April 28 to June 26, 2022
Curator : Michael Patten
The 6th edition of the Contemporary Native Art Biennial at the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke will present works offering a northern perspective of the Land Back theme with a dozen artists who come from or work around the Great North.
MAKUSI Q. ANGUTIGIRK
NIAP (NANCY SAUNDERS)
EVA ALIKTILUK TALOOKI
THERESE P. TUGUMIAR
The Great North is a place that was greatly affected by colonialism. Heavily wounded by difficult geopolitics and the exponential growth of a capitalist Western world, the North suffers. Through poetic acts, artist Maureen Gruben attempts to heal this scar. Deeply rooted in the gesture of memory and nostalgia, she traces an iconography specific to Inuvialuit communities through the mediums of photography and film. A landscape in perpetual disfiguration, the North is the first witness of the pressing climatic crisis. The ice melting is a phenomenon widely documented by the photographer Camille Seaman, who proposes images, as sublime as they are melancholic, of icebergs drifting. Using the same strategies as for her portraits, the artist attempts to translate the similarity between humans and nature, while making the latter an agentic subject.
For Inuit communities, natural forces are often explained by a rich cosmology, which is part of their identity and transmitted knowledge. In her photographic series Sedna ᓴᓐᓇ, artist Katherine Takpannie explores the figure of Sedna: the goddess of the sea and the mother of all marine mammals. While her aesthetic is particularly colorful and fantastic, the soapstone sculptures, in the collection of the Sherbrooke Museum of Fine Arts as well as those generously lent by La Guilde, offer a more classical and sober reading of Inuit myths and legends.
It is on a more politically charged note that Barry Pottle approaches the Inuit condition. In an assumed archival gesture, he photographs old “Eskimo Identification Tags”. They are remnants of a program founded by the Canadian government in 1940, which aimed to regularize and “simplify” the naming of Inuit, who had only a first name at the time. Above all, they remind us of a gesture that is heavily charged, both by its interference and by its quality of erasure.
This 6th edition of the Biennale will have 7 pavilions: La Guilde, the Art Mûr Gallery, the Galerie Stewart Hall Gallery, the Maison de la culture de Verdun – Quai 5160, the Maison des Jésuites de Sillery, the McCord Museum and the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke.