Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts

Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC


by Michael Turner
Guest curated by Candice Hopkins and Dylan Robinson, this group exhibition features commissioned works in sound, video, sculpture and performance by 17 artists, many of whom are Indigenous, all of whom were invited by the curators to respond to the question “How can a score be a call or tool for decolonization?” Designed to unfold cumulatively, in a sequence of five parts over a number of locations, the “scores” are activated at specific moments by musicians, dancers, performers and gallery-goers.
Although materially rich and varied (from beadwork to graphic notation), Soundings is rooted in concepts of Indigenous land, language and relations. For the curators, the intention is to move unfamiliar audiences beyond the ceremonial land acknowledgement and provide “instructions for sensing and listening to Indigenous histories that trouble the colonial imagery.”
Soundings originated with the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University, Kingston, on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anisinaabeg. For the show’s current version on Musqueam territory, the Belkin has collaborated with UBC’s Musqueam Language and Culture Department, School of Music, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, First Nations House of Learning, and Museum of Anthropology.
Artists featured in the exhibition are Raven Chacon, Sebastian De Line, Camille Georgeson- Usher, Maggie Groat, Kite, Germaine Koh, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Cristóbal Martinez, Peter Morin, Ogimaa Mikana, Diamond Point, Lisa C. Ravensbergen, Heidi Aklaseaq Senungetuk, Greg Staats, Olivia Whetung and Tania Willard. The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery iteration of Soundings was organized in collaboration with Lorna Brown and
Barbara Cole.

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