THE CANADA OPTION
November 1, 2017 — January 20, 2018
Opening Reception: November 3, 2017, 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop
November 15, 2017: On Art Conversations with the Artist, 5:15 - 6 PM
December 10, 2017: Free Family Sunday, ON PAPER, 1 - 3 PM
January 20, 2018: The Canada Option Panel Discussion, 3 - 4 PM - To mark the closing of her exhibition, and the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration, Rebekah Flake will moderate a roundtable discussion about American citizenship from many perspectives. Guest panelists include dual citizens, new immigrants, visa-holders, and born-and-raised Americans. The forum is open to the public and all attendees are invited to participate in the conversation.
Philadelphia-based artist Rebekah Flake explores issues of migration and borders in The Canada Option. Using lens-based media, research and hand-made constructions, Flake transforms exhibition spaces into sites of reflection on political themes. Canada asserted independence from Great Britain through the formation of a Confederation on July 1, 1867. In 2017, 150 years later, the option of moving to Canada has been on the tips of many American tongues.
Marking the sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian self-governance and the one-year anniversary of the election of Donald Trump, The Canada Option examines the changes in American attitudes towards our northern neighbors. As America leaned right by electing President Trump, Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed liberalism. Flake, who obtained her own Certificate of Canadian Citizenship one week prior to Trump's election, has spent the past year listening and watching as her fellow citizens, family members, and refugees express their frustrations with the American political climate and desires to move. Only very few actually make the journey. Why is that?
Rebekah Flake is a Canadian-American artist exploring migration narratives and the psycho-social effects of borders. Raised in Mississippi, she references the unescapable persistence of history in the forms of public memorials and personal reflections. Her practice also expands to Berlin, where she was awarded a DAAD fellowship, and to South Africa, when she and her colleagues at Temple University received an EPPY Award for media work in Johannesburg in 2013. She was a 2015 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship finalist. She enjoys working collaboratively and has been a member of the artist collective, Little Berlin, since 2016. Flake holds an MFA in Photography and a Graduate Certificate in Documentary Arts and Ethnographic Practices from Tyler School of Art at Temple University, a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. Her studio is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she also teaches photography and digital media.
Curated by Morgan Hamilton
Beckler Family Gallery