Start Somewhere Else: Works from the Collection centres around Krista Belle Stewart’s video installation Seraphine, Seraphine (2015) to consider doubling – and duplicities – in personal and historical narratives. Connecting to Stewart’s questioning of authorial representation and intention versus interpretation of archival materials, Start Somewhere Else considers how stories are told between the individual and institution. The list below includes readings expanding on themes and ideas in the exhibition that were compiled by graduate and undergraduate researchers at the Belkin.
These sources provide contextual information to themes relevant to the exhibition, including Canada’s relationship to Indigenous and Black communities, the political, social and artistic constructions of nationhood in the late 1960s, sovereignties and the body.
Brown, Kirby. “Sovereignty.” Western American Literature, 53:1 (Spring 2018): 81-89.
Start Somewhere Else questions where stories begin through how they are told, by whom and to whom. At times these are personal stories, at times these are stories of nationhood or resistance of nationhood, and at times these two sit together in the same telling. Conceptualizations of sovereignty at different scales, contexts and modes resonate throughout the exhibition. Considering the ways in which the word “sovereignty” has been taken up or used in different ways historically and contemporarily, Brown outlines different articulations, histories and approaches to the term in Indigenous and Native scholarship.
Carr, Geoffrey. “Bearing Witness: A Brief History of the Indian Residential Schools in Canada.” In Witnesses: Art and Canada’s Indian Residential Schools, Witness Catalogue, edited by Scott Watson et al, 9-21. Vancouver: Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, 2013.
Krista Belle Stewart’s Seraphine, Seraphine, engages with the legacies of Indian Residential Schools through the testimony from her mother, Seraphine Stewart, to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Impacts from residential schools continue to be felt by survivors, their families and Indigenous communities. In this essay, Carr provides an introduction into the histories and legacies of residential schools and how organizations such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have responded to them.
Fatona, Andrea. “In the Presence of Absence: Invisibility, Black Canadian History, and Melinda Mollineaux’s Pinhole Photography.” Canadian Journal of Communication 31 (1) (2006).
Official histories of Canada often erase the complexities of Black Canadian experiences. Fatona’s essay explores Melinda Mollineaux’s use of pinhole photography in her Cadboro Bay series. Black people picnicked at Cadboro Bay on Vancouver Island to celebrate Emancipation Day in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In this article, Fatona explores Mollineaux’s use of pinhole photography as a strategy to expand on presence and absence through what is not seen or is withheld, and how this relates to Black diasporic experiences.
Freeman, Barbara M. “Same/Difference: The Media, Equal Rights and Aboriginal Women in Canada, 1968.” The Canadian Journal of Native Studies 18:1 (1998): 87-115.
Freeman discusses the ways Canadian media in 1967-68 conveyed “sameness” among women in their calls for rights and recognition, often veiling the ways in which women’s experiences and calls were affected by race, socioeconomic class and nationhood. In particular, Freeman highlights how Indigenous women called for different kinds of recognition than white women.
Garneau, David. “From Indian to Indigenous: Temporary Pavilion to Sovereign Display Territories.” In In Search of Expo ’67, edited by Monika Kin Gagnon and Lesley Johnstone, 135-146. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020.
A hundred years since its formation as a settler state, the year 1967 presented Canada with the opportunity to consider and define itself as a nation. Events like Expo ’67 opened ways for Canada to articulate itself internationally about its centennial, while national initiatives through broadcasting agencies like the CBC sought to create stories that supported the conceptualization and mythologizing of Canada as a diverse and multicultural nation. Garneau’s essay discusses the significance of the Indians of Canada Pavilion at Expo ‘67 as the first national exhibition produced by Indigenous people, and how Indigenous artists and curators used strategies of representation to resist colonial narratives about Indigenous peoples.
“Indigenous Feminisms Power Panel.” Department of Indigenous Studies: University of Saskatchewan, March 15, 2016.
Panelists Kim TallBear, Kim Anderson and Audra Simpson discuss how sovereignty and decolonization are fundamentally feminist and queer. The panelists consider the implications and consequences of (hetero)patriarchy and how these government policies “defeminized” Indigenous practices and understandings of kinship.
Laframboise, Jessa. “Politics and Performance: Categories of Second-Wave Feminist Performance Art.” RENDER: Graduate Journal of Art & Culture 7 (2018): 1-13.
Laframboise examines the twentieth century politics and practices of second-wave feminist performance art. Exploring themes surrounding the female body in gender and identity, as well as the commodification of femininity, Laframboise expands on how different kinds of performance – live, documented and trace – each encapsulate different approaches to feminism and femininity in conversation with social and political pressures at the time.
Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake. “The Place Where We All Live and Work Together: A Gendered Analysis of ‘Sovereignty’.” In Native Studies Keywords, edited by Michelle Raheja et al, 18-23. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 2015.
Drawing from a phrase in Anishinaabemowin, Simpson offers an approach to sovereignty that foregrounds relationships, responsibilities and self and collective self-determination. Considering how a sovereignty rooted in place includes not only land, but human and non-human nations and systems, the chapter questions what forms of recognition are actually necessary to articulate, express and embody sovereignty.
Stimson, Adrian A. “Two Spirited For You: The Absence of ‘Two-Spirit’ People in Western Culture and Media.” West Coast Line 40:1 (2006): 69-79.
Stimson discusses how Two-Spirit people have been specifically targeted as part of the ongoing colonial project in settler states, and how the erasure of Two-Spirited people from western medias have furthered European outlooks on gender and sexuality to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences.
Start Somewhere Else: Works from the Collection centres around Krista Belle Stewart's video installation Seraphine, Seraphine (2015) to consider doubling – and duplicities – in personal and historical narratives. Through an interest in the archive and how stories are told between the individual and institutional, Stewart's practice takes up the complexities of intention and interpretation made possible by archival material.
Join curators Melanie O'Brian and Krista Belle Stewart for a tour of Start Somewhere Else: Works from the Collection, which centres around Stewart's video installation Seraphine, Seraphine (2015) to consider doubling – and duplicities – in personal and historical narratives. O'Brian and Stewart will walk through the exhibition and offer insights into the themes, conversations and points of resonance between Stewart's and the other works drawn from the Belkin's permanent collection.[more]
From June until August, the Belkin's outdoor screen will exhibit Marian Penner Bancroft's the rifting of Pangaea (2019) daily from 9 am until 9 pm. Evocative of breaking and shifting continents, the rifting of Pangaea takes a domestic view of large scale geologic and time changes.[more]
Krista Belle Stewart speaks about her work Seraphine, Seraphine (2015), which juxtaposes two archival documents on the artist’s mother’s story: a 1967 CBC docudrama portraying Seraphine Stewart’s journey to become the first Indigenous public health nurse in BC and her 2013 testimony for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.[more]