Greg Staats (Skarù:ręˀ[tuscarora] Kanien’kehá:ka [Mohawk]) was born in 1963 in Ohsweken, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Ontario, and has lived and worked in Toronto since 1986, pursuing lens-based photography, video installation/performance, and sculpture. He received a degree in Applied Photography from Sheridan College, Oakville in 1983.
Staats’ lens based work combines language, mnemonics, and the natural world as an ongoing process of visualizing a Hodinohso:ni: restorative aesthetic that defines relational multiplicities with condolence and renewal. Motivation of his work comes from an existential displacement from the Kanien’kehá:ka language and subsequent relational worldview, while at the same time reflecting his on reserve lived experience. Staats’ installations combine the performative burdens of condolence, renewal, and his continuously re-imagined role as observer and participant, in an effort to elevate the mind and countervail complex trauma, disassociation, and loss of self. His ongoing photographic practice situates itself in a continuum of remembering and self-reflection, strengthened through orality, embodied wampum, and visualized mnemonics.
Upcoming solo exhibitions are planned for the Art Gallery of Hamilton, ON (2023), the Art Gallery of Ontario, CONTACT Photo Festival and Todmorden Mills, Toronto (2021); recent solo exhibitions include: Gallery 44, Toronto (2019); Tom Thomson Gallery, Owen Sound, ON and Woodstock Art Gallery (2016); and Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Gallery of Southern Manitoba (2015). Recent group exhibitions include: Soundings at Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and Kamloops Art Gallery (2019-21); Varley Art Gallery of Markham, ON (2019); and the Art Gallery of York University (2016). His work is in public collections across Canada, including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa; and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto.