Curator Interview: Tarah Hogue on #callresponse

#callresponse, co-organized by Tarah Hogue, Maria Hupfield and Tania Willard, began at grunt gallery in 2016. The exhibition has toured across Canada and the US for two years and recently came to a close at TRUCK Contemporary Art and Stride Gallery in Calgary. To mark the end of the tour, grunt’s curatorial interns, Whess Harman and Nellie Lamb, chatted with Tarah about #callresponse and the roles of collaboration and mentorship in her practice.

Ursula Johnson with Charlene Aleck and Cease Wyss performing at the #callresponse opening in 2016. Photo by Merle Addison.

NL: Can you start by briefly describing #callresponse?

TH: #callresponse takes as its starting point five projects that were commissioned by Indigenous women-identifying artists based across Canada and into the US. The invitations were extended to these artists in particular because they are all very much enmeshed in working with community in different ways and their practices are all quite diverse, ranging from performance to ceremony to new media. The context that we asked those initial five artists to respond to was around reconciliation but in a roundabout way. We thought about how the projects that these artists are already committed to working on have a really transformative capacity, and looked at that as a starting point in order to turn that settler-nation-state-to-Indigenous relation within reconciliation on its head. We then asked each of those artists to extend that invitation to a collaborator or respondent to create these dialogues between practices. We were thinking about this call and response structure, but the artists took that in so many different directions. Christi Belcourt and Isaac Murdoch decided to work together and position the land as their respondent, so there’s different degrees of collaboration or mentorship or response throughout the project.

WH: I was just reading over everything on the website again and the initial outset of how the project was described and, as an artist and someone at grunt now, it stood out so much how present these questions still are, not just as institutions but as artists. One of the questions I had about that is, how do you think institutions now are responding to this idea of reconciliation? Do you think that’s changed a lot or do you think #callresponse could just keep going until institutions responded in a meaningful way?

TH: [laughs]…until decolonization?

WH: [laughs] Yeah, until we achieve decolonization!

TH: That’s an interesting question because the experience of working with all of the institutions that we partnered with was very different and demonstrated where different organizations are in that relationship-building process. Like at Blackwood Gallery, we were in the context of an academic institution—they’re at the University of Toronto Mississauga—and part of what we did when we were there was to meet with university faculty and talk about their efforts to indigenize the academy, which is something that was a relatively new path for them at that time, or at least was new in terms of the university recognizing the work that Indigenous faculty were already doing in a systematic way. And then at a place like AKA Artist Run Centre in Saskatoon we were building upon work that they had already been doing within the community there, so it was really just about how we could give our resources over to the work that was already happening. I think that because the project doesn’t centre that settler-Indigenous relationship within reconciliation in the same way, that it could keep going on for a long time. Not that I don’t think that other projects that privilege that relationship aren’t important but it’s also like, who’s benefit is that for?

WH: It’s a heavy load on Indigenous artists. I feel, again speaking as an artist, being asked to do that, it’s like, I don’t have the answer and that’s what so many of these projects seem to frame like: “We’re going to have a reconciliation project and we’re going to have an answer!” But you are not! It’s going to be exhausting and I might be kicking and screaming by the time you’re finished.

TH: I asked Maria and Tania to work with me because they’re two people who I look up to immensely, and we further invited other artists who we looked up to immensely. A lot of the artist-respondent pairings had that aspect woven into it. Some artists chose to respond more directly to that context of reconciliation, like Christi and Isaac saying we’re not ready for reconciliation; we have to reconcile ourselves with the land before we can do something else.

WH: On the [web]page there’s a little thing where you’re quoting Leanne Simpson that was something that stood out to me about the whole process. With reconciliation are tied in these concepts of recognition and those concepts of recognition are so different when Indigenous people are working with other Indigenous people—it strengthens those bonds.

TH: That idea of living as if, as if we have realized the realities that we want on the ground. I love Leanne Simpson.

NL: I really like this web-like, looking-in-multiple-directions-at-the-same-time idea. When I originally read about the project I understood it as starting with you and hopping over to these artists and then they hop to these [other] artists, but listening to you talk about it now, it’s not so linear.

TH: No it’s not. That web of relationships, I’m coming to realize, is part of my curatorial practice both unconsciously and consciously. Translating that way of working to working at the Vancouver Art Gallery is a little bit complicated. How do you maintain that? How the institution responds to that methodology is interesting.

WH: It must be hard with larger institutions. I imagine there is this unspoken thing about making things palatable for an audience but a project like #callresponse is asking, well, what’s palatable for an institution?

TH: That’s something that I’ve puzzled over about the exhibition in general as it’s travelled to different places, because the story of the project is so rich and all of the different in-person interactions and experiences are at the heart of the exhibition, and then you have a series of works that stay the same, that travel to each place with a few changes, like when Ursula did a new song line that would go into the gallery instead of the initial one that she and Cheryl did together. A lot of the works in the show point outside of themselves. Maria’s felt bag is an object that’s activated in performance and the plywood cut-out buffalo robe points to the fact that that original object is not there any more. I’ve always been curious throughout the process of the exhibition about how people experience that pointing outside of the gallery through these objects that are inside of the space. Allison Collins, when the show opened here, said that the role of imagination in looking at the exhibition was something that stood out for her right away. Thinking about what the stories of the objects were outside of the space. She said something along the lines of imagination is not valued as much in exhibitions as it should be.

WH: Initially I also had the same idea that this is a very linear project in many ways, but did you find overall that you were enmeshing more into things, into networks?

TH: Yeah, I would say so. It’s interesting to re-install a show over and over again and see how it shifts in every location and every context and what kinds of conversations come out of those contexts. The most enmeshed aspect of the project was me, Maria and Tania working together. That kind of coordinating but also curatorial conversations around each project—it was really thinking about, in each context, what projects we could activate or what artists we could bring in that would speak well to that context. Really it was about being responsive to that set of conditions, but sort of diving deeper into the projects each time.

NL: Do you have an example of one install or experience of install that changed really drastically or in an important way?

TH: Ursula’s project is a good example of that. Her project, The Land Sings, was in existence before #callresponse started. She had already done three or four song lines, so the project was a way of building on that work and acknowledging that work. We did song lines here, in Mississauga, New York, and Halifax. It moved from the East Coast to the West Coast and then back again over the course of the tour. In each case Ursula is working with singers, hand drummers, and language speakers in that area, and thinking about the relationships between the gallery and the closest First Nation community. That project shifted each time. In New York the song line was mapped onto the skyline of the city as something that’s such a defining feature there and is overlaid on top of Indigenous space and closely follows historic travelling routes that Indigenous Lenape would have travelled along.

NL: That site-specificity seems like such an integral part of the project.

TH: I think so. The initial five commissions were asked to be “locally responsive”; we didn’t really use the term “site specific.” I guess it started by thinking about how all of these artists are committed to doing the work that they’re doing in their own communities. That community is differently defined by everyone. It’s not about an ancestral or reserve community. It can be a shifting context that the artists are all responding to. Also, when we approached galleries for the first time we always asserted that this is a partnership. So the galleries need to take the lead, developing programming that makes sense in their context. We’re not just going to parachute in and do this exhibition; it wouldn’t be in line with how the project began or how it developed. It’s all the context; the responsiveness to context has always been a really central aspect to the project.

WH: Did you find some resistance from some places that didn’t understand where the project was coming from?

TH: No, luckily our partnerships were formed well in that way. Certainly some institutions had much more active, or ongoing or in-depth conversations than others that just rolled with it in their own way. Or [with] some people, it was a really collaborative coming to understand what needed to happen. I think that most of our partners understood for the most part what we were trying to do. There were challenges along the way. I think once we had done the first few, you kind of figure out what questions to ask, what kind of conversations need to happen at the beginning in order to get to what needs to happen. There’s always going to be a set of possibilities that we are responding to and another set of considerations that can be discussed with the partners.

WH: It seems like a difficult thing to do something like an exhibition, which is very administrative just by nature of being attached to an institution, [and] to also have it sincerely engage with the people that are going to see it. A thing I think about a lot when I’m asked to do a workshop is, well, what’s actually beneficial to you? To stop you from just dropping in and being like, “These are my ideas!” and then peace-ing out and ending the dialogue.

TH: I think that a lot of relationships were formed through the project. The participating artists are variously involved in communities where the show went to, so we were able to build upon those relationships a little bit.

WH: I was never able to make any of the performances just by nature of always travelling myself. I just remember each time there was a performance there was a spike in the hash tag and just feeling this intense feeling of FOMO. But also, going through the comments and seeing everyone else who couldn’t make it, there’s this weird outside community that wasn’t able to attend.

TH: Speaking of spider webs and networks, right? The amount of people who have followed the project online and through its various iterations has been pretty spectacular. It’s been really heart-warming in that respect. All of the artists, especially the five initial artists, they’re all such powerhouses. Huge amazing forces to be reckoned with. That was apparent always throughout the exhibitions.

WH: What curatorial projects are you inspired by outside of your own?

TH: Because I’m now working at the Vancouver Art Gallery I’m looking more intensively at what other large-scale institutional work people are doing and always puzzling to myself how they pulled that off. The work that Jamie Isaac and Julie Nagam are doing at Winnipeg Art Gallery, it’s very clearly connected to the community there and has enlivened the space when they activate it through their work and also their ethic and methodology. The way that they work together is really something I admire. And one of the best shows that I’ve seen in the last couple of years is We Carry Forward by Lisa Myers. I saw it when I was in Ontario. It was a group exhibition that just really floored me. She’s a really smart curator. And Lorna Brown at the Belkin, I was thinking about Lorna and Lisa together because they both play upon the meaning and structure of language and then extrapolate that into the artworks that they include.

NL: I’m just thinking about #callresponse ending: it recently wrapped up at its last stop at Stride and TRUCK Gallery in Calgary. Is there a story or a feeling about the impact of the project—maybe something in your own practice—as it comes to a close? How are you reflecting on the project?

TH: Two things come to mind: the scales of intimacy and really public-facing discourse that have both been really fulfilling. I think that’s encapsulated at Stride and TRUCK Gallery in Calgary. We worked with youth from Tsuu T’ina First Nation, which is a program already established with those galleries. A dozen kids came from the rez and we had pizza lunch,we gave them a tour of the show, Maria let them mess with her performance objects, and then we did a pirate radio broadcast in the gallery at TRUCK, which would have a radius of about a block. And the kids, like, played Drake songs and told jokes and we ate chips. It took a few hours before, right at the very end, everyone’s warmed up to each other and we’re chilling and it’s natural. It’s a little different with kids, but there’s a number of moments throughout the project that are small scale and focused on that kind of moment. And then there’s a moment, like opening the exhibition in New York and doing a round table to a packed house, attended by arts workers from around the city. And you recognize that you’re part of a dialogue that people really need to be hearing there and need to be having, because it doesn’t happen enough and the ways that [it] happens aren’t always Indigenous-led. It is a small moment, but you just feel like you’re connected to something that’s wider and urgent. Those nodes of the project are what will resonate with me for a long time to come.

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#callresponse

CALL/
To support the work of Indigenous North American women and artists through local art commissions that incite dialogue and catalyze action between individuals, communities, territories and institutions. To stand together across sovereign territories as accomplices in awakened solidarity with all our relations both human and non.

/RESPONSE
To ground art in responsible action, value lived experience, and demonstrate ongoing commitment to accountability and community building. To respond to re/conciliation as a present day negotiation and the reconstruction of communities in the aftermath of colonial trauma.

ABOUT:

Strategically centering Indigenous women as vital presences across multiple platforms, #callresponse is a multifaceted project that includes a website, social media platform, touring exhibition and catalogue (forthcoming in 2017).

Five site-specific art commissions have been taking place across Canada and into the United States throughout 2016 in dialogue with various publics. The exhibition will include selected representations of each project. Each artist has invited a guest to respond to their work and these contributions will also be included in the exhibition.

Moving between specific sites, online space and grunt gallery, #callresponse focuses on forms of performance, process and translation. An online platform utilizing the hashtag #callresponse on social media (FacebookInstagram, Twitter) connects the geographically diverse sites and provides opportunities for networked exchanges.

A dedicated project website callresponseart.ca includes artist statements, documentation, contributions from guest respondents, and integrated social media, including a series of interviews with the lead artists and their respondents on the Broken Boxes Podcast.

Use the hashtag #callresponse to get involved in the conversation!


 LIVE PERFORMANCES: OCTOBER 28, 2016

1:00 – 4:00 PM: Maria Hupfield, IV Castellanos and Esther Neff
Location: Motion Capture Studio, ECUAD (Room 285e, 1399 Johnston St, Granville Island)

4:00 – 7:00 PM: Ursula Johnson with Charlene Aleck, Audrey Siegl and Cease Wyss
Location: community park behind grunt gallery (E 5th Ave @ Brunswick) Rain or shine!

8:30 PM: Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory and Tanya Tagaq
Location: Native Education College (285 E 5th Ave @ Scotia)


FUNDING AND PARTNERSHIP ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

#callresponse is produced in partnership with grunt gallery and generously supported by the {Re}conciliation initiative of the Canada Council for the Arts, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Additional funding support from the British Columbia Arts Council.

Presentation partners include BUSH Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, FADO Performance Art Centre, Kamloops Art Gallery, OFFTA live art festival, the National Arts Centre, and the Native Education College.

ORGANIZERS:
Tarah Hogue | Maria Hupfield | Tania Willard
in partnership with grunt gallery


LINKS:

> RSVP to the Facebook event here

> Official #callresponse website

> #callresponse Facebook group

> #callresponse on Twitter

> #callresponse on Instagram

> #callresponse on Broken Boxes Podcasts


READ:

Read Laura Mars’ response to the opening performances of #callresponse at grunt gallery here.

Watch the #callresponse video trailer here

#callresponse from grunt gallery on Vimeo.

 


Artist Bios

Christi Belcourt is a Métis visual artist with a deep respect for the traditions and knowledge of her people. The majority of her work explores and celebrates the beauty of the natural world. Author of Medicines To Help Us (Gabriel Dumont Institute, 2007) and Beadwork (Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2010), Christi’s work is found within the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Gabriel Dumont Institute, the Indian and Inuit Art Collection, Parliament Hill, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and Canadian Museum of Civilization, First People’s Hall. Christi is a past recipient of awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Chalmers Family Fund and the Métis Nation of Ontario. In 2014 she was named Aboriginal Arts Laureate by the Ontario Arts Council and shortlisted for the Premier’s Award. She is currently the lead coordinator for Walking With Our Sisters.

Maria Hupfield is a member of Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, currently based in Brooklyn NY. Selected for SITELINES, SITE Santa Fe 2016, she received national recognition in the USA from the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation for her hand-sewn industrial felt sculptures. Her nine-foot birchbark canoe made of industrial felt was performed in Venice, Italy for the premiere of Jiimaan, coinciding with the Venice Biennale 2015. Recent projects include free play, Trestle Gallery Brooklyn with Jason Lujan, and Chez BKLYN, an exhibition highlighting the fluidity of individual and group dynamics of collective art practices across native, non-native, and immigrant experience; conceived by artists in Brooklyn and relayed at Galerie SE Konst, Sweden. She was a guest speaker for the Distinguished Visiting Artist Program, University of British Columbia, Indigenous Feminist Activism & Performance event at Yale, Native American Cultural Center and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Indigenous Rights/Indigenous Oppression symposium with Tanya Tagaq at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, MD. Like her mother and settler accomplice father before her, Hupfield is an advocate of native community arts and activism. The founder of 7th Generation Image Makers, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, a native youth arts and mural outreach program in downtown Toronto she is Co-owner of the blog Native Art Department International. Hupfield is represented by Galerie Hugues Charbonneau in Montreal.

Ursula Johnson is an emerging performance and installation artist of Mi’kmaw First Nation ancestry. She graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and has participated in over 30 group shows and 5 solo exhibitions. Her performances are often place-based and employ cooperative didactic intervention. Through the medium of durational performance art she enters into laborious tasks/circumstances that create repetitive strain on her body and mind while creating tension with the viewer. Elmiet (He/She Goes Home) 2010 is an example of work, created specifically for Nova Scotia’s Cultural History regarding the 1756 Scalping Proclamation, where Johnson created an event to host the last scalping in Nova Scotia. Johnson’s recent work Mi’kwite’tmn employs various sculptural mediums to create consideration from her audience about aspects of intangible cultural heritage as it pertains to the consumption of traditional knowledge within the context of colonial institutions. Mi’kwite’tmn: Do You Remember (hosted by Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery) is a solo exhibition currently on a Canadian National Tour. Johnson has been selected as a finalist for the Salt Spring National Art Prize and has twice been longlisted for the Sobey Art Award. She has presented publicly in lectures, keynote addresses and hosted a number of community forums around topics of ‘Indigenous Self-Determination through Art’ and the ‘Environmental Responsibility and Sustainability in Contemporary Indigenous Art Practices’, ‘The History and Impacts of Economics on The Indigenous Object’ as well as ‘Renegotiating Conservation: Revisiting the Roles and Responsibilities of Cultural Institutions in Canada regarding Indigenous Made Objects.

Tania Willard, Secwe̓pemc Nation, works within the shifting ideas around contemporary and traditional, often working with bodies of knowledge and skills that are conceptually linked to her interest in intersections between Aboriginal and other cultures. Willard has worked as an artist in residence with Gallery Gachet in Vancouver, Banff Centre’s visual arts residency, and as a curator in residence with grunt gallery and Kamloops Art Gallery. Willard’s work is in the collections of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Kamloops Art Gallery and Thompson Rivers University. Willard’s curatorial work includes Beat Nation: Art Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, co-curated with Kathleen Ritter and Unceded Territories: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun at the Museum of Anthropology with Karen Duffek. Current projects include Rule of the Trees, a public art project at Commercial Broadway SkyTrain station and BUSH gallery, a conceptual land-based gallery grounded in Indigenous knowledges.

Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory is a performer of uaajeerneq – Greenlandic mask dancing, music, drum-dancing, a storyteller and actor. Her career has allowed her to travel all across Canada and to many wondrous parts of the world. Laakkuluk’s poetry was recently commissioned for the exhibit Fifth World (2015), curated by Wanda Nanibush, Mendel Art Gallery Saskatoon and the Kitchener Art Gallery. Her collaboration with Maria Hupfield From the Belly to the Moon (2012), a six part postcard exchange project connecting performance art in Iqaluit to New York was a Fuse Magazine artist project. In addition to her poetry, theatre and uaajeerneq, Laakkuluk is a founding member and Programme Manager of Qaggiavuut! Society for a Nunavut Performing Arts Centre. Qaggiavuut! is the lead in a team called Qaggiq that was a laureate to the prestigious Arctic Inspiration Prize. Laakkuluk is a co-creator and actor of Tulugak—a circumpolar theatre piece studying the relationship between Inuit and ravens.Tulugak was a first of its kind and the flagship performance of the Northern Scene Festival at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in 2013. Laakkuluk is currently working with Tanya Tagaq on a number of different performances, both live and filmed. She has also curated projects that challenge outdated museum exhibition practices for Inuit culture at the Art Gallery of Ontario including: Inuit Art in Motion (2003) and Illitarivingaa? Do You Recognize me?(2004), which additionally brought youth together across urban and rural environments through Tauqsiijiit, an onsite residence and youth media lab located at the heart of the exhibition with participants from: Igloolik Isuma Productions, Qaggiq Theatre, Siqiniq Productions, Daybi, Tungasuvvingat Inuit Youth Drop In Centre (Ottawa), 7th Generation Image Makers (Native Child and Family Services of Toronto), Debajehmujig Theatre Group (Wikwemikong) and Qaggiq Theatre (Iqaluit).

Tarah Hogue is the 2016 Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellow with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and Curator at grunt gallery in Vancouver. Her work with Indigenous People in Canada aims to decenter institutional space and history. Using collaborative methodologies and a careful attentiveness to place, she prioritizes responsible research methodologies of Indigenous knowledge that are grounded in the intersectional practices of Indigenous feminisms, re/conciliation, and cultural resurgence. Recent curatorial projects include Unsettled Sites, a group show on haunting settler colonialism at SFU Gallery; and Cutting Copper: Indigenous Resurgent Practice, a collaboration between grunt gallery and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery UBC, co-organizer Shelly Rosenblum. Previous exhibits featured the work of residential school survivors in Canada and their descendants, including NET-ETH: Going Out of the Darkness, co-curated with Rose M. Spahan, Malaspina Printmakers; and Witnesses: Art and Canada’s Indian Residential Schools, at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, co-curated by Geoffrey Carr, Dana Claxton, Tarah Hogue, Shelly Rosenblum, Charlotte Townsend-Gault and Keith Wallace. Hogue is writer-in-residence for thirstDays with VIVO Media Arts, and has written for BlackFlash Magazine (forthcoming) Canadian Art, Decoy Magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly, and MICE Magazine (forthcoming). She holds an MA in Art History, Critical and Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia and a BA(H) in Art History from Queen’s University. Hogue is Métis/French Canadian and of Dutch Canadian ancestry, she grew up in Red Deer Alberta, on the border between Treaty 6 and 7 along the original trading route of the Métis. She identifies as an uninvited guest on the unceded Coast Salish territories of Vancouver BC where she has lived since 2008.

Isaac Murdoch / Manzinapkinegego’anaabe / Bombgiizhik, is fish clan from Serpent River First Nation, Ontario. Isaac grew up hunting, fishing, trapping and learning from indigenous cultural knowledge carriers on the northern regions of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Isaac is well respected as a storyteller and keeper of Anishinaabe traditions. He is known for his cultural camps and community workshops that focus on the transfer of knowledge to youth. Murdoch holds specialized expertise in: historical Anishinaabe paint techniques, reading and writing pictographs and birch bark scrolls, indigenous harvesting in the great lakes region, medicine walks, birchbark canoe making, Anishinaabeg ceremonies and oral history. He has committed his life to the preservation of Anishinaabek cultural practices.

IV Castellanos  “Abstract performance art has been the vein for my physical memory to thrive. Simply, I create objects and destroy them. In creating this gesture I am able to articulate ideas that I shifted and bottle necked down one resonating path. All of the information is channeled but visually clear, concise and often under 15 minutes. The interest is in transforming energy and the route has been moulded over the course of performing by trimming the fat and getting the job done. Labor is a source for my work, the physical body moving through day to day direction and carrying an othered body under constant critique and observation. There is power in focused action. Timing allows the intensity to maintain saturation for the viewer to barely digest in the moment.” – IV Castellanos. IV Castellanos lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn. She founded IV Soldiers Gallery, is an active community member and performs regularly in performance art spaces throughout Brooklyn.

Esther Neff is the founder and co-director of Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL), a collective making operas-of-operations and a laboratory site for performance projects celebrating it’s 10th anniversary in 2016. She is a collaborative and solo performance artist, and independent theorist and a member of Feminist Art Group, Social Health Performance Club and Organizers Against Imperialist Culture. Neff has curated and organized numerous performance projects for art festivals and conferences in New York and is based out of Bushwick in Brooklyn. Her current work and research is a series of operations entitled Embarrassed of the Whole a multi-year project to be executed for a full month in February 2017.

Cheryl L’Hirondelle  is a community-engaged interdisciplinary artist, singer/songwriter and new media curator originally from the land now known as Canada. She is of Cree/Métis and German Canadian  background and her creative practice is an investigation of the intersection of a Cree worldview (nêhiyawin) and contemporary time-space. Her current projects include: community engaged singing workshops with incarcerated women, men and detained youth;  international songwriting/mapping media installations where she ‘sings land’; and a series of Cree language songs (with Moe Clark and long time collaborator Joseph Naytowhow). She is the sole proprietor of Miyoh Music, an Indigenous niche music publishing company and is currently writing about her work process in collaborative approaches as a PhD candidate at UCD in Dublin, Ireland.

Marcia Crosby works as a researcher, writer and curator and has taught Literature and Native Studies at Vancouver Island University for 16 years. She has contributed essays on the work of Emily Carr, Bill Reid, Rebecca Belmore, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, and is the author of the influential essay, “Construction of the Imaginary Indian.” Crosby’s current PhD in Art History, Visual Culture and Theory, UBC, Vancouver extends her curatorial research and writing for the exhibition, Nations in Urban Landscapes (1994). Her doctoral work has focused on the creation of public cultural practices and space for diverse publics by Salishan and Tsimshian people (ca. 1900) as acts of social reproduction and contestation. Recent curatorial works include: “Aboriginal art in the city: Fine and Popular” in Vancouver Art in the 60s (Curator and writer) 2008+; “The Paintings of Henry Speck: Udz’stalis”, co-written and co-curated with Karen Duffek, Museum of Anthropology (MOA) 2012.

Tanya Tagaq earned the prestigious 2014 Polaris Music Prize for her album Animism and is a multi-Juno award winning vocalist. A genre unto herself she is rooted in tradition, her unique vocal style aligns with avant-garde improvisation, metal, and electronica influences. She delivers fearsome, elemental performances that are visceral and physical, heaving and breathing and alive. Tagaq is from Cambridge Bay (Iqaluktuutiaq), Nunavut, Canada, on the south coast of Victoria Island. Tagaq is known for her work with Björk, the Kronos Quartet, and the recent production “Nanook of The North” in which she created a mesmerizing, improvisatory soundscape for the controversial silent film by Robert J. Flanerty from 1922. Her new album Retribution is slated for release in October 2016.

 

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Past Exhibitions

pi’tawkewaq | our people up river
March 5th to April 11, 2020
Artist: Meagan Musseau
Curator: Laurie White

BAIT
January 10 to February 22, 2020
Artist: Couzyn van Heuvelen
Curator: Ryan Rice

a sentimental dissidence
November 1st to December 14, 2019
Artist: Gabi Dao
Curator: Vanessa Kwan

a study in restraint, nanlaban
September 6 to October 19, 2019
Artist: Anton Cu Unjieng
Curator: Glenn Alteen

nindinawemaganidog (all of my relations)
July 2 – August 3, 2019
Artist: Rebecca Belmore
Curator: Glenn Alteen

dot.dot.dot.
May 10 – June 22nd, 2019
Artists: Sejin Kim & Inyoung Yeo
Curator: Vanessa Kwan

An Exploration of Resilience and Resistance
March 15 – April 22nd, 2019
Artist: Kali Spitzer
Curator: Glenn Alteen

March 5, 1819
March 5 – March 5th, 2019
Artist: Rebecca Belmore
Curator: Glenn Alteen

Strident Aesthetic: Towards a New Liberation
January 10 – March 2nd, 2019
Artist: Carlos Colín
Curator: Glenn Alteen

2068: Touch Change
November 2 – December 16th, 2018
Artist: Syrus Marcus Ware
Curator: Vanessa Kwan

Woven Work From Near Here
September 7 – October 20, 2018
Artists: Debra Sparrow (θəliχʷəlʷət), Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill, Hank Bull, Jovencio de la Paz, Kerri Reid, Matt Browning, Melvin Williams, and Merritt Johnson.

March of the Monarch Public Performance
August 30, 2018
Artist: David Khang

The Blue Cabin Exhibition | Jeremy & Sus Borsos
June 15 – July 28, 2018

Motion Within Motion | Azadeh Emadi
May 2 – May 12, 2018

Requiem for Mirrors and Tigers | Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa
February 22 – April 21, 2018

Ghost Spring | Derya Akay, Dilara Akay
January 5 – February 17, 2018

2167, An Indigenous VR Project | Danis Goulet, Kent Monkman, Scott Benesiinaabandan and  Postcommodity
December 19 – 21, 2017

You won’t solve the problem with an air freshener | Dominique Pétrin
October 27 – December 9, 2017

Technical Problem | Aileen Bahmanipour
September 8 – October 14, 2017

UNGALAQ (When Stakes Come Loose) | Maureen Gruben
June 9 – July 29, 2017

Contingent Bodies | Brigitta Kocsis
March 3 – April 15, 2017

Three Cities: Prayer and Protest | Mere Phantoms (Maya Ersan and Jaimie Robson)
January 13 – February 18, 2017

#callresponse | Christi Belcourt and Isaac Murdoch, Maria Hupfield, IV Castellanos and Esther Neff, Ursula Johnson, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Tania Willard, Marcia Crosby, Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory, Tanya Tagaq
October 29 – December 10, 2016

Tomorrow, Tomorrow. | Mark Hall-Patch
September 8 – October 15, 2016

Four Faces of the Moon | Amanda Strong
July 22 – August 20, 2016

High Kicks into the Light Forever and Ever and Ever | Elizabeth Milton
May 27 – June 25, 2016

análekta | Merle Addison
April 7 – May 8, 2016

Sausage Factory | Weronika Stepien and Stephen Wichuk
Feb 25 – Apr 2, 2016

Remote Viewing | Noxious Sector
8 Jan – 13 Feb 2016

FutureLoss | Zoe Kreye
3 December – 19 December 2015

Génération Sacrifiée | Sayah Sarfaraz
22 October – 28 November 2015

Remediating Mama Pina’s Cookbook | Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda
23 November – 28 November 2015

Catastrophe, Memory, Reconciliation | Osvaldo Ramirez Castillo
10 September – 10 October 2015

ARCTICNOISE | Geronimo Inutiq (madeskimo)
Guest curated by Yasmin Nurming-Por and Britt Gallpen.
Produced in conjunction with ISEA.
5 August – 22 August 2015

Diptychs | Mark Igloliorte
4 June – 18 July 2015

Eraser Street | Henri Robideau
9 April – 16 May 2015

MAINSTREETERS: Taking Advantage, 1972-1982 | Kenneth Fletcher, Deborah Fong, Carol Hackett, Marlene MacGregor, Annastacia McDonald, Charles Rea, Jeanette Reinhardt and Paul Wong
Off-site exhibition @ The Satellite
Curated by Michael Turner and Allison Collins
8 January – 15 March 2015

Chopper | Brandon Vickerd
26 February – 28 March 2015

Crossed | Ahmad Tabrizi
15 January – 21 February 2015

Kitchen | Julia Feyrer
1 November – 19 December 2014

gruntCraft | Youth Project by Demian Petryshyn
Summer – Winter 2014

Double Book Launch & Poetry Reading | Janet Rogers & Chris Bose
9 October 2014

The Book of Jests | Hyung Min Yoon
11 September – 11 October 2014

Épopée: L’état des lieux | Groupe d’action en cinéma (Epic Group Action Film)
Co-presented with Dazibao and Queer Arts Festival
21 July – 9 August 2014

Play, Fall, Rest, Dance | Valerie Salez
2 June – 5 July 2014

10 Years of State of Emergency | ATSA (Pierre Allard and Annie Roy)
11 April – 17 May 2014

Produce, Consume | Matt Troy
28 March – 5 April 2014

one man’s junk | Laura Moore
20 February – 22 March 2014

Nothing To Lose | Rabih Mroué
Co-presented with PuSh Festival
10 January – 8 February 2014

location/dis-location(s): contingent promises | Jayce Salloum
25 October – 30 November 2013

Mamook Ipsoot | Desiree Palmen and youth
18 October 2013

Don’t Go Hungry | Bracken Hanuse Corlett & Csetkwe Fortier
Curated by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun
5 September – 12 October 2013

Trapez & Dynamo Lines | Josephin Böttger
Co-presented with New Forms Festival
12 September – 15 September 2013

The Big Foldy Painting of Death | Ian Forbes
21 June – 27 July 2013

Agente Costura | Lisa Simpson
5 July 2013 (1 night performance)

Background / ThisPlace | Michael de Courcy (w/ Glenn Lewis, Gerry Gilbert, Taki Bluesinger); Emilio Rojas, Guadalupe Martinez, and Igor Santizo.
10 May – 8 June 2013

Strange Songs of Trust and Treachery | Laura Lamb
5 April – 4 May 2013

Gutter Snipes I | Cal Lane
15 February – 23 March 2013

Holding Our Breath | Adrian Stimson
4 January – 9 February 2013

Remains | Mark Mizgala
13 December – 6 January 2013

The Sea Is A Stereo | Mounira Al Solh
11 October – 1 December 2012

Do The Wave | Jonathan Villeneuve
6 September – 6 October 2012

Amelogenesis Imperfecta (How Deep is the Skin of Teeth) | David Khang
6 September – 22 September 2012

BLIZZARD | Jamasie Pitseolak, Nicholas Galanin, Tanya Lukin-Linklater & Geronimo Inutiq
In the media lab Northern Haze: Living the Dream (2011) directed by Derek Aqqiaruq
5 July – 4 August 2012

Qiqayt, 1982 | Emilio Portal
29 May – 23 June 2012

Here There Nowhere, Flaccid Means Without End | Ali Ahadi
6 April  – 12 May 2012

Ghostkeeper | Ahasiw Maskegeon-Iskew, Archer Pechawis, Adrian Stimson, Cheryl L’hirondelle, Sheila Urbanoski & Elwood Jimmy
21 April – 28 April 2012

H20 Cycle | François Roux
16 March – 31 March 2012

Ominjimendaan/ to remember | Charlene Vickers
23 February – 31 March 2012

The Symbolic Meaning of Tree | Christoph Runné
6 January – 11 February 2012

Pin-Up | Colette Urban
28 October – 3 December 2011

Like A Great Black Fire | Rebecca Chaperon
8 September – 15 October 2011

Taking Care of Business | Immony Men
9 July – 6 August 6 2011

Skullduggery | Robert McNealy
28 May – 25 June 2011

The Pigeon’s Club | ATSA (Pierre Allard and Annie Roy)
20 May – 21 May 2011

Old Growth | Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
21 April – 21 May 2011


grunt gallery’s volunteers are working to make all of our past exhibitions available in an online archival database called The Activation Map.  If you can’t find the information you are looking for, please feel free to email our Archives Manager, Dan Pon: dan@grunt.ca

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