TSF2021 Visu­al Arts Exhibition

Cura­to­r­i­al Statement:

Nch’u7mut cheshá7 temíxw /​ Giv­ing Back to Moth­er Earth is a land based and ephemer­al art exhi­bi­tion. Nch’u7mut cheshá7 temíxw /​ Giv­ing Back to Moth­er Earth inves­ti­gates how our rela­tion to the land has shift­ed or deep­ened as a result of the dis­rup­tion caused by the pan­dem­ic. Nch’u7mut cheshá7 temíxw /​ Giv­ing Back to Moth­er Earth ques­tions how this altered con­nec­tion can inform our uncer­tain futures. It aims to trans­fig­ure the com­mon notion of the gallery expe­ri­ence and the his­tor­i­cal­ly Euro­pean imposed lens of under­stand­ing Indige­nous art. In chal­leng­ing this Euro­cen­tric nar­ra­tive, the artists are work­ing towards Indige­nous resurgence.

By cre­at­ing on the land that the artists come from and live on, Nch’u7mut cheshá7 temíxw /​ Giv­ing Back to Moth­er Earth wish­es to hon­our both the land itself and the ances­tors who have come before.

This curat­ed exhi­bi­tion invites a prac­tic­ing of non-per­ma­nence and allows a moment to reflect on the often unequal rela­tion­ship of give-and-take between peo­ples and land. This exhibition’s  imper­ma­nence address­es the unsus­tain­abil­i­ty of the men­tal­i­ty of resource extrac­tion. We humans can­not just keep tak­ing. In a sense, the pan­dem­ic is the result of our rapa­cious propen­sion to take more and more, leav­ing oth­er liv­ing beings with too lit­tle space.

How has your rela­tion­ship with the land changed or not dur­ing the course of the pan­dem­ic? Does this shift in con­nec­tion to land inform your future, and if so, how? What does your piece wish to address?

This exhi­bi­tion explores the rec­i­p­ro­cal inter­ac­tion between artists and land – both gain­ing from this beau­ti­ful dis­tur­bance of land, as the land becomes a teacher. 

By Ami­na Creighton-Kelly 

Art­work by Yves Sioui Durand and Cather­ine Joncas

Art­work by The Human Nature Collective

Art­work by Peter Morin

Par­tic­i­pat­ing Artists

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Cather­ine Joncas

Cather­ine Jon­cas co-found­ed Ondin­nok with Yves Sioui Durand and the late John Blondin in 1985. Cather­ine is a trained  actor, an author and a the­atre direc­tor. With the com­pa­ny, she notably direct­ed Kiskimew in 2000, Con­tes d’un Indi­en Urbain in 2006, and Katkomiq in 2017. She has also part­nered with Yves from 1994 to 1997 to direct the heal­ing the­atre in the Atikamek com­mu­ni­ty of Man­awan. She was also part of the team of the Indige­nous Actor Inten­sive Train­ing Pro­gram that Ondin­nok pro­vid­ed from 2004 to 2010.

In 2018 she curat­ed Con­strained Body Danc­ing Body in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Tan­gente, an event ded­i­cat­ed to the emer­gence of Indige­nous con­tem­po­rary dance. For the last 50 years she has been trav­el­ling with Yves Sioui Durand on a road of art, love and decolonization.


Yves Sioui Durand

Wen­dat endi’ wen­dake ethawetih yanariskwa ihotiokou’tenh

Yves Sioui Durand is from the Wen­dat Nation, born in Wen­dake and mem­ber of the wolf clan.

He is a writer, actor/​performer and a direc­tor and the co-founder of Ondin­nok, the first Native the­atre com­pa­ny in Québec, now in its 36th year of cre­ation. He is also the first French-Native direc­tor to pro­duce a fic­tion­al film called Mes­nak in 2010.

As an activist, he has worked to the devel­op Native liv­ing art in Québec and Cana­da. In 2017, he was grant­ed for his achieve­ments with the Gov­er­nor Gen­er­al award of Cana­da and in 2018, he was nom­i­nat­ed Com­pagnon des Arts et des Let­tres du Québec by the Art and Let­ters Coun­cil of Québec. Now, he is a men­tor for Ondin­nok and still pur­su­ing his cre­ative work.

Peter Morin

Peter Morin is a grand­son of Tahltan Nation ances­tor artists. Through­out his artis­tic prac­tice, Morin inves­ti­gates the impact zones that occur when Indige­nous prac­tices col­lide with West­ern-set­tler colo­nial­ism. Morin’s art­works are shaped, and reshaped, with Tahltan epis­te­mo­log­i­cal pro­duc­tion and often take on the form of per­for­mance art interventions.

Morin’s prac­tice has spanned twen­ty years so far, with exhi­bi­tions in Lon­don, Berlin, Sin­ga­pore, and New Zealand, as well as across Cana­da and the Unit­ed States. In addi­tion to his exhi­bi­tion his­to­ry, Morin has curat­ed exhi­bi­tions for the Muse­um of Anthro­pol­o­gy, West­ern Front, Bill Reid Gallery, and Burn­a­by Art Gallery. He was longlist­ed for the Brink and Sobey Awards, in 2013 and 2014, respec­tive­ly. In 2016, Morin received the Hnatyshyn Foun­da­tion Award for Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment by a Cana­di­an Mid-Career Artist. Peter Morin is an Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor with the Fac­ul­ty of Art at OCADU.

The Human Nature Collective

The Human Nature Col­lec­tive is a mul­ti-dis­ci­pli­nary arts group com­prised of Theo Pel­mus, Kris Snow­bird, and Daina War­ren, all of whom come from vast­ly dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ences and real­i­ties but share hyper sim­i­lar­i­ties in the explo­ration of issues through cre­ative self-expres­sion. Unbound by medi­um, the col­lec­tive of the Human Nature strives to inter­con­nect ideas and issues to make state­ments of cul­tur­al flu­id­i­ty. The col­lec­tive of artists brings a wealth of prac­tices rang­ing from visu­al to media arts, cura­tion to installers, crit­i­cal writ­ing to arts admin­is­tra­tion. All have worked with each oth­er for sev­er­al years but have for­mal­ized into an artist col­lec­tive in 2017. Our artis­tic process is adapt­able to sit­u­a­tion­al expe­ri­ences and projects which leaves us open to work­ing and col­lab­o­rat­ing with oth­er inter­est­ed, cre­ative individuals.

Human Nature Col­lec­tive includes artists:
Theo Pel­mus: Tul­cea, Roma­nia
Kris Snow­bird: Ojib­way-Cree, Pine Creek First Nation, MB
Daina War­ren: Akamihk Mon­tana Cree Nation, Maskwacis, AB