In a thought-provoking study of history, culture, and connection, the MHC (Mennonite Heritage Centre) Gallery is set to unveil a unique art exhibition titled Entangled on September 22 at MHC Gallery on the CMU Shaftesbury Campus.
This collection brings together two specific visual art showcases that dive into the complicated act of settler-colonial relationships in the Paraguayan Chaco, focusing on the complexness of migration and communities binding together.
MHC Gallery, known for its exhibitions, shifts its focus to the Paraguayan Chaco, where Mennonite communities settled in the early 20th century. Previous exhibitions at the gallery have looked into the reasons behind this migration, and Entangled offers fresh views by looking into the experiences that have shaped the region since.
Entangled features "Layered Histories: Perspectives from the Chaco" by Miriam Rudolph. The Winnipeg-based printmaker was inspired to take a deep dive into the complicated history of her childhood home, the Paraguayan Chaco, through a residency with the British Museum.
Rudolph invites viewers to challenge their preconceptions about colonization's impact on society. Her work prompts reflection on biases, perceptions, and historical understanding, urging us to decolonize our thinking.
“We often think of colonization as a process of history in the past,” said Rudolph. "'Layered Histories' invites us to question our biases, our perceptions, and our understanding of history, and challenges us to decolonize our thinking.”
The Artes Vivas Indigenous Artist Collective also will display a collection of drawings that provide insights into ancestral knowledge, settler-colonial relations, and land-based relationships.
These artists, in the collective are members of the Guarani and Nivacle language groups and live in the settlements Cayin ô Clim and Yiclôcat at the periphery of the Mennonite colony Neuland in the Paraguayan Chaco. Their original ink drawings for sale, with proceeds directly supporting the artists in this vulnerable area.
Entangled promises a thought-provoking journey through history and of contemporary life in the Paraguayan Chaco. It is a challenge us to reevaluate our perspectives and encourages to look at the lasting impact of colonization on the communities and landscapes we live.