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The Seriousness of Play 
Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
ISBN 978-1-910433-11-9

Playful and expressive, exuberant and imaginative, these characteristics suffuse the art of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. Internationally recognized as the creator of Haida manga, his distinctive aesthetic stretches, twists and flips the formlines of classic Haida art-an Indigenous art resonant of the Pacific Northwest coast-to create new spaces where dynamic imagery, resonant with the graphic vitality of manga, and multiple meanings unfold. Initially confined to paper-based narrative work, the twenty-first century saw Yahgulanaas' visual practice spinning, expanding and transmuting into different mediums, structures and scales, including painted canvases, mixed media installations, repurposed automobile parts, large-scale public art projects and animated forms. Despite its mutability, Yahgulanaas' art remains committed to exploring the interface between Indigenous worldview and intercultural systems of value; between the poetics of being in the world, in his case as an artist of Haida and European ancestry, and the politics of land, cultural heritage and global ecological affairs. By refiguring lines and stories and engaging with contemporary cultural concerns, through his art, Yahgulanaas opens up the realm of play where different ways of experiencing , knowing and seeing the world can emerge. 

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The Marvellous Real
Art from Mexico, 1926-2011
ISBN 978-0-9918588-5-9

To experience the marvellous real, wrote the great Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier, "we have only to reach out our hands to grasp it. Our contemporary history presents us with strange occurrences every day." By turns surprising, moving and thought-provoking, the varied artworks in this lavishly illustrated book reveal some of the extraordinary engagements and creative expressions of artists living in Mexico. 

         Drawn from the prestigious FEMSA Collection, the works include paintings by celebrated artists such as Frida Kahlo, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Leonora Carrington as well as sculptures and digital installations by contemporary artists like Iñaki Bonillas, Marianna Dellekamp and Yishai Jusidman.

          Placing these works in context are three engaging essays. Alejo Carpentier repudiates the claims of André Breton's surrealism to argue that Latin America can only be understood as a condition configured by the co-existence of the marvellous and the real. Anthony Shelton argues that surrealism was itself absorbed and refracted by a uniquely Mexican Marvellous real that owes more to earlier Mexican artists and thinkers than to the French avant-garde. And Nicola Levell traces some of the ways in which the marvellous real offers new insights into the artworks presented here. The result is a kaleidoscopic collection of glimpses of Mexico and its art from 1926 to the present. 

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Oriental Visions
Exhibitions, Travel and Collecting in the Victorian Age
 
ISBN 0-9518141-9-2

In 1852 the immense glass structure which had housed the world's first Great Exhibition was moved from Hyde Park to the village of Sydenham. The Crystal Palace soon became a popular destination, attracting more than a million visitors every year and transforming it s once isolated surrounds into fashionable London suburbs. This study begins by examining the powerful, though selective, representations of the distant Orient at the People's Palace, which enchanted Victorian sightseers, artists, collectors, and travellers. It then looks at the spectacular displays of the British Empire's 'eastern possessions' at the Colonial and Indian Exhibitions of 1886 in South Kensington. Together these two exiibitionary complexes, with their variegated and enticing incarnations of the exotic Orient, not only guided Frederick John Horniman's travels but influenced the type of material that he acquired for his Museum, which was located a short distance from the Crystal Palace. In reconstructing the biography of the largely forgotten Victorian collector, Frederick Horniman, his tours, his collecting, and his Museum, Levell exposes the network of individuals, objects,  exhibitions, and institutions, which gave rise to an array of oriental visions. 

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BOOKS

 

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From Carnival To Lucha Libre
Mexican Masks and Devotions 

ISBN 978-989-8167-61-3

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CHAPTERS AND ARTICLES

(2018) Levell, Nicola, with Jisgang Nika Collison. “Curators’ Talk: A Conversation,” BC Studies

(199, special issue: Indigeneities and Museums: Ongoing Conversations), edited by Caitlin

Gordon-Walker and Martha Black, 53—79.

(2018) “Reconciliation Pole.” In Memory, edited by Philippe Tortell, Mark Turin and Margot Young.

Vancouver: Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies / UBC Press, 65—75.

(2017) “Lucha Libre Masks and the Marvellous Real: In and Out of the Ring, the Reel, the Still.” In

From Carnival to Lucha Libre: Mexican Masks and Devotions. Do Carnaval à Luta Livre.

Máscaras e Devoções Mexicanas, edited by Nicola Levell and Anthony Shelton, 138--

191. Lisbon Museum of Lisbon.

(2017) Levell, Nicola, with Anthony Shelton. “Introduction.” In From Carnival to Lucha Libre:

Mexican Masks and Devotions. Do Carnaval à Luta Livre. Máscaras e Devoções Mexicanas,

edited by Nicola Levell and Anthony Shelton, 20—29. Lisbon Museum of Lisbon.

(2015) “Paolozzi’s Lost Magic Kingdoms: The Metamorphosis of Ordinary Things.” In Artist as

Curator, edited by Celina Jeffery, 17—43. Bristol: Intellect Publishing.

(2013) "Coppers From the Hood: Haida Manga Interventions and Performative Acts.” Museum

Anthropology 36(2): 113—127.

(2013) “Site-specificity and Dislocation: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and his Haida Manga

Meddling.” Journal of Material Culture 18(2): 93—116.

(2013) “A Chronicle of the Marvellous Real: Through Five Dimensions of an Exhibition.” In The

Marvellous Real: Art from Mexico, 1926—2011, edited by Nicola Levell, 60—141. Vancouver

/ Monterrey: Figure 1 Publishing, UBC MOA / FEMSA.

(2013) “Introduction: A Baroque Aesthetic.” In The Marvellous Real: Art from Mexico, 1926—2011,

edited by Nicola Levell, 11—15. Vancouver / Monterrey: Figure 1 Publishing, UBC MOA /

FEMSA.

(2013) “Beyond Tradition, More Than Contemporary: Four Northwest Coast Artists and Citizens

Plus.” In Urban Thunderbirds/Ravens in a Material World: lessLIE, Dylan Thomas/Rande

Cook, Francis Dick, edited by Nicole Stanbridge, 38—49. Victoria: Art Gallery of Greater

Victoria.

(2011) “Dislocations: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and his Haida Manga Interventions.” Collections: A

Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals (Special issue: The Task of the Curator),

7(4): 427—429.

(2002) “The Poetics and Prosaics of Making Exhibitions. A Personal Reflection on the Centenary

Gallery.” Antropologia Portuguesa 18: 151—194.

(2001) "Illustrating Evolution. Alfred Cort Haddon and the Horniman Museum, 1901-1915.” In

Collectors. Individuals and Institutions, edited by Anthony Shelton, 253—279. London /

Coimbra: The Horniman Museum / Museu Antropológico da Universidade de Coimbra.

(2001) “Discontinuous Histories. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter and Its African

Collection, 1868-1996.” In Collectors. Expressions of Self and Other, edited by Anthony

Shelton, 181—204. London / Coimbra: The Horniman Museum / Museu Antropológico da

Universidade de Coimbra.

(2001) "Scholars and Connoisseurs, Knowledge and Taste. The Seligman Collection of Chinese

Art.” In Collectors. Expressions of Self and Other, edited by Anthony Shelton, 73—89.

London / Coimbra: The Horniman Museum / Museu Antropológico da Universidade de

Coimbra.

(2000) “Reproducing India. International Exhibitions and Victorian Tourism.” In Souvenirs. The

Material Culture of Tourism, edited by Michael Hitchcock and Kenneth Teague, 36—51.

Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

(1998) Levell, Nicola, with Anthony Shelton. “Text, Illustration and Reverie. Some Thoughts on

Museums and Education.” Journal of Museum Ethnography 10: 15—34.

(1997) “Reinventing Tradition: European Masquerades.” In Masks, edited by Anthony Shelton,

32—41. London: Prince’s Trust.

(1996) "On Keepers.” In Communicating Otherness. Cultural Encounters, edited by Elizabeth Hallam

and Nicola Levell, 9—17. Brighton: Graduate Research Centre in Culture and

Communication, University of Sussex.

(1996) Levell, Nicola, with Elizabeth Hallam, Communicating Otherness. Cultural

Encounters. Brighton: Graduate Research Centre in Culture and Communication, University

of Sussex.