Being in Place

Saturday May 12, 2018 - Saturday June 2, 2018

Bridget Reweti, Debra Sparrow, Shannon Te Ao, Kamala Todd

May 12 – June 2, 2018
Reception Friday May 11, 8:00 PM
Curated by Paula Booker

Being in Place with Bridget Reweti, Debra Sparrow, Shannon Te Ao, and Kamala Todd will feature installation art, moving image and Coast Salish design. Initiated by New Zealand curator Paula Booker, the exhibition is about the storying of land and relationships to place.

This project brings into the same place two artists from across the great Pacific Ocean in Aotearoa New Zealand, and two artists who grew up here on the edge of that great ocean, with strong and long ties to this territory. All four artists have stories to tell about place.

The Or Gallery’s iconic street-side windows will be covered in a Coast Salish visual, based on Debra Sparrow’s traditional weaving, so the whole exhibition will be entered through a xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) visual story-telling process that is local to here.

Installations by Shannon te Ao (Ngāti Tuwharetoa), and Bridget Reweti (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi) unravel colonial histories and express guardianship using performance and experimental moving image. The works of these artists from Aotearoa New Zealand will be seen through and alongside the images and narratives of Musqueam artist Debra Sparrow and Vancouver-born Metis/Cree/German filmmaker Kamala Todd, an urban geographer and filmmaker who has been commissioned to make a new film from her ongoing work to indigenize urban eyes; to uphold relationships to the unceded Indigenous territories that Vancouver has been built upon.

The exhibition curator considers that “social relations to place are activated through a variety of narrative methods that evoke context and relationship, among people within space, human and greater than human beings and the environment, and between time and place.” This exhibition includes artworks that articulate these ways of being in place. Booker believes that “as a curator of Anglo-Saxon heritage, from the South Pacific, my own stories figure into erasure of Indigenous narratives of place, both at home and in my new home. This exhibition is an opportunity to bring to the fore territorial relationships and uphold sovereignty.”

Public critique with Tara Hogue to be held at 3pm May 14, 2018

Image credits: Irihanga installation detail Bridget Reweti, 2017.