The country now known as Canada (Kanata) is home to people from many lands. Yet, its national imaginary is hardly reflective of this, as images of Canada—both within its borders and outside of them—continue to portray a country forged by British and French settlers. In contrast, the artists in CANADIAN BELONGING(s) demonstrate nuanced and complex examples of belonging, speaking back to dominant representations of national identity steeped in histories of settler-colonialism and white supremacy. With their own unique relationships to the nation-state, artists Basil AlZeri, Sonny Assu, Pansee Atta, Cindy Blažević, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Kristie MacDonald, Meryl McMaster, and Abdi Osman demonstrate this specificity through distinct negotiations of material belongings. Through their use of the photograph and its function as documentation, a site for intervention, and an archive ripe for appropriation, the artists in CANADIAN BELONGING(s) make visible multiple understandings of the self through the presentation of specific objects of identification. Here, the postcard, passport, scrapbook, landscape, portrait, treaty, and wampum are all re-signified, subverting their settler-colonial function and, instead, evidencing distinct examples of belonging on this land.
Free shuttle bus to the May 5 opening reception departs from the Gladstone Hotel at 6pm, returns 8pm.
Curated by Ellyn Walker