OPEN SPACE, Victoria BC – To Jan 16, 2021
by Christine Clark
Eli Hirtle, the current Indigenous curator at Open Space, says: “The idea for this exhibition came to me in February, while I was spending time at the legislature occupation on Lək̓ʷəŋən Territory. I saw how many artists were responding to the calls for solidarity, through their practices and also by spending time, energy and resources at the solidarity blockades and occupations that were taking place across the country. I felt compelled to ask these four artists to contribute work to an exhibition that could continue the conversation and approach the topic of ‘land back’ from different angles.”
An exhibition of installation, sound, photography, painting and text-based works, LAND BACK features art by Lacie Burning, Whess Harman, Chandra Melting Tallow and Nicole Neidhardt. Hirtle says, “The artists participating in this exhibition have varying and unique backgrounds and identities, and how they view the idea of ‘land back’ is di erent from one another. My desire to include them all is to have a spectrum of perspectives and dialogues converge around the themes of land and water protection.” The show also includes a film by Hirtle, made in collaboration with Brianna Bear, titled Lekwungen: Place to Smoke Herring.
Described as a rallying cry, LAND BACK seeks to explore Indigenous responsibility to protect the land currently known as Canada from the devastation of resource extraction for private profit. In response to a question about the future of Canada, Hirtle says, “I’m more interested in the futurities of my relatives and kin and how our acts of cultural resurgence are in essence undoing [the] settler-state of Canada one relationship and act of revolutionary revitalization at a time.”
Reception Nov 21 & 22, all-day open house