Ursula Johnson - The Indian Truckhouse of High Art
Vernissage March 2nd 7-10pm
Show runs to April 30th.
The Indian Truckhouse of High Art was created in 2011 in Halifax NS as a site specific performance. Johnson set up a peddler's booth in the streets of Halifax on October 1st, Treaty Day: the day when the Mi'kmaq Nation and the Crown's representative annually resign the Treaty of Peach and Friendship from 1752. Johnson interacted with passerby speaking in Mi'kmaq, using only a few English words that referenced selling the objects presented as wares on the makeshift sidewalk display.
In the current exhibition Johnson recreated the idea of her "Truckhouse" to be and interactive sculptural installation with media components of video and sound to further showcase the spectacle of what we view as authentically indigenous. This work continues to explore the notions of appropriated indigenous iconography as it stands in the mass produced commodified market of Indigeneity, while looking at the selling of stereotypes as cultural symbols that is manifested in this day and age of a national identity crisis.
Ursula Johnson is an emerging performance and installation artist of Mi’kmaw First Nation ancestry. She graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and has participated in over 30 group shows and 5 solo exhibitions. Her performances are often place-based and employ cooperative didactic intervention.
Artist Statement: I define my practice as Interdisciplinary. In my art I combine a multitude of elements in order to encourage dialogue between the viewers and the work, frequently challenging the viewers to explore with me ideas of identity, ancestry and cultural practice.
In the topics and themes I examine through performance, sculpture and or installation and sometimes all of the above; I aim at creating a space where the viewer is confronted with thought provoking visuals, sounds and scents. Often challenging the viewer to investigate their own Identity, as well as examining the relationship that their ancestry and cultural practices relates to that of mine.
Although my methodology is quite consistent, the materials that I consider with each project are crucial in determining the message that I intend to deliver. My work often juxtaposes aspects of traditional aboriginal art forms and contemporary work.
(Video still from) Indian Truckhouse of High Art Shopping Network 2017
Video by Ursula Johnson - Directed by Jennifer Chiasson with Director of Photography Aubrey Fernandez
Produced at the Banff Centre for the Arts
Signed autographs of Heidi, the host of the Indian Truckhouse of High Art Shopping Network
Ursula Johnson, Signage from the Indian Truckhouse of High Art, 4 colour screenprint, 2018, 1/10. $700.
Laura Taler - Solo Exhibition
May 10th to June 30th
Laura Taler is a Romanian-born Canadian artist working across a range of media including performance, film, sound, sculpture and installation. Taler began her career as a contemporary dance choreographer before turning her attention to filmmaking and visual art. Throughout her career Taler has explored the links between movement, memory, and history by using cinematic and choreographic devices to articulate how the body is able to carry the past without being oppressed by it. She has been a resident at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Centro Cultural Recoleta (Buenos Aires), Carleton Immersive Media Studio (Ottawa), and a fellow at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (Berlin). Her work has been screened in festivals, exhibitions, and broadcast internationally. Awards include a Gold Hugo from the Chicago International Film Festival, the Best Experimental Documentary award from Hot Docs!, and Best of the Festival from New York’s Dance on Camera Festival. Publications include Tension/Spannung (Turia+Kant, 2010), Revisiting Ephemera (Blue Medium Press, 2011) and Embodied Fantasies (Peter Lang Publishing, 2013). Taler holds an MFA from the University of Ottawa.
Michael Belmore (Ojibway), a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, was born in 1971 north of Thunder Bay, Ontario. He holds an associated diploma (1994) in sculpture/installation from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Ontario, and currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario. Belmore works in a variety of media including plastics, metal, wood, and stone. These materials are important to understanding his work, bringing into account how we view nature as a commodity. Belmore’s work has warranted numerous awards from the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council, and Canadian Native Arts Foundation.
The North American landscape, especially its watersheds, continues to be shaped by our divergent tendencies to that of nature. Rivers have been dammed, streams redirected and wetlands drained all in order to better satisfy the demands of western society. Over the past few years my practice has focused primarily on stone carving and the traditional metal smithing technique of chasing and repoussé. Through the arduous process of hammering copper, I have continued to map out waterways through calculated and miscalculated blows.