The Metamorphosis Examines Transformation Through Physical, Spiritual and Cultural Realms

The Vancouver Art Gallery explores transformation and change in The Metamorphosis, an exhibition of contemporary installation, film, photography, sculpture and more showcasing the Gallery’s collection. On view November 24, 2018 to March 17, 2019, this presentation features international and local artists: Sonny Assu, Beau Dick, Lyse Lemieux, Marianne Nicolson, Skeena Reece, Fiona Tan, Wang Jianwei, and others.

The fourth presentation of our fall season, The Metamorphosis ties together provocative themes and ideas of change undertaken in more than forty remarkable contemporary works selected from the Gallery’s collection. Among the artworks featured, many were acquired by the Gallery over the past five years and this marks our first opportunity to showcase them.

— Kathleen S. Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

With its title inspired by Franz Kafka’s 1915 novella, The Metamorphosis invokes a compelling human and creative desire to explore oneself and the world. Kafka’s literary classic follows the experience of a man who, upon waking up, finds himself transformed into a giant insect. This exhibition looks at Kafka’s themes by way of visual art that addresses physical, spiritual and cultural transformation.

Some of the artists in The Metamorphosis physically alter the appearance of their materials, while some repurpose everyday objects in evocative ways. Other artists create works that suggest a movement between different realms or states in pursuit of altered consciousness or spiritual transcendence. Additionally, featured artists engage the issue of cultural hybridity as a result of shifts between one milieu and another, often pointing to resulting difficulties of translation.

Since 1931, the Gallery’s collection has become the most comprehensive resource for visual culture in British Columbia. The Metamorphosis highlights the wealth of the Gallery’s growing collection with works from BC and beyond.

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