OGEMA : I AM WOMAN
Winsor Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition of new works featuring Maria Hupfield, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Wendy Red Star, Tsēma Tamara Skubovius, Janice Toulouse, and Olivia Whetung. OGEMA : I AM WOMAN will run from March 9th, 2016 – March 29th, 2016 with an opening reception on Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 from 6 – 8 pm.
The exhibition OGEMA : I AM WOMAN centers matriarchal modes of seeing and being: representations of First Nations as seen and created by female artists Indigenous to North America. The exhibition is at once a celebration and testimony that makes visible Indigenous accomplishments with a focus on positive and constructive counteractions against the colonial violence Indigenous people, and specifically Indigenous women, have endured and continue to endure. This exhibition seeks to challenge what we know about Indigenous women’s roles and lives with new and diverse representations of Indigenous matriarchy, so that we may be better equipped to create and apply new values in our everyday lives. This exhibition demonstrates one vision of Indigenous feminist leadership in action, bringing to the fore various ways Indigenous women create, practice, and live their traditional matriarchal values. The artists’ works speak through and beyond colonial history and language with reference to the idea of ‘resurgence’ posited by Leanne Simpson in Dancing on our Turtle’s Back. An integral part of resurgence are creation stories—stories that make up a significant part of the framework of Indigenous identity. According to Simpson, we are taught to insert ourselves into the story, as the artists do by capturing their own depictions of Indigeneity. The term resurgence as defined by Simpson serves to enrich the definition of the matriarch as it pertains to Indigenous people. This exhibition will establish the role of Indigenous women in decolonization as first and foremost self-determined, as well as raise questions surrounding decolonial theories and traditions in the contemporary contexts of both art and politics, using the act of creation as a political performance.
This exhibition is curated by Léa Toulouse and is a collaboration between the Critical and Curatorial Studies Program at the University of British Columbia and Winsor Gallery. This project is made possible with the support from the Killy Foundation and the Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies through the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory in collaboration with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia. Special thanks to Jørgen Hookham for design, Jennifer Euna Kim for editing, and Léa Toulouse’s advisors, Dana Claxton, Ignacio Adriasola and Scott Watson.
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