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Brendan Fernandes

Lost in Display


Brendan Fernandes
Born in Nairobi in 1979


Lost in Display




Virtual reality projection


Variable dimensions


Purchase, Canada Council for the Arts' New Chapter program, inv. 2017.830


Quebec and Canadian Art

Brendan Fernandes, a Canadian artist of Kenyan and Indian descent, is interested in the transitional and hybrid nature of identity. Using the Museum’s collection as his starting point, he reveals the colonial history of African masks and calls into question the notion of authenticity. Fernandes’ work articulates the absence of context in museum settings that obscures our understanding of the traditional use of masks. A former dancer, he has recently taken up the art again to explore the way in which identity is embodied and performed in our bodies. Taking inspiration from the original purpose of the masks, the artist’s installation gives them new life as they are worn and set in motion. Drawing on African and contemporary dance, as well as virtual reality, Fernandes invites us to think about the impact of colonization.

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