Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Hiding the Audience: Viewing Arts and Arts Institutions on the Prairies

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Hiding the Audience: Viewing Arts and Arts Institutions on the Prairies

Article excerpt

Kaye, Frances W., Hiding the Audience: Viewing Arts and Arts Institutions on the Prairies. (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2003), 328pp. Paper. $34.95. ISBN 0-88864-376-4.

Hiding the Audience explores the status of the arts and arts institutions of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Influenced by postcolonial theory of Edward Said, Kaye particularly examines the artistic role that Natives have played - or been allowed to play by dominant Euro-Canadian audiences - since the settlement of Western Canada.

Kaye traces the development of arts on the prairies, focusing on the way in which art objects and performances are created by institutions and aimed at specific kinds of audiences. She focuses on the novel Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King; the cultural policies of the Banff Centre and the Glenbow Museum; the statues of Louis Riel commissioned for display in Regina and Winnipeg in the late 1960s; and the works of the Saskatchewan-based 25th Street Theatre Company. In her analysis of these creations and institutions, she traces changing attitudes towards the arts in the twentieth century. Kaye brings attention to the ways in which First Nations have been excluded from the artistic life of the prairie, or had their lives appropriated by the dominant culture, either by being exoticised as entertainment figures in events such as Banff's Indian Days, or by constantly being referred to as disappearing, vanquished and vanishing cultures. …

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