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Theaster Gates: How to Build a House Museum

Exhibition dates

July 21, 2016 – October 30, 2016

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Talks & Events

Perspectives on the House Museum
Tuesday, October 25 2016


Progress of Place: Black on Earth Film Series
7 pm, Jackman Hall

Program 1: September 23
Program 2: September 30
Program 3: October 7

Friday, October 28
7pm Jackman Hall

Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates takes over the fifth floor of the AGO’s Contemporary Tower with an immersive exhibition exploring the potential of the house museum—historically important landmarks that have been transformed into legacy sites. Gates proposes new ways of honouring and remembering Black experience and explores the potential of these spaces through music, dance, video, sculpture and painting. Organized as a world of symbolic structures and their associated objects, the exhibition is dedicated to Black luminaries including George Black, Frankie Knuckles and Muddy Waters. How to Build a House Museum invites visitors to tour the house museum in its many possible forms: as an architectural monument, historical representation, or site of freedom.

Curated by Kitty Scott, the AGO’s Carol and Morton Rapp Curator, Modern & Contemporary Art, this exhibition marks Gates' first major solo exhibition in Canada, and reflects the AGO’s ongoing engagement with contemporary art and commitment to working with living artists.

Join dancers Jasmyn Fyffe, Kosi Eze, Esie Mensah, and Diana Reyes in the exhibition Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30pm, Saturdays from 2-4pm and Thursdays in August from 2-4 pm, Fridays in September from 6:30-8:30 pm and Sundays in October from 2-4 pm.

Generously supported by

  • pia logo
  • Bob Dorrance and Gail Drummond
  • Maxine Granovsky Gluskin and Ira Gluskin
  • The Jay and Barbara Hennick Family Foundation
  • Nadir and Shabin Mohamed
  • Jay Smith and Laura Rapp

Public programs supported by

  • The United States Consulate General in Toronto, Canada

Supported by

  • Canada Council for the Arts
  • We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

    Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L'an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l'art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

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