Braided Sestina (2019 by Chantal Gibson. From the visual poem series.
For the duration of this exhibit, visitors can make their own redaction poetry inspired by the work of Chantal Gibson, which re-contextualizes and reimagines problematic historical texts through the framing of James Baldwin.
Chantal Gibson (chantalgibson.com/) is an artist-educator interested in the cultural production of knowledge. Her work explores the overlap between literary and visual art, challenging colonialism and the imperialist notions quietly embedded in everyday things— from academic school books to kitschy souvenir spoons. Her visual art has appeared at the ROM in Toronto and MBAM in Montreal and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. After publishing her first book of poetry How She Read (Caitlin Press) in February, Chantal was named one of CBC’s 6 Black Canadian writers to watch in 2019. An award-winning instructor, she teaches writing and design communication in the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at Simon Fraser University.
How She Read is a collection of genre-blurring poems about the representation of Black women, their hearts, minds and bodies, across the Canadian cultural imagination.
Drawing from grade-school vocabulary spellers, literature, history, art, media and pop culture, Chantal Gibson’s sassy semiotics highlight the depth and duration of the imperialist ideas embedded in everyday things, from storybooks to colored pencils, from paintings to postage stamps.
Guided by artist and writer Chantal Gibson, Wa Na Wari visitors and staff create their own redaction poetry that re-contextualizes and reimagines problematic historical texts through the framing of James Baldwin.