Archive for the 'Art & Events' Category
Monday, March 9th, 2009
An exhibition of the moving image, including stop-motion, 3D and other animation techniques, Big Eye showcases Aboriginal animations from Australia and Canada in a unique cross-tribal exchange of ideas and world views.
Aboriginal Australian screen artists use digital storytelling techniques to bring cultural knowledge and contemporary exploration of country to the fore, with an original and distinctive voice.
Big Eye builds on its 2008 debut screening at 24HR Art (Northern Territory Centre for Contemporary Art, Darwin) featuring prominent Aboriginal Australian artists to now include works by Aboriginal Canadian Animators and Artists.
Star Aboriginal Canadian artist Skawennati Tricia Fragnito’s new media practice uniquely centres on creating projects specifically for the internet, which she believes is ‘an extraordinary art delivery system’. Skawennati’s work responds to cultural misconceptions and generalisations about gender and race.
“First World” countries Australia and Canada are two of very few countries in the world who recognise their first people as Aboriginal. Philosophically, this exhibition explores a shared heritage by Aboriginal Canadians and Aboriginal Australians through the intersection of Aboriginal Aesthetics and Culture, with the endurance of a similar colonisation as a background.
Featuring Dark Thunder Productions, Raven Tales, Skawennati Tricia Fragnito & Abtech, Rabbit and Bear Foot, The Healthy Aboriginal Project and Anthony Wong, Frank Mcleod & Aboriginal Nations, Aroha Groves, Christine Peacock & Rebekah Pitt & John Graham, the Gunbalanya Community & Gozer Media, and artist/curator Jenny Fraser.
The exhibition opens at QUT Creative Industries Precint ‘the Block’ at Musk Ave, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, Australia – Tuesday April 28th, 2009 – 6 for 6.30pm
Opening hours Tuesday & Wednesday 2pm – 6.30pm, Thursday & Friday 2pm – 8pm,
Saturday 4pm – 8pm
Showing until May 16th 2009.
* also with a drop-in Animation Lab by appointment
Exhibition Design by Lubi Thomas.
How to get there: http://www.ciprecinct.qut.com/whatshappening/howtogethere.jsp
Raven Tales: http://www.raventales.ca
Aboriginal Nations http://www.thedreamingstories.com.au & http://www.ablnat.com
Dreamtime Animations http://www.dreamtimeanimations.com
Dreamtime Animations http://www.thedreamingstories.com.au
we went to Noumea!
with the others : the touring exhibition of the other APT held at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre in New Caledonia
read a review of the show by Matt Poll:
and a news story featured in the Koori Mail:
or see some of the install photos here:
Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
No, not ours, we wouldn’t want to bore you, nor wish to make you depressed, so instead we think you ought to read the year end review of someone who actually had a great year, that being one, Terrance J Houle, the scion of silly-awesome artwork.
Its been a bit since I have posted anything and its now 2009. I thought I would just post a couple of updates and then go right into a year in review for those interested in what I did.
I will be doing an artist talk at the TRUCK GALLERY: On the Soap Box Series, January 21st/09, 7pm
I will also be on tour in March/April/ May across Canada. dates will be posted in teh next couple weeks.
2008 Year in Review
So 2008 was a totally interesting year for myself, It was the first year I spent entirely working as a professional artist, creating work and exhibiting all over. Unlike most years I did not have my summer youth media gig and was lucky enough to do a wide range of works such as Don Coyote and Dewdney Avenue Project. plus some major traveling…”
To read on click here: T-Banger’s Boneriffic Blog!
Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
Jude Norris @ HQ Gallery Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Photos: M Colon)
This past Friday, January 9th, was the opening reception for Canadian First nations artist Jude Norris’ Gratitude Code Root Mural exhibition at HQ Gallery on Grand Street in Williamsburg Brooklyn. The show runs from January 9th through March 1st.
I generally do not like attending art openings because there are too many people, which distracts me from engaging with the work. Actually most people who attend these things are there for free drinks and/or out of obligation for one reason or another. In this case I am glad I skipped the opening because the gallery turned out to be quite a small space. I imagine it must have been claustrophobically crammed with well-wishers and (free) drinkers on opening night.
So I made my way down to Williamsburg on a sunny Sunday afternoon by walking from my apartment in Queens across the Pulaski Bridge into Brooklyn. It was cold, and the streets were icy, but it was a nice walk.
Director: Jackson McDade
Once I arrived I was greeted by the gallery director, Jackson McDade, who was kind enough to speak to me about his relationship to Jude Norris (They’re fellow Canadians), his objectives for the gallery as a site specific space for artists to work through their conceptual ideas, and much more.
Please download podcast attached to hear the interview.
Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
Self Portrait, Fritz Scholder, NMAI NYC.
Our friend at Newspaper Rock found a review of this two part exhibition curated for both locations – NYC and D.C. – in the Washington Post. While reporter Phillip Kennicott raises some interesting points about Scholder’s Indian paintings I think he unfairly dismissed poignant aspects of Scholder’s “New York” work which was decidedly “non Indian,” but Indian in that Scholder was undeniably an Indian. I have only seen the exhibition here in New York, which also features the video documentary mentioned in the Post article, that focuses on his 80s and 90s works. These included large abstract self portraits, creepy bronze statues of partly human/partly demon figures and paintings of some rather frightening looking women. It is these images I am most drawn to because they belie a fearful self loathing that is emotionally grasping. Almost embarrassing in their open expression of a desire to be desired yet also rejecting in a hyper-conscious analytically distant way.
Kennicott labeled these works “empty and incompetent,” as if Scholder had “spent himself” as an artist. Yet at the same time he points to the double (maybe triple) bind of making art as an Indian that is not Indian art yet being an Indian who rejected his Indian identity perhaps made him a better conduit for creating stereotype shattering images of Indians. Frankly I think his criticisms are a tad thin, maybe even racist, in that he laments the fact Indian artists who make Indian art are inevitably stuck in that rut yet when Scholder broke from making “Indian art” his work was dismissed, derided by Kennicott himself as “infantile in execution.”
It certainly was a no win game for Scholder who derisively noted that “art was the best racket around!” Well, I guess it would have been for someone who was celebrated as the Indian artist making Indian art – ultimately to be rejected once he decided as an artist to move on from a subject he was no longer interested in. Because, you know, artists don’t have a wide array of artistic impulses or emotions or ideas that they want to work through. Gimme a break!
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008
Dr. McMaster at the podium
A few weeks ago I made my way down to the National Museum of the American Indian where First Nations scholar and art curator Gerald McMaster reenacted the multi media presentation originally commission by the trailblazing imagineNATIVE film and media arts festival out of Ontario Canada. I missed it back in Toronto so I was pleased to see he was re-presenting here in New York City.
A still from Nanook of the North
A still from a Zacharias Kunuk film
The presentation was an historical overview that spoke to the performative, and quite perverse, nature of reenacting indigenous history for commercial entertainment. McMaster took us through the careerist strategies of painter George Caitlin, who recreated his many Indian paintings with a live show he took on the road to Europe, and William F 'Buffalo Bill' Cody, who product the long lasting 'Wild West' frontier show and wisely employed the likes of real live 'wild Indians of the Plains' such as Sitting Bull and many others who actually participated in Custer's demise. To be sure Buffalo Bill made heap big bucks off his all-Indian cast. The most pressing point McMaster's made, however, was that this reenacting of Indian history began in earnest at a time when the native people of North America were suffering under relocation and education policies that would see them further dispossessed of their tribal identities, and he pondered as to why the Native people would want to participate in what amounted to a parody at all.It was a point well made by his use of archival film footage of two seminal works that have echoed throughout the years: Edward S Curtis' In the Land of the Headhunters and Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North. He then juxtaposed the way in which contemporary indigenous artists have mined reenactments to humorous, and sometimes histrionic effect, with non-Native contemporary artists who seem merely to (un)ironically, certainly not humorously, recreate genre portraits and landscape made famous by Caitlin and Curtis. To do so he used Native artists such as Kent Monkman, Dustinn Craig, Terrance Houle, and James Luna contrasted with Andrea Robbins and Max Bescher, Orlan, and Edie Winogrand. If you can tell I am no fan of the non-Native artists listed, except Orlan’s plastic surgery series – please do Google her and see why for yourself!
Though the auditorium was far from packed it was certainly a decent turn out. I was there not only to report for NAICA’s Longviews blog, but also to write for Current – the New York Foundation for the Art’s online magazine. You can check that essay out here: NYFA Current
If you are an artist living in New York state it is a seminal resource for grants, job and exhibition opportunities. You should become a member, which is free, by registering online.
Monday, November 17th, 2008
On Friday night, November 14th, at the American Museum of Natural History here in the NYC the Margaret Mead Film Festival began it’s program with a screening of a restored print of controversial photographer Edward S Curtis’ In the Land of the Head Hunters. The film was accompanied by an all-indigenous live orchestra put together by violinist, Laura Ortman.
A slide show and opening presentation by the descendants of the original cast preceded the screening. It was quite touching to hear the positive words of the current chief of the Kwakwakaa’wakw people who were Curtis’ collaborators in the film. He expressed gratitude for the film’s resurrection and the exhibition to a near capacity crowd in New York City. I was surprised to hear him say as much considering many believe, myself included, that Curtis’ work with the native people of North America was exploitative. However if you could see your great great uncle when he was a young strappin’ man dancing around a prayer fire in a vintage print, even if a jingoistic quasi-racist white man made it, I guess you’d have a different opinion.
As an interested observer, especially of narrative tropes in film history, I was surprised to see that the essential plot of Curtis’ film was “Boy meets Girl, Boy gets Girl, Boy loses Girl, Boy gets Girl in the end.” What we have here is the first iteration of a chick flick, but with an all Indian cast. Though Curtis’ photographic works have always been viewed as documentarian he never intended to make a documentary film, but rather a narrative that would stand out in the glutted market of the “Indian Pictures” popular at the time. He sought to do so by promoting his film as “more authentic” by dint of the on location shoot and the all-Native cast. Though critically praised at the time it was a commercial flop. I guess we had to wait for Kevin Costner to give us Dances with Wolves before any film boasting an authentic Indian location and cast could be commercially viable?
The score is of special interest because it is evocative of the time when a live orchestra played along with the film. This particular score, produced by John J Braham – an Englishman closely associated with vaudeville and Gilbert and Sullivan operas, was supposed to have been directly influenced by Kwakwaka’wakw music. Trust me it wasn’t. It was amusingly vaudevillian, at times laughable, but for the improvised indigenous and percussive elements added by the all Native orchestra. I spoke with a few of the members afterwards. Saxophonist, Vince Redhouse, told me he thought at times he was playing to cartoon episode of Mighty Mouse instead of a landmark silent film. In all fairness the original score was missing key musical elements (e.g. the conductor’s score) therefore matching the score to what is in fact an incomplete film (stills from an unearth second print were added to fill out the more complete, but damaged version) is somewhat impossible and entirely dependent on the conductor’s interpretation. And, that brings us to the Coast Orchestra.
Laura Ortman first heard about the resurrection of the film from a contact at the National Museum of the American Indian. Believing it a crucial point to have an all-indigenous orchestra perform the score along with the film she set out to find a talented pool of classically trained musicians. Though a daunting task (classical music and Indians does seem like an oxymoron) Laura was not discouraged, and though the going was slow, she did prevail. To that end, if there were any doubts that Native musicians are just as talented playing classical instruments as they are hand drums, this group of highly trained sophisticates should put them to rest.
The orchestra, led by conductor Timothy Long, was precise in it’s interpretation of the score, yet belied an indigenized sensibility to the arrangement by adding percussive instrumentation where there was none in the original, as well as, traditional native singers. In fact, the original score called for a thirteen-piece orchestra but Laura was only able to find ten high quality, and willing, musicians. However they managed to fill out the score by adding piano accompaniment and re-working the wind arrangements by replacing the trumpet with saxophone to provide a more evocative sound. Though at times the original string arrangements were silly (only because of the obvious vaudeville roots) the overall effect was provocative and certainly laid to rest any notions that Native people are only attracted to instruments like, the flute, or the aforementioned hand drum.
This was a landmark experience, not only for the mostly Caucasian audience, but for the musicians and descendants of the Kwakwaka’wakw because they circumvented the long held dogma that places native people in an a-historical past settling themselves fully in the 21st century, and without having to sacrifice their cultural and creative inclinations. Let’s hope to hear more from this talented group of musicians.
For more information on Edward S Curtis and his film please visit: www.curtisfilm.rutgers.edu
For more information on the Coast Orchestra please visit: www.myspace.com/thecoastorchestra
To listen to Longview’s interview with violinist and Native music advocate, Laura Ortman, Click the player below.
To see photos from this event visit our gallery page by clicking “gallery” up top of the blog.
All photos: M Colon
Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
Music’s Finest Come out to Pay Tribute San Francisco, CA
The American Indian Film Institute (AIFI) proudly announce a special film and music tribute “Remembering Floyd Red Crow Westerman (1936-2007)” presented November 13 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Westerman was an accomplished singer/songwriter whose 1969 debut album“Custer Died for Your Sins” earned critical acclaim. He also was a human rights activist who performed with Sting in the rainforest benefits; and actor receiving world-wide attention and acclaim as “Ten Bears” in Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves. His film and television credits include Swing Vote, Grey Owl, Hidalgo, Walker Texas Ranger, X- Files, Murder She Wrote, Northern Exposure and Dharma & Greg. The music tribute will be directed by Indian songwriter/performer Keith Secola and hosted by comic Charlie Hill and Max Gail.
Preceding the tribute will be the World Premiere of documentary feature “Coloring the Media” directed by Carlisle Antonio. The film explores what it means to be Indian in the new millennium while dealing with established prejudices by mainstream media and include exclusive interviews with the late Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Robert Redford and John Trudell.
Floyd Red Crow Westerman Music Tribute:
Keith Secola, dubbed by critics both the “Neil Young of the Native rock world” and the “Native Bruce Springsteen”, has in many people’s viewpoints achieved legendary status for his NDN Kars (”Indian Cars”), a popular song that is frequently considered a Native American anthem. Secola has released five well-received independent CDs since the early 1990s, and he has garnered three Native American Music Awards.
Charlie Hill: He has been a stand-up comic for over 30 years. He spent the early part of his life in Detroit before his father moved the family back to Oneida, Wisconsin. Hill later attended the University of Wisconsin where he studied theatre and acting, honing in on his comedic skills which manifested themselves in political activism on campus. In his own words: Much of my humor focuses on my experiences as a Native American performer in the national spotlight, but my stories and observations cross cultural lines to lighten and enlighten audiences everywhere; they are the ones who view laughter as a healing tool.
Max Gail: known to many as “Wojo” from the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series “Barney Miller,” has worked in films, TV and theater over many years.Gail starred in a one-man play about Babe Ruth on Broadway which was taped and shown on PBS. He runs his own production company, Full Circle, which has produced documentaries on such topics as Agent Orange, nuclear power, and Native American issues. He has even recorded an album of songs and currently has a book of poetry in the works.
John Densmore: An original and founding member of the musical group The Doors, John co-produced and wrote eight gold albums and toured the United States, Europe, and Japan. His autobiography, Riders on the Storm, was on the New York Times bestseller list in 1991 and he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. He is currently collaborating with other musicians and playing with the group Tribaljazz.
Micki Free: Micki has spawned countless hits with the legendary super group Shalamar, and included a career that would rival many in entertainment business history; Three-Time Grammy Nominee, Grammy Winner, Grammy Board of Governor candidate, Multi-Platinum Recording Artist and Five-Time Native American Music Award Winner.
Pete Sears: Pete Sears’ career has spanned more than four decades: he has been a member of many bands and has moved through a variety of musical genres, from early R&B, psychedelic improvisational rock of the 1960s, folk, country music, arena rock in the 1970s, and blues. He usually plays bass, keyboards, or both in bands. Sears is well known for his time spent with Jefferson Starship from 1974 to 1987.
Jennifer Kreisberg: Mother, Singer, Composer, Producer, Teacher, and Activist – Jennifer (Tuscarora, North Carolina) comes from four generations of Seven Singing Sisters through the maternal line, and has been singing since she was young. She is known for her fierce vocals and soaring range. Her lilting, breath-taking harmonies will delight your ears. Jennifer has been singing with the critically acclaimed Native women’s Trio ULALI since she was seventeen. Her voice has perfectly woven the high strand of Ulali’s renowned harmony with incomparable skill, and grace for over seventeen years, helping to create a new sound in Indian Country. Adding to the group, her sharp wit and stage presence infused Ulali’s shows with strong vocals, humor and camaraderie with the audience.
Chad Watson: a Missouri native who began learning the bass from his father and continued to study at the Music Conservatory of the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He extensive career in the music business spans four decades during which he has performed with and produced a wide variety of artists, including the Charlie Rich ensemble, the Janis Ian trio, Freddy Fender, and New Age pioneer, David Arkenstone.
Jeremy Goodfeather: is a San Francisco-based singer/songwriter who plays a dynamic acoustic set of original, heartfelt music with a simple, straightforward vibe. He pulls from a wide range of influences and styles to create an organic sound that can be rock, blues, reggae, funk, jazz, country or anything else that it takes to tell a story with music. Jeremy was awarded an Individual Artist Grant from the San Francisco Native Arts Commission in May 2008.
Friday, November 7th, 2008
Invitation courtesy: Jenny Fraser
Nouméa, New Caledonia
29 October 2008 – 8 February 2009
Opening Celebration October 28th, 2008
Tjibaou cultural Centre
‘the others’ or ‘les autres’ is the touring name of ‘the other APT‘, a multi-art form exhibition produced to coincide with and respond to the 5th Asia Pacific Triennial, with a similar focus – of art within the Asia-Pacific region. However, in the interest of protocol, best practice and inclusiveness, artworks were sought more locally, from Brisbane and beyond, to highlight the fact that Coastal areas have an interesting hybrid mix of artists, right here, right now, and are also in dialogue with the first people of Australia.
The primary curatorial premise of ‘the others / les autres‘ is to show works from Indigenous Australian Artists, and also show meaningful works from other Artists that may constitute them as a friend in culture and good visitor to this country, in meaningful dialogue and otherwise. In other words, Aboriginals actively engaging with each other, and those from other cultural backgrounds – Torres Strait Islander, Melanesian, Samoan, Maori, Japanese, Filipino and others from outside the Asia-Pacific Rim, providing a true survey, commenting on individual and shared experience. Naturally some of these works are collaborations – existing works, and also works produced especially for the other APT, but all really important discourse, culturally and historically towards the importance of place, ceremony, ritual, legend, identity, politics and mutual respect.
Opening Celebration 28 October, 2008 – from 6 to 8 pm
at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Nouméa
Address : Rue des Accords de Matignon, Tina
BP 378 – 98845 Nouméa Cedex
Join us for an opening program from 6 pm featuring:
Aboriginal Didgeridoo Master Lez Bex Beckett, Performance Artist Ann Fuata, along with other Artists featured in the exhibition Madelyn Hodge, Chantal Fraser, Maia and Curator Jenny Fraser.
“We all try to mediate the spaces in-between these binaries and I cannot help but imagine The Other APT in these terms. Mediating the social and cultural imaginaries of Indigeneity, it plots a landscape where tradition and disenfranchisement overlap and contradict each other and these inconsistencies intersect the exhibition’s themes of place, legend, identity, politics and mutual respect.”
The Other APT: An Exhibition of Other Perspectives
One of the nagging criticisms of Brisbane’s hugely successful Asia Pacific Triennale has been their handling of ‘the Aboriginal problem’ and finding a space for the Asian and Pacific within us; those local Australian societies of Asian and Pacific heritage who have had a long and deep relationship with our national identity; though often folded/secreted within. Finding a credible comfortable conceptual space and opportunity for local participation rather than artist heroes from major economic giants of the region has lingered as a quandary of what has otherwise been a major achievement.
Djon Mundine OAM – Indigenous Curator, Contemporary Art, Campbelltown Art Centre.
APT: Aboriginal People Try – ‘The other APT’
Artlink Magazine, March 2007
The catalogue accompanying the group exhibition features writings by Jenny Fraser, Gary Lee, Tauline Virtue and Djon Mundine.
For more information please visit:
Gallery Opening Times
9 am to 5 pm
Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Monday.
Friday, November 7th, 2008
If you happen to be in Ontario check out this exhibition:
Oh So Iroquois
Curated by Ryan Rice
Organized & Circulated by Ottawa Art Gallery
November 1, 2008 to January 4, 2009
Art Gallery of Peterborough, 2 Crescent St, Peterborough, ON.
Vince Bomberry, Hannah Claus, Ric Glazer Danay, Katsitsionni Fox, Ellen Gabriel, Jeffrey Gabriel, Louis Hall, Alex Jacobs, G. Peter Jemison, Peter B. Jones, Miriam Jordan & Julian Haladyn, Clifford Maracle, Alan Michelson, Shelley Niro, Melanie Printup Hope, Jolene Rickard, Greg Staats, Bear Thomas, Jeff Thomas, Samuel Thomas, Marie Watt.
Oh So Iroquois emphasizes the dynamism of both traditional and contemporary Iroquoian creative processes, presenting work that is deeply rooted in a cultural system of values and æsthetic qualities that permeate the social, political, spiritual, and economic infrastructure of Haudenosuanee society. Together, as members of the Iroquois Confederacy, artists continue to affirm and re-examine this collective art history through symbolism, narrative, colour, and contemporary and traditional media.
By featuring a broad range of art situated in relation to an Iroquois world view, this exhibition aims to challenge the long-standing pan-Indian classification of Native North American art, which pigeon-holes 500 distinct nations with one generic category.
Friday, November 7th, 2008
Dear Friends far and close,
THE COAST ORCHESTRA, the all-Native American Orchestra premieres this weekend in Washington D.C. at the National Gallery of Art on the mall. Sunday, November 9th at 6:30 PM
We are also premiering next week in NYC opening up the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival at the American Museum of Natural History on Friday, November 14th at 7:00 PM
The orchestra is also going to be on NPR this week!
The piece is available to listen to online:
(Look in the bottom right-hand corner)
It will also be airing across the country this weekend, check here for listings: http://studio360.org/listings.html
The Coast Orchestra will be performing the original score to Edward Curtis’s film from 1914 IN THE LAND OF THE HEAD HUNTERS alongside the film. The film has been newly restored and more information about the film is at: www.curtisfilm.rutgers.edu
(Photo: M Colon)
The Coast Orchestra is:
TIMOTHY LONG Conductor, New York
STEVEN ALVAREZ Percussion and Timpani, Alaska
GEORGE QUINCY Piano, New York
DAWN AVERY Cello, Maryland
LISA LONG Flute, Maryland
TIMOTHY ARCHAMBAULT Native Flute, Beijing
HEIDI SENUGETUK Violin 1, Alaska
LAURA ORTMAN Violin 2, New York
VINCE REDHOUSE Saxophone, Arizona
ELAINE BENAVIDES Oboe, New York
DON HARRY Tuba, New York
Tickets for the DC performance are free, but get there early for good seating! Please visit the National Gallery of Art website!
Tickets for the NYC performance are $10. Advance purchase is recommended as tickets may sell out. There is also tickets available for $45 for the performance and a reception with the film festival filmmakers if that interests you…but I would go for the $10 ones…because you know we’ll be making our own After-PARTAAAY!!! (Hahahaha!!!)
For tickets please click HERE.
Entrance for screenings is on 77th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Take the B or C train to 81st Street – Museum of Natural History (B is weekdays only), or the 1 train to 79th Street. Bus: Take the M79, M7, M11, M86, M10, M104.
Ordering tickets by phone: Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm; Saturday, 9am – 4 pm Have your credit card, membership category, and program codes ready when you call. American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are accepted. A service charge applies.
Please feel free to contact me on email or by phone if you have any questions. (347)416-2168. We have several rehearsals this weekend that have been going wonderfully!! Very impressive!!
Many, many thanks to everyone that has helped and supported us these past few months!! We are looking forward to this historic and spectacular occasion!!! VIVA LA MUSICA Y NATIVE AMERICA!!!!
Warmest wishes & love,
White Mountain Apache
Founder, The Coast Orchestra