August 15, 2012

Beau Dick Exhibition Masks to be Burned

If you went to an art show at an established gallery and viewed works by an acclaimed artist, you would probably be shocked if someone told you that a large number of the works were scheduled to be destroyed. This is exactly what is happening with the collection of works by Beau Dick currently at Macaulay & Co Works of Art (formerly Blanket Contemporary).

Beau Dick (Image: Totem to Turquoise: Native North American Jewelery Arts of the Northwest and Southwest, 2004

While there are definitely masks for sale at this show, Beau explains that there are 40 additional masks set to be used in a potlatch this September. This will be the fourth time they have been danced. Since four is a fortuitous number in Kwakwaka'wakw culture, these masks will be danced in four ceremonies this fall and then burned. Beau says of the masks that are going to be burned: “It takes away any monetary value they have in this world and makes it real. What we have to do is recreate them — and that keeps them alive.” Macaulay & Co is located at 560 Seymour Street and this eclectic show runs until September 22, 2012.

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