The MMFA is pleased to announce the historic appointment of Léuli Eshrāghi as Curator of Indigenous Arts, the first position of its kind at the MMFA.
Léuli Eshrāghi will be responsible for developing and realizing exhibitions that highlight the work of Indigenous artists from Quebec, Canada and abroad, and for securing acquisitions of new works from various territories and eras that will enrich the MMFA’s collection. Eshrāghi will also conduct research into Indigenous arts and develop cultural mediation activities for a range of audiences. At the institutional level, they will support Indigenous affirmation and implement cultural protocols.
This new, key position, which has been made possible thanks to a generous donation by Scotiabank, will foster increased understanding and dissemination of Indigenous arts as well as support new generations of artists and professionals who are taking part in a redefinition of our shared history.
About Léuli Eshrāghi
Member of the Sāmoan clans Seumanutafa and Tautua, Léuli Eshrāghi is a Sāmoan, Persian, Cantonese and European author, artist, researcher and curator. They hold a postdoctoral fellowship from Concordia University, Montreal, a PhD in Curatorial Practice from Monash University, and a Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Arts Management from the University of Melbourne. Léuli Eshrāghi is passionate about visual, gestural and spoken languages, and their expertise includes Indigenous art histories, contemporary practices and institutional development in the Great Ocean and North America.
Léuli Eshrāghi has curated numerous exhibitions at such institutions as the University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, with Peta Rake, the Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, with John G. Hampton, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Artspace Aotearoa, Auckland, and the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, as part of the Visiting Curators collective, with Tarah Hogue, Sarah Biscarra Dilley, Lana Lopesi and Freja Carmichael, the A Space Gallery, Toronto, the University of New South Wales Galleries, Sydney, and Monash University Museum of Art. There, they have notably presented the work of artists Joi T. Arcand, asinnajaq, Torika Bolatagici, Seba Calfuqueo, Yuki Kihara, Kite, Caroline Monnet, Leyla Stevens, Shannon Te Ao and Angela Tiatia.
Léuli Eshrāghi is Curator of the eighth edition of the TarraWarra Biennial, ua usiusi faʻavaʻasavili, held in Healesville, Australia, in 2023. In their capacity as Curatorial Researcher in Residence at the University of Queensland Art Museum, they contributed to developing the Blue Assembly initiative, which includes multiple artist residencies, exhibitions and publications examining kinship and knowledge structures that unite artists, scientists, Indigenous elders, coastal spaces and marine species. They also worked as Scientific Advisor on the exhibition Reclaim the Earth at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, in 2022.
Author of Indigenous Aesthetics and Knowledges for Great Ocean Renaissances (Common Room Editions, 2023), co-editor, with Camille Larivée, of the essay collection D'horizons et d'estuaires : entre mémoires et créations autochtones (Éditions Somme toute, 2020), and author of articles published in various journals, they have also led and co-led residencies and workshops through the online journal Momus, the Forge Project near Hudson, New York, Beaux-Arts in Paris, the École Supérieure d’Art d’Avignon and the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts.
Alongside their curatorial practice, Léuli Eshrāghi maintains an artistic practice, which centres on performance, moving image, writing and installation. Their work has been presented at the Tate Modern, London, MOMENTA Biennale de l’image, Montreal, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, and the Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates. They are a curatorial advisor to Photo Australia biennial, Melbourne, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. Léuli Eshrāghi is passionate about Indigenous languages and cultures, and speaks Sāmoan, French, English, Spanish and the creoles of Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts extends its heartfelt thanks to Scotiabank, Major Patron of the Montreal institution, for making possible the creation of the position of Curator of Indigenous Arts, as well as for supporting future internships for Indigenous students undertaking arts-related education. This initiative aims to support a new generation of Indigenous arts professionals and increase their presence in cultural organizations.