After considering the applications of numerous artists interested in the Impressions artist residency, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), in collaboration with the Conseil des arts de Montréal, is pleased to announce that Pansee Atta has been selected from Montreal’s diverse artistic community for this project. From June 6 to July 15, 2016, the Museum will open its doors and its reserves to this visual artist, who is committed to “challenging and re-framing cultural assumptions, using animations to consider and present social justice concerns.”
“I’m incredibly excited to take part in this residency and to have this unique opportunity to work with the Museum’s collections,” said Ms. Atta. “I look forward to considering the intersections between Islamic art and European imaginings of the Muslim world, and to using the collections as a springboard for questions of representation, belonging and culture. As a painter and animator, my work has involved digitally re-creating and creatively intervening upon Orientalist works of art. I am interested in reimagining these visual traditions in ways that resist the simple and easy narratives that they too often tell, considering instead how they can help us envision our bodies, our lives and our stories in honest and unexpected ways.”
The purpose of this research and creation programme is to encourage cross-disciplinary dialogue by enabling an artist to explore and find inspiration in the fascinating resource that is the Museum’s permanent collection. The Museum boasts the largest encyclopedic collection in Quebec, comprising some 41,000 works, 4,000 of which are on display in its four pavilions. The artist in residence will provide an original perspective on this rich and varied collection.
Pansee Atta was born in 1988. She was raised in Egypt and Saudi Arabia before moving to Canada with her family in 1997. Based in Kingston, Ottawa and Montreal, she has been active in the arts for the last ten years, both professionally – as an emerging artist, an art director for mural projects, an illustrator, a teacher’s assistant – and on a voluntary basis for various organizations, including Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa, Full Moon Art Party and as a board member of Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre. She has had several solo exhibitions, participated in twenty group shows and won grants and awards. Ms. Pansee has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master’s in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University. For her Ph.D., she will research how images of Muslims are portrayed in Canadian cultural institutions while questioning how these representations affect marginalized communities. Her ongoing quest to “decolonize the museum” is aligned with the collective mission of a growing number of contemporary artists of diversity who present more current and appropriate interpretations of themselves in their artistic practice.