Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture


Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture describes a generation of artists who juxtapose urban youth culture with Aboriginal identity to create innovative and unexpected new works—in painting, sculpture, installation, performance and video—that reflect the current realities of Aboriginal peoples today. While this exhibition takes its starting point from hip hop, it branches out to refer to pop culture, graffiti, fashion and other elements of urban life. Artists create unique cultural hybrids that include graffiti murals with Haida figures, sculptures carved out of skateboard decks, abstract paintings with form-line design, live video remixes with Hollywood films, and hip hop performances in Aboriginal dialects, to name a few. Beat Nation brings together artists from across the continent—from the West Coast as far north as Alaska and Nunavut, as far east as Labrador and south to New Mexico—and reveals the shared connections between those working in vastly different places.

This accompanying publication features the work of the 28 participating artists and texts by co-curators Kathleen Ritter and Tania Willard.

Beat Nation was presented at the Vancouver Art Gallery from 25 February to 3 June, 2012 and at The Power Plant from 15 December 2012 - 5 May 2013.

Product Information

  • Author(s): Kathleen Ritter, Tania Willard
  • Publisher: Vancouver Art Gallery
  • Year: 2012
  • ISBN: 978-1-895442-98-4
  • Pages: 96
  • Illustrations: 62 full-colour reproductions
  • Dimensions: 6 in x 9 in
  • Availability: Out of stock