About the Koffler Gallery Education Program
Koffler Gallery’s education programs help students expand their creativity, develop their visual literacy and sharpen their communication skills. Interactive gallery tours prompt students to analyse the formal aspects and meaning of artworks, enabling them to share their own interpretations while gaining understanding of the intentions of artists. Tours are followed by in-gallery art-making workshops inspired by the works in the exhibition, giving students the opportunity to express their views of the world around them and their personal feelings, experiences and ideas.
For more information on the Koffler Gallery public programs and tours, please contact:
Public Engagement Coordinator, Koffler Gallery
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2Fik: His and Other Stories
April 6 – June 4, 2017
Assuming the multiple roles of artistic director, photographer and performer, 2Fik creates elaborate images that often re-enact compositions derived from famous art historical paintings. His re-appropriations point to the fictionalizing way in which many historical works of art reconstruct reality to present stories that favour certain social and political interests. With his own vibrant characters of mixed genders, ethnicities and faiths, 2Fik stages scenes that offer new narratives and comment thoughtfully on current society.
On the occasion of Canada 150, 2Fik has produced a new work, The Death of Dishonest Abdel, referencing Benjamin West’s 1770 painting, The Death of General Wolfe, an emblematic example of Canadian history represented through a colonial lens. The original painting dramatically depicts the heroic fall of General James Wolfe during the 1759 Battle of Quebec, celebrating him as a symbol of British dominance in North America. Subverting this patriarchal, whitewashing viewpoint, 2Fik’s characters infuse new meaning into this iconic image.
This season’s educational programs take cues from 2Fik’s critical reflection on Canadian history, 150 years after confederation. Students will participate in interactive tours to explore the stories of 2Fik’s fictionalized characters that raise questions about stereotyping, gender roles and universality. Workshops inspired by 2Fik’s most recent work, The Death of Dishonest Abdel will guide students to unpack the careful orchestration that took place to produce the work as well as the colonial narrative created by Benjamin West. They will then develop their own alternative stories to rethink character roles.
Elementary School Programs
The Death of Dishonest Abdel, 2Fik’s re-interpretation of Benjamin West’s painting, The Death of General Wolfe, will serve as a point of discussion for students, who will be given outlined templates of the original composition. The templates omit the attributes given to the original characters, including facial features, details of landscape and clothing. Students will analyse both works and will develop their own alternative stories in the template, filling in new characters while reconsidering gender and cultural roles.
OTHER STORIES – VISUAL RECONSTRUCTION
$5 per student | 2.5 hours
After learning about the stories behind The Death of General Wolfe and The Death of Dishonest Abdel, students will explore colour drawing and collage to fill in new details on the blank template of the original composition. They will be encouraged to imagine their own stories with original characters. The activity will end with a storytelling session in which students will share the stories they developed.
Curriculum Links: Language (1–2), Visual Arts (D1–D2)
- Oral Communication: Listening to Understand, and Speaking to Communicate – Language
Students will demonstrate their language understanding by answering questions while listening to a variety of stories in a guided tour of 2Fik: His and Other Stories. At the end of the workshop students will discuss with their peers the ways in which their work of art expresses their own stories.
- Creating and Presenting – Visual Arts
Students will create a two-dimensional work of art using various elements of art and design – line, shape and colour to communicate a story.
- Reflecting, Responding and Analysing – Visual Arts
Students will communicate to their peers how their work of art reflects their story and why they have selected the various elements of art to communicate their ideas.
OTHER STORIES – VISUAL & WRITTEN REPRESENTATIONS
$5 per student | 2.5 hours
After learning about the stories behind The Death of General Wolfe and The Death of Dishonest Abdel, students explore colour drawing and collage to fill in characters and attributes to a blank template of the original composition. They will be encouraged to use their imagination to create their own stories through new characters while considering gender and racial roles. The activity will end with a short writing exercise in which students will describe the new narrative they have created in the form of a short story.
Curriculum Links: Language (1.1–1.6, 2.1–2.7, 3.1–3.8), Visual Arts (D2.1–D2.3)
- Listening to Understand – Language
Students will listen to a variety of stories as they explore the narratives created by 2Fik in an interactive tour. They will demonstrate their understanding by answering questions throughout the tour, and develop their own narratives through the production of an artwork.
- Speaking to Communicate – Language
Students will share their story with their peers and communicate the ways they’ve used visual elements to express their experiences.
- Applying Knowledge of Language Conversations and Presenting Written Work Effectively – Language
Students will develop a short story that articulates the narratives they have created in their works of art.
- Creating and Presenting – Visual Arts
Students will create a work of art that expresses a story and will learn about and use the elements of art and design to communicate their narrative.
- Reflecting and Responding – Visual Arts
Students will interpret a variety of artworks and identify the feelings they convey. They will explore various signs, symbols and meanings in 2Fik’s photographic compositions.
High School Program
THE TABLEAUX VIVANT
$5 per student | 3 hours
In an interactive tour, students will be introduced to the plots and characters in 2Fik: His and Other Stories. They will be asked to consider how these characters challenge or conform to traditional gender roles throughout the exhibition. How do stereotypes construct our conception of masculinity and femininity? What happens when the social boundary of the gender binary becomes unclear?
Students will be divided into groups in which they will re-enact Benjamin West’s painting, The Death of General Wolfe in a tableaux vivant. Working collaboratively, one team of students will be asked to recreate the composition while considering alternative narratives as well as the gender and racial roles of their characters. The other team will take photographs of the process and of the final pose as a finished representation of their compositions.
- Integrated Arts (A1.1-A3.2)
Students will collaborate to use a variety of strategies, poses and narrative creation to produce their tableaux vivant. Students will physically enact the characters they portray, working together to develop an alternative narrative. They will capture their work in photographic form.
- Visual Arts (A1.1, A2.1-A3.3, B1.1-B3.3)
Students will collaborate in a creative process and apply elements and principles of design to create artworks using performance and photographic media for the purpose of self-expression and communication. They will examine and interpret various works of art in an interactive tour and learn about the ways 2Fik’s works reflect society. They will also learn about the ways in which 2Fik has developed and created his works of art.
- Social Sciences – Equity Studies (A1)
Students will explore topics related to gender studies and consider questions of gender identity to guide their artwork production.
- Canadian and World Studies – History (A1-A2, B2)
Students will investigate and be encouraged to think critically about the colonial aspect of Canadian history, and will learn about some key interactions within and between different communities in Canada.
Koffler Gallery Public Hours
Tuesday-Friday: 12 – 6 PM
Saturday-Sunday: 11 AM – 5 PM
School Tours and Workshops
Monday-Friday: 9 AM – 7 PM
Photo: Mary Anderson.