Including work by artists Marianne Nicolson and Althea Thauberger with Siku Allooloo, Scott Benesiinaabandan, Darryl Dawson, Jaymyn La Vallee, Diane Roberts, Sara Siestreem, Juliana Speier, Nabidu Taylor, Kamala Todd, William Wasden Jr., Tania Willard and Lindsey Willie.
In 1914, delegates of the McKenna-McBride Royal Commission met with Johnny Scow (Kwikwasuti’nuxw), Copper Johnson (Ha’xwa’mis), Dick Webber and Dick Hawkins (Dzawada̱’enux̱w), and Alec Morgan (Gwawa’enuxw), as well as all the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw Chiefs, to establish the land base of the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw group of nations. A century later, in May 2018, the Dzawada̱’enux̱w First Nation launched the first-ever BC Supreme Court case to extend Aboriginal title to the ocean, claiming that the Province does not have the authority to grant tenures to salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago. As two moments in a tangled timeline of resistance, these legal encounters bring forward the ways that cultural practices can bring new realities into being for a community experiencing ongoing social, cultural and ecological effects of colonization and globalizing economics.
Working together at Kingcome Inlet in Summer 2018, a group of artists used film, video, social media, weaving, animation, drawing, language and song to address the urgent threats to the land and water. A manifestation of the relationships formed between the participants over this past year, this exhibition is based on sharing knowledges and respectful collaboration. Simultaneously research, material, media, testimony and ceremony, Hexsa’a̱m: To Be Here Always challenges the western concept that the power of art and culture are limited to the symbolic or metaphoric, and that the practices of First Peoples are simply part of a past heritage. As Marianne Nicolson states, “We must not seek to erase the influence of globalizing Western culture, but master its forces selectively, as part of a wider Canadian and global community, for the health of the land and the cultures it supports. The embodied practice of ceremonial knowledge relates to artistic experience – not in the aesthetic sense, but in the performative: through gestures that consolidate and enhance knowledge for positive change.” Hexsa’a̱m: To Be Here Always positions the gallery as an active location for this performance, drawing together many faculties and disciplines of the university in generative exchange.
Photo: Scott Benesiinaabandan.
From Hexsa’a̱m: To Be Here Always, 2018, Photo: Nabidu Taylor.
Hexsa’a̱m: To Be Here Always takes place as part of Mirrored In Stone, a project commissioned by Cineworks and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia in partnership with the Dzawada̱'enux̱w First Nation. Cineworks gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts New Chapter fund, British Columbia Arts Council Youth Engagement Program and the annual assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, City of Vancouver and Province of British Columbia. The Belkin Gallery gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Vancouver Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, our Belkin Curator’s Forum members and the Department of Canadian Heritage Young Canada Works Program.
Mirrored In Stone 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.
Cineworks and the Belkin Gallery pay special respect to the xʷməθkʷəy̍əm (Musqueam), Sk̠wx̠wú7mesħ (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations on whose unceded traditional territories much of the work facilitating this project has been undertaken.
Collective Acts taps into the generative potential of archival research by artists into experiments with collective organizing and cooperative production, presenting new work by Dana Claxton, Jeneen Frei Njootli and the ReMatriate Collective, Christine D’Onofrio and Heather Kai Smith, alongside work by Salish Weavers Guild members Mary Peters, Adeline Lorenzetto and Annabel Stewart. Beginning with the Seventies: Collective Acts is curated by Lorna Brown and is the third of four exhibitions based upon the Belkin Art Gallery’s research project investigating the 1970s, an era when social movements of all kinds – feminism, environmentalism, LGBTQ rights, Indigenous rights, access to health services and housing – began to coalesce into models of self-organization that overlapped with the production of art and culture. Noting the resurgence of art practice involved with social activism and an increasing interest in the 1970s from younger producers, the Belkin has connected with diverse archives and activist networks to bring forward these histories, to commission new works of art and writing and to provide a space for discussion and debate.[more]
Celebrating the excessive abundance of the archive, Beginning with the Seventies: GLUT is concerned with language, depictions of the woman reader as an artistic genre and the potential of reading as performed resistance.[more]
How is an archive formed? Memories of performance often exceed the containment of the document, whether photography, film, prop or testimony. As communities disperse and regroup over time, figures may slip away from the centre. Circling around the embodied archive, the exhibition Radial Change is drawn from the title of a dance work by Helen Goodwin. The elusive histories of Goodwin’s choreography and her influence on the interdisciplinary art scene of the 1970s are explored in new installation works by Evann Siebens and by Michael de Courcy.[more]
As part of Collective Acts, we invite you to visit the newly-launched Intuition Commons, a space that aims to facilitate an archive of female influences in creative practice that lie outside of conventional citations.[more]