Pet Peeves: James and Hillary

Welcome to the May edition of Hedy Wood’s Pet Peeves! Read on as Hedy chats with grunt founder and current editor, Hillary Wood (no relation), and the investigation takes a turn toward the possibly paranormal…

Of course I believe that Hillary has a part-time cat named James. I also believe that James comes to visit by walking across two balconies, and that he stays for a couple of hours and naps on the bed and all the rest of it. Hillary Wood is a founding member of grunt gallery and is currently the editor there. She is definitely not some crazy person making up things in order to get me to write about her and some imaginary pet. And, I would like to add, you don’t see me standing around with my index finger pointed at my temple making that little twirly motion. You just don’t! I believe in James completely!

I believe in the existence of James, the part-time cat, so thoroughly that I went over to interview him and see what he had to say about Hillary.

Food bowls left out for the elusive cat-like creature, James.

After standing around on Hillary’s balcony for about half an hour, yelling for James and jiggling my bag of cat treats, I felt like it might be time for a drink……there was no sign of what I was beginning to think was a mere fig newton of Hillary’s imagination and I had a powerful thirst building. Also my yelling JAMES, JAMES!!! was starting to annoy the neighbors.

The interview went something like this:

Me: So, how about we crack open some of this pickle juice, and you tell me all about James who I believe in and know exists?

Hillary: You’re starting to make him sound like God or something! He does exist, and he comes over here every single day! I think all of your yelling has put him off, that’s all.

Me: Ha ha! Where are the glasses? Oh JAMES, you can come over any time now!!! Because I know you’re real!!!

James:

 

Me: Come on James!!! Sit on the bed, eat some stuff, come and visit. Oh JAAAAAAMES!!

James:

 

Definitely, it was time to crack open a bottle of wine. If nothing else, I could ask Hillary about James, and how he has come to be her part-time cat. Apparently, James is actually owned by a neighbor two balconies over, but he prefers to spend a lot of his time at Hillary’s. He’s sort of a cat-share cat, like a timeshare condo I guess….

So Hillary and I settled in and had a glass or two. Occasionally I would get up and go and yell for James out on the balcony. I only actually stopped doing this when I could see that it seemed to be causing Hillary psychic pain.

Hillary Wood and James the cat? Photo by Merle Addison.

I also began to make little jokes and then laugh at them really loudly, then explain the jokes and laugh some more. You know, as you do. When I reflect on it, Hillary really must have the patience of a saint.

The afternoon wore on, and there was still no sign of the alleged James. He was beginning to seem like Bigfoot or Ogo Pogo, I mean, maybe there’d be a sighting or maybe not…..but I do tend to believe in them, so what could possibly be the harm in hanging about for a bit longer? Also, around this time, another bottle of wine kind of fell out of my purse. Maybe it would be smarter to take a different approach to this particular pet interview. I decided to direct my questions to Hillary and stop yelling and treat rattling for James.

Me: So, what would James likely have to say about you? You know, if he actually existed? Oh sorry, I mean, really, what would his complaints be do you think?

Hillary: Well, he doesn’t like it when I move my feet when he’s sleeping on the bed. It makes him attack my feet.

Me: More wine?

Hillary: And he’s very protective about the balcony. He doesn’t even like it when I go out there!

Now this was beginning to seem like a pretty detailed description of imaginary cat behaviour. It was like if someone was saying, But no! The unicorn’s horn is actually sort of a pearly colour!! And the hooves have rainbows!!! Sooner or later, you have to suspend your disbelief.

Me: So how did you and James first meet then?

Hillary: James started coming over for visits when he was a tiny, shy kitten. He would creep around the corners of my place, but now, he feels very at home here. He’s here every day, usually. Probably he is scared of you being here…..and all the yelling…..

Me: Well, I never! Yelling indeed! I’ll show you YELLING little missy. JAAAAAAMMMMEEEESSSSS! JAAAAAMMMMEESSSSS!

Hillary: Would you please shut up?

It must have been around this time that I realized I had better go home. I still had no evidence that James actually existed anywhere on planet earth, and Hillary and I were on the verge of our first fight. Plus, I had the hiccups.

As I was collecting myself and preparing to leave, did I see a flash of white fur whisking by out on the balcony? Did I hear a faint and slightly ghostly meow? I can’t say for certain, but when I got home and the drinker’s remorse began to set in, I found I had a different feeling about James. I believed in him truly and I knew he really did visit every single day and all the rest of it. Honestly, I don’t know why I ever doubted him……now the only thing was to check in again with Hillary and see if she was also suffering from a kind of big headache….

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Pet Peeves: Freddie, Moe and Kate

The fourth installation of Pet Peeves is here! Can you believe it? Join us as grunt’s Gallery Assistant, Hedy Wood, continues her investigation of the grunt gallery staff by interviewing their pets.

Pets prefer a Scottish accent, period. You can say, “Whooooooo’s got those dog pants? Whooo’s got those PANTS?!” until your head expands like a melon, but really, it’ll get you nowhere. Likewise, “Where’s that pretty kitty cat CAT?!” Totally useless.

No, if you want to befriend any pet, any time, a simple Scottish burr is the way to go.

Example: “Och, aye, what a bonnie wee laddie/lassie ye are.” Boom, done, they melt like butter.

I was putting this theory to the test when I went to visit Kate Barry, Freddie and Moe. Not that I was exactly in the greatest mood for belting out a bunch of fake Scottish lingo, due to the heatwave, fifth-floor apartment and broken elevator, but I was doing my best.

Now Kate Barry is a bit newer to grunt, her job title is Screen Coordinator for the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen, and I have to say she is one of the few interviews that I’ve done where a refreshing SNACK was provided. I think other pet owners might want to have a little think about that…

Freddie greeted me when I arrived at the apartment. I was sweaty, breathless, and talking a bit too much about arthritis. He was actually so adorable, my Scottish theory went right out of my mind.

Me: Oh hi Kate. Now who’s THIS? Is that the Freddie dog?! The little Freddie dog DOG! Whooooo’s the pupparazi? Well, that’s you, yes it is!

So, as you can see, pretty much a total failure of interview technique AND nothing Scottish whatsoever. I have to give Freddie extreme credit for rolling with all this nonsense in a very gentlemanly way.

Freddie: Why hello there Hedy, how charming to meet you, please, have a seat. Yes, that’s good, right there. I will jump up and sit right beside you. What could be more pleasant? Well, a small dog snack would really make this a perfect moment, wouldn’t it?

(I found out that Freddie, who looked perfect to me, is on a doggy diet. Some cruel and unusual vet has decided that Freddie needs to lose 3 pounds!)

Me: So, Freddie, how did you and Kate meet? How did she get so lucky?!

Freddie: Well, actually, I was on an online pet dating site, looking for a positive change in my relationships, and that’s how I met Kate. I didn’t know at the time that I was to become part of this beautiful, blended family, here with Moe. I LOVE Moe so much.

   

At this point in the interview, Kate did a little cat conjuring magic with a can of tuna, and Moe appeared from his upstairs man cave.

Me: Hello Moe! You are a CATLY cat!! Who’s got those whiskers?!!

(As you can see I had by this point pretty much gone completely cuckoo because Freddie and Moe are just so exactly the kind of pets anyone would love to have. Moe is a large luxurious tabby, and Freddie a perfect mix of Shitsu and Poodle, what’s not to love?

Moe: Are you by any chance here to interview me about that dog? Maybe you would like to talk about my perfect lovely life before SHE brought HIM home?! Everything was perfect until he came along, and now he just LOVES me so much all the time! He’s all LOVE LOVE LOVE every day, all day! What is wrong with him?! It gets on my very last nerve. Honestly, why exactly does he live here? We were FINE before he came along. AND he’s getting fat.

Me: Oh…….

Moe: And what kind of breed is he?! A Shit Poo, that’s what I call it, heh, heh, heh…..get it? Shitsu and Poodle.

Me: Oh………dear……well, now Moe, surely there must be some benefit to having Freddie around? He seems like a very sweet dog to me. Surely you must have gotten fond of him over these last couple of years?

(I think it was at about this point in the interview that Freddie jumped out of his chair and ran over to lick Mo’s nose. That sent me into cuteness overload, and I swear I saw a tiny Cheshire grin on Moe’s face.)

Moe: There! You see? That’s just a perfect example of what he’s like! LOVE! Barf! If he wasn’t so darn cute, I’m sure I would have killed him by now….little cutie….little shitty poo poo….

I began to sense a bit of a game or pattern going on between these two. Much as Moe repeatedly stressed his general loathing of Freddie, I could see a real bond and genuine caring between them. This, combined with the gracious hosting by Kate, and the general ambience of warmth and happy pets and all the rest of it, began to annoy me. I ended my little visit as politely as possible and went on down the five flights of stairs and out into the summer heat. Always easier going downhill, that’s what I say….

The thing is, I was thwarted once again in my quest for pet peeves. My quest which had in actual fact, mainly become about discovering bad behaviour ANYWHERE at all, on the part of any of the grunt staff, or their much loved pets! Everything was just a bit too peachy keen everywhere I went, and, as Moe would say, it was getting on my very last nerve!

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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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Together Apart, Queer Indigeneities

Together Apart has been envisioned as a way of making and holding space for 2SQ/Indigiqueer folks to come together and to be in dialogue with one another so that we might centre the conversations we’d like to hear or that we feel have been absent in our communities. However, our intentions are also simple: to celebrate and enjoy one another’s creativity and dedication to our practices, and to recognize one another in such a way that speaks across the distances we experience in our living and movement through our worlds.

Together Apart will be held in a series of both public and 2SQ/Indigiqueer events only, as outlined in our schedule. Please follow us on the Facebook page and on Instagram for updaes.

Schedule

FRIDAY, APRIL 19

Event: 2SQ/Indigiqueer Nature Walk w. Cease Wyss

Time: 11:00 – 12:00PM
Location: Native Education Centre, 237 E 5th Ave, Vancouver
*Closed to 2SQ/Indigiqueer participants only
Participants will join together with Cease Wyss to open our event by spending some time on the land together; though many of us are navigating urbanized living, the urban landscape still lays atop lands that deserve attention, acknowledgement and respect. Cease will lead participants through spaces where the land is more evident and discuss some of her on-going community projects.

Event: Keynote Address by Lindsay Nixon (followed by Poetry Readings)

Time: 7:00 – 8:00
 PM
Location: grunt gallery
*Free and open to the public
Our keynote address will be presented by Lindsay Nixon, a Cree-Métis-Saulteaux curator, award-nominated editor, award-nominated writer and McGill Art History PhD student studying Indigenous (new) feminist artists and methodologies in contemporary art. They currently hold the position of Editor-at-Large for Canadian Art. Nixon has previously edited mâmawi­-âcimowak, an independent art, art criticism and literature journal. Their writing has appeared in The Walrus, Malahat Review, Room, GUTS, Mice, esse, The Inuit Art Quarterly, Teen Vogue and other publications. nîtisânak, Nixon’s memoir and first published book, is out now through Metonymy Press.
Born and raised in the prairies, they currently live in Tio’tia:ke/Mooniyaang—unceded Haudenosaunee and Anishinabe territories (Montreal, QC).

Stay for our Poetry Reading event with fabian romero, Demian DinéYazhi’ and Storme Webber following directly after the keynote after a short break.

Event: Poetry Readings 

Poetry Readings with fabian romero, Demian DinéYazhi’ and Storme Webber
Time: 8:00 – 9:30 PM
Location: grunt gallery
*Free and open to the public
For our poetry reading night, we’ve reached out to some of our kin south of the colonial border to share their work about love, sexuality, settler colonialism, fighting white supremacy, Radical Indigenous Feminisms and the complicated networks of our many intersecting identities. This night will include queer poet, filmmaker and artist fabian romero (Purepécha), transdisciplinary artist and activist Demian DinéYazhi’ (Naasht’ézhí Tábąąhá (Zuni Clan Water’s Edge) & Tódích’íí’nii (Bitter Water)), and internationally-nurtured poet, playwright, educator, and interdisciplinary artist Storme Webber (Alutiiq/Black/Choctaw).


SATURDAY, APRIL 20

Event: Beading & Reading w. Anne Riley

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Massy Books, 229 E Georgia St, Vancouver
*Closed to 2SQ/Indigiqueer participants only
An informal reading event hosted by artist Anne Riley (Cree/Dene) inviting attendees to bring readings of works that have resonated with them or have produced themselves in a relaxed setting where we can work and speak together over beading/crafting projects within the Massy bookstore event space. The intention of this event is to hold space in which our conversations can feel unrestrained and without the scrutiny of non-Indigenous audiences that often forces a degree of performativity.

Event: Performance by Storme Webber and In Conversation with Afuwa

Time: 1:00 – 2:30
 PM
Location: grunt gallery
*Free and open to the public
Storme Webber (Alutiiq/Black/Choctaw) will be giving an extended performance from her previous nights reading and will follow-up with an In Conversation Interview with artist Afuwa (Guyana) whose current projects have focused on re-imagining relations across the Atlantic diaspora.


Event: Readings and In Conversation with Demian DinéYazhi’ and fabian romero

Time: 3:00 – 4:30 PM
Location: grunt gallery
*Free and open to the public
Presentation with Demian and fabian consisting of short readings of their work, presentations of their interests/practices and a dialogue between the two as artists/writers/activists.


Event: Concert w. With War/Mourning Coup/Kerub
Time: Doors 8:00 PM, Show 9:00 PM (End 12:00 midnight)
Location: KW Studios,  #10 – 111 Hastings St W, Vancouver
Cover: $10-$15 sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds (sales from bar and door will be used to pay an honorarium for volunteers and then distributed amongst performers)
Three non-binary Indigenous performers, one face-melting night; we’ll start with Metis/Jewish electronic artist KERUB then fall into experimental electric MOURNING COUP aka Chandra Melting-Tallow (Siksika/mixed ancestry) and then top off the night with Portland vegan straight edge hardcore band WITH WAR, fronted by La Tisha Rico (Diné/Navajo) who in true straight edge form will also be giving a morning artist talk the following day.


SUNDAY, APRIL 21

Event: Artist Talk w. La Tisha Rico (of With War)
Time: 10:00 – 11:00 AM
Location: grunt gallery
*Free and open to the public
La Tisha Rico (Diné/Navajo) will present on their work as a musician and activist in decolonizing punk and DIY spaces within a queer and Indigenous identity that is beyond colonial definitions and limitations in colonial language.

Event: Community Discussion: Rural Indigiqueer Identities, hosted by Edzi’u
Time: 1:00 – 2:00PM
Location: grunt gallery
*Closed to 2SQ/Indigiqueer participants only.
Community discussion facilitated by performer Edzi’u (Tahltan/Tlingit) discussing queer Indigenous identities in rural situations; dating, isolation, mental health; will choose something from the archive to help centre the conversation by responding to how it does or does not reflect where we are now.

Event: Round Table Discussion: Intentions, with co-curators Whess Harman, Kali Spitzer and guests (TBD)
Time: 3:00 – 4:30
PM
Location: grunt gallery
*Free and open to the public
Round table discussion with co-curators Whess Harman (Carrier Witat) and Kali Spitzer (Kaska Dene) event discussing the interpretations and intentions in their practices and as programmers with several other artists/event organizers/curators.



Event: grunt Archive Screenings and Presentation with Lacie Burning
Time: 7:00 – 9:30PM
Location: grunt gallery
*Free and open to the public
In addition to a screening of several performances from the original Two-Spirit Cabaret held at the grunt gallery in 1993, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and Onondaga (patrilineal) artist Lacie Burning will be presenting their response to Denise Lonewalker’s Dancing for our Ancestors. With this event, we will be looking back through the archive in an effort to root ourselves in our own history and give acknowledgement to those who’ve made space for us and look forward in how to look at how those spaces are changing.

Downloadable schedule here:
Schedule-Together Apart-2019

Together Apart is supported by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council and the City of Vancouver Creative City Strategic Grant Program. grunt gallery acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council, the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia, and the Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts.

 

            

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Rebecca Belmore – March 5, 1819

ONE DAY ONLY! 10AM–10PM
Opening Reception: March 5, 2019, 7PM

Over the past two years, grunt gallery has been at work on the project Wordless – The Performance Art of Rebecca Belmore focused on her remarkable performance career. This legacy project begins with an all-day screening of, March 5, 1819, and the launch of her new website, rebeccabelmore.com

In 2008 Rebecca Belmore produced the video installation March 5, 1819 recreating the abduction of the Beothuk woman Demasaduit and the murder of her husband Nonosabasut by colonialist settlers in Newfoundland. This video installation is not a historical reenactment, rather the actors are in modern dress and Belmore questions what has changed over the past 200 years. March 5, 1819, was commissioned by The Rooms in St John’s and has also been exhibited in Ottawa and Toronto. Set at Red Indian Lake in central Newfoundland March 5, 1819 was filmed in Vancouver at Mount Seymour.

March 5, 2019, marks the 200th anniversary of these events. It was announced earlier this year that their skulls will be returned to the Canadian Museum of History from the University of Scotland.  As we grapple with reconciliation it is fitting to remember the history that brought us to this place.

grunt will celebrate the re-launch rebeccabelmore.com, a website documenting Rebecca Belmore’s career over the past 32 years. The new site features content that spans Belmore’s career in all media, taking the user deep into the heart of her practice.

From July 2 – August 3, 2019, grunt gallery will also present a photographic exhibition of five new performance photographs, and a book launch of Wordless – The Performance Art of Rebecca Belmore, in collaboration with the Audain Art Museum and Information Office.

Funded through a New Chapter grant, Canada Council for the Arts, and the Audain Art Museum, this project celebrates the important career of one of Canada’s most iconic artists.


Wordless – The Performance Art of Rebecca Belmore is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.

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grunt gallery Program Director Glenn Alteen is Retiring!

grunt gallery’s Succession Plan for the transition of Program Directors

Program Director Glenn Alteen has worked with grunt since its inception in 1984 and in May of 2020 will retire after 36 years in the position. In early 2018 the board and staff of the gallery began activating our Succession Plan designed to provide as little disruption to the organization as possible during the transition of Program Directors. Our informed and active Succession Committee consisting of current and former board members and staff were tasked with addressing hiring in relation to leadership succession. After extensive work, the Committee has unrolled a timeline and hiring process for the transition. The Committee continues to refine this process on an ongoing basis and will address any succession planning issues as they arise.

A year-long transition period is being planned for the new Program Director in order to provide a seamless changeover and to download grunt’s programming and funding processes and allow for introductions to long-term artists, supporters and funders. grunt incorporated a Management Transition Reserve Fund into annual budgets since 2016 to facilitate this transition.

Formed in 1984, grunt gallery has built a reputation on innovative and dynamic programming: exhibitions, performances, artist talks, publications and special projects that showcase work by contemporary Canadian and international artists. grunt focuses on work and artists that would otherwise not be seen in Vancouver. We are proud of our ability to act as an intersection between various cultural groups based on aesthetics, medium or identity. With emerging programs such as the Blue Cabin Residency and the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen grunt is expanding and developing its range, providing artists with new and exciting opportunities and audiences with unique and important experiences.

The Program Director job call will be released on Friday, January 18, 2019. You can access information from grunt gallery’s website grunt.ca and follow grunt gallery news through our monthly newsletter and social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Contact Us:

Meagan Kus , Director of Operations

email: meagan at grunt dot ca
phone: #604-875-9516

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Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen (MPCAS)

MPCAS

PLACE: An introduction from Program Director Glenn Alteen

The new Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen will be an outdoor, 4 x 7-meter urban screen located on The Independent building. Kingsway at Broadway, Vancouver.

grunt gallery’s Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen ’s inaugural exhibition PLACE
 looks at a changing Mount Pleasant and Vancouver, through works that explore its history, it current vitality and its future through the interpretations of artists and 
residents who live here.

Our vision is to create and implement programming that reflects cultural interests,
 and that allows for opportunities for direct community engagement in a variety of innovative ways.

 Mount Pleasant was one of Vancouver’s earliest neighbourhoods; it was THE place to be
 from the 1890s until 1910 when the Shaughnessy neighbourhood then became the new preferred
 district to be and Mount Pleasant fell into decline. Mount Pleasant and Brewery Creek
lay close to the Ontario Street dividing line between east and west and Main Street
 reflected this cultural and class division, with bigger homes to the west (Shaughnessy) and working-class homes to the east (Mount Pleasant).

Mount Pleasant’s early decline continued for almost 100 years! Its working-class roots 
made it the place for rental housing and transient tenants, and it became the poorest 
neighbourhood outside of the DTES (downtown eastside). A neighbourhood of immigrants, urban poor and
 artists created the conditions from where much of Vancouver’s early cultural life grew.

Beginning in the 1990s, Mount Pleasant’s gentrification started to take hold, first through
 the live/work studio condos that gradually began to appear in the area. Beginning in
 2010, with the development in the Olympic Village area, serious gentrification began,
 with many residents evicted from their long-held homes as rents doubled and tripled
 within a few years. Suddenly the things that held Mount Pleasant back seemed to be its
 new selling points, like its arts community and old heritage buildings. Ironically, both became
 early targets in the process. Suddenly Mount Pleasant transformed from one of Vancouver ’s cheapest 
neighbourhood to one of its most expensive! It became ground zero for the increasing unaffordability of the city.

As we begin the process of building a program that reflects, engages with and enriches this
 complex cultural history, our call for submissions welcomes contributions from community members. Topics could include (but are not limited to), identity, language, housing, city streets, food, neighbourhoods, histories, memories, potential futures and displacement.

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How To Submit Your Work

The deadline for submissions is ongoing. In your submission please include the following:

1) Maximum one-page proposal, describing what you wish to show, and how it relates to PLACE.

2) Supporting Documentation: Video submissions should be sent as a link to a host site (Youtube, Vimeo).
3) Photography and media arts submissions: 10-12 images. Image files should be no more than 1200 pixels wide.
4) CV and a short biography
5) Artist Statement (optional)

For more information or to email submissions please contact: Kate Barry

screencoordinator (at) grunt (dot) ca

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