Corey Bulpitt and Gurl 23 (Collaborating for Beat Nation, a touring exhibtion in Canada, and Sakahan: International Indigenous Art). Images from the exhibitions and the street follow. A unique graffiti piece is painted in each museum/gallery space.
In an unexpected meeting of traditional Haida formline, spray paint, and the white gallery wall, the graffiti mural of Corey Bulpitt and Gurl 23 is a striking product of cultural convergence. Titled Raven Finn Whale (2012) and created specially for this exhibition, the work features a red and black spray-painted raven inside the body of a whale, an element drawn from Haida mythology. Lyrics from a KRS-One song written on the lower corner of the mural resonate powerfully: “There is no real justice on stolen land.” More than just a formal juxtaposition of Aboriginal and hip hop cultures, this work thus connects the fight for indigenous land rights to the subversive power of graffiti in reclaiming space and resisting social control. Feminist artist and scholar Allyson Mitchellwrote that graffiti practice “makes visible the invisible on the very bricks and mortar owned by those in power.”