May to September
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Upcoming Exhibitions

Sovereign Acts

October 20, 2018 – January 20, 2019

Curated by Wanda Nanibush

The history of Indigenous Peoples performing cultural dances and practices for international and colonial audiences is an important part of Indigenous art generally and performance art specifically. The Indigenous performers known as ‘Indians’ faced the conundrum of maintaining traditional cultural practices by performing them on stage while also having that performance fulfill the desires of a colonial imaginary. In Sovereign Acts, the artists contend with the legacy of colonial representations. 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. It also means there are Indigenous traditions of performance that feed contemporary art and form an alternative art history. The artists in Sovereign Acts are not just defining themselves from in/outside colonial histories but also from within ever-changing traditions of family, home, people and territory. Performance is an act of cultural and political resistance as well as of remembrance and commemoration. It can offer glimpses of a forgotten past and use creative fiction as a force against colonial narratives of capture, savagery, loss and disappearance. A truly sovereign act.

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Art Gallery of Windsor // 401 Riverside Drive West // Windsor, Ontario // N9A 7J1 Canada // 519-977-0013 // Fax 519-077-0776