO SHOWS, WHAT COUNTS: Thinking about History with The Block’s Collection, a 2021 exhibition that explores how art, artists, and museums engage with narratives of the past.
Who Says, Who Shows, What Counts is an exhibition about modern and contemporary art that challenges us to question how we think about the past. When we select work for exhibitions, curators, of course, always make decisions about what is important and especially whose point of view is shown. And in that sense, how we present narratives about history is always an act of wielding power. Through this exhibition, we wanted to reflect on that and the importance of including diverse perspectives in how we represent the past.Essi Rönkkö, Curator
Watch the Discussion
Reframing the Past
Time spent contemplating an artwork and the challenge of interpretation make room for ambiguity and lingering questions. Artists in this exhibition section use a variety of strategies to frame historical moments, from recycling visual tropes to creating alternative narratives. They encourage us to consider new perspectives on the past and offer opportunities to better understand a complex and uncertain world. How have artists used the past as source material for understanding the present? What role does imagination play in that process?
These highlights are part of WHO SAYS, WHO SHOWS, WHAT COUNTS: Thinking about History with The Block’s Collection, a 2021 exhibition that explores how art, artists, and museums engage with narratives of the past. To learn more about other artworks and key themes in the exhibition, check out Place and Memory, Institutions Critiqued, and Critical Portraits.