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The Art Gallery of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are located in Treaty 6 Territory, the traditional land of diverse Indigenous Peoples including the Plains Cree, Woodland Cree, Beaver Cree, Nitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Anishinaabe/Saulteaux/Ojibwe and Dene Peoples. We also acknowledge the many Indigenous, Inuit and Métis people who make Alberta their home today.

Dean Drever: Pass the Hat

Dean Drever, Pass the Hat (paper),2013.Pape. 15’ 9” x 41” x 41”.Collection of Miriam Shiell and Leon Liffmann, promised gift to the AGA. Installation view of Dean Drever: Pass the Hat, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, 2022.Photography by Charles Cousins, courtesy of the Art Gallery of Alberta.

Dean Drever’s Pass the Hat is a 16 ft. totem pole made of 10,686 pieces of paper. It is a documentation of the strength of the Haida First Nation while addressing its fragility due to colonial practices of oppression.

Pass the Hat (paper) reconstitutes traditional totem pole construction through contemporary industrial processes. It does the same with industrial and digital processes themselves by transposing the subordinate position of culture to technology. In this way it encompasses and addresses changing practices and points to the interpenetration of industry and culture, imagination and reason. 

"Totems sustain and relay cultural narratives and stories of clan lineage, history and family. The bear and the thunderbird are illustrative symbols of power and domination, but they are also symbols of resistance and responsibility. I am interested in documenting the strength of the enduring symbols of my culture, while at the same time, addressing its fragility due to colonial practices of oppression," says Drever. 

Pass the Hat (paper) communicates the ephemeral and lasting nature of ideology, narrative, and the variations method and form can both take and give to ritual and story.

“I am the thunderbird who is placing a Watchman’s hat upon the head of the bear/human, who is my daughter.  As I pass the hat to her, I am giving my knowledge of our culture and lineage. I am telling her where she came from; I am sharing the ways in which we communicate and express ourselves through art. As I give myself to her, she becomes the thunderbird, the watchman, and the bear all at once. She becomes responsible for carrying on the traditions of our family.  As she watches over her generation, I watch over her," says Drever.
 
Organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta and curated by Catherine Crowston, this exhibition is presented by Capital Powered Art, an exhibition series sponsored by Capital Power Corporation.

Bios

Dean Drever (b. 1970) is a member of the Haida First Nation. He was born in Edmonton, Alberta and studied sculpture at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary. His work has been shown at White Columns in New York City, The Toronto Sculpture Garden, Vancouver Olympics 2010, Guerrero Gallery in San Francisco, and The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa, Ontario.

Recent exhibitions include Villa Toronto at Union Station in Toronto, Everything’s Going To Be OK Again Soon - a survey show of Drever’s work from 1998 to present, curated by Robert Enright at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, and Fiction/Non-Fiction - a group show curated by Naomi Potter, Wayne Baerwaldt, and Steve Loft at the Esker Foundation in Calgary and “MKG127” at 57w57 in New York City. Drever is currently working on three large public art commissions and a book project with American novelist Barry Gifford.

Dean Drever lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.

Hours

Monday: closed
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: 11am-5pm
Thursday: 11am-7pm
Friday: 11am-5pm
Saturday: 11am-5pm
Sunday: 11am-5pm

Admission

AGA members
FREE
Youth 0-17
FREE
Alberta students 18+
FREE
Out-of-province students
$10
General admission
$14
Seniors 65+
$10

Location

2 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 2C1

780.422.6223
info@youraga.ca

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The Art Gallery of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are located in Treaty 6 Territory, the traditional land of diverse Indigenous Peoples including the Plains Cree, Woodland Cree, Beaver Cree, Nitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Anishinaabe/Saulteaux/Ojibwe and Dene Peoples. We also acknowledge the many Indigenous, Inuit and Métis people who make Alberta their home today.