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Announcement
January 25, 2017

Sovereign Acts II

Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery at Concordia University
Dayna Danger, Kandace, 2016. Digital print. Courtesy of the artist.

Rebecca Belmore, Lori Blondeau, Dayna Danger, Robert Houle, James Luna, Shelley Niro, Adrian Stimson, Jeff Thomas

Curator: Wanda Nanibush

Sovereign Acts II contends with the legacy of colonial representations by examining the history of Indigenous peoples performing cultural dances and practices for international and colonial audiences. Drawing on the depiction of the imaginary Indian—the ahistorical, pre-contact “primitivism” in popular and mass culture—artists Rebecca Belmore, Lori Blondeau, Dayna Danger, Robert Houle, James Luna, Shelley Niro, Adrian Stimson, and Jeff Thomas, recover and construct new ways of performing the complexity of Indigenous cultures for a contemporary art audience. Their work returns to the multi-levelled history of “Performing Indian” to recuperate the erased and objectified performer as an ancestor, an artist, and an Indigenous subject.

The exhibition is accompanied by a range of activities programmed around the issues and challenges raised by Sovereign Acts II, including responses in the form of a concert by Indigenous women’s singing and drumming ensemble, Odaya, and a critical commentary by curator, writer and Concordia graduate student Lindsay Nixon; a lecture by art historian Richard W. Hill, Chair in Indigenous Studies at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver; an archive and research session with Karl Hele, Associate Professor and Director of First Peoples Studies, Concordia University, around his collection of material relating to the Hiawatha Pageant and Play as performed by people from Garden River First Nation; and a curator’s tour and multilingual commented tours.

This presentation is an augmented version of an exhibition first produced and presented in 2012 at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto.

Free admission—wheelchair accessible

For more information on the exhibition and related events, please visit our website.

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