This exhibition unites respect, relationship and homage to our communities, a harmony with land and environment, and a history of survival through sculptural installation, sound, moving image, performance, collaboration and adornment. The lens of colonial violence is often disregarded as a “necessary tragedy” to tame a final frontier with pioneering homesteads, while colonial mathematics only recounts the recent settler generation.
These works dissect, reconnect and map the real history of settler violence as experienced by First Nations peoples. New collaborations and creative discourse have been constructed, including work by Leonard Getinthecar (Nicholas & Jerrod Galanin) and No Pigs In Paradise, a collaboration with Nep Sidhu.
A Supple Plunder, by Leonard Getinthecar is a clarification of gross colonial perversion, honoring twelve Unangan men who were bound together and shot with one bullet, which lodged in the ninth man. No unveiled memorial, no national holiday, not even a school honoring these ancestors exists. No dollar bill memorializing the lives lost defending our homeland. No trial. No error.
No Pigs In Paradise as described by Nep Sidhu,
“...speaks to an understanding of the specific histories of First Nations’ women and a clear understanding of women as essential to the restoration of First Nations’ societies. First Nations women are reaffirmed as the integral component to the reestablishment of balance and harmony. The path exists and the end goal is clear. The right path in this instance starts with protecting the women – leveraging ornament, textile, ceremony, incantation so they can be prepared to lead their families, communities and societies to an exalted, harmonious and prosperous status quo.”
The legacy of human rights violations experienced by First Nations people, including and as a result of the genocide, still reverberate today evidenced by the epidemic of rape, homicide and kidnapping against First Nations women, the quick sale economy of First Nations culture, the misappropriation of our visual language, active amnesia and the blatant disregard for place and the history of our land.
The works contained within this exhibition push forward long standing conversations, artistic and discursive, within First Nation communities and amongst their allies about the most efficacious ways to restore harmony and balance. As people whose existence has always been dependent on the earth, uplifting our women, restoring our land and reinstituting our values are not contradictory acts. Rather these ideas run parallel and are the basis for a self-determined perseverance.