Thunder Bay Art Gallery Exhibition

Jordan Bennett, Sovereignty Performance (detail), 2009, recycled paper, burnt trees, regalia, courtesy of the artist.
Decolonize Me
Until February 23, 2014 (12:00 PM - 5:00 PM)

January 10 - February 23, 2014

Curated by Heather Igloliorte
Organized and circulated by the Ottawa Art Gallery

Curator's Talk: Friday, January 31, 2014 at 7:30 pm with guest curator, Heather Igloliorte

Decolonize Me features six contemporary Aboriginal artists whose works challenge, interrogate and reveal Canada’s long history of colonization in daring and innovative ways. Deliberately riffing on thetitle of Morgan Spurlock’s film, the pop-cultural phenomenon Super Size Me (2004), the exhibition’s title emphasizes the importance of recognizing the role of the individual within larger discussions of shared colonial histories and present-day cultural politics. In the context of the recent efforts of many Indigenous communities to assert their sovereignty and right to self-determination, the artists in this exhibition explore the issues and outcomes of both colonization and decolonization while exposing how these processes have impacted Aboriginal and settler Canadian identity, both individual and collective. Decolonize Me seeks to make visible the history and legacies of our shared colonial past while highlighting the resilience of Aboriginal communities and acknowledging the politics of resistance that have sustained Indigenous cultures through to the present day. As such, it invites the visitor to consider the ways in which they are also implicated in this history, not as perpetrators or victims, but as active participants with agency and a shared responsibility, to borrow a phrase from First Nations philosophy, to “all our relations.”
— Heather Igloliorte (Inuit | Nunatsiavut, Labrador).

The tour of this exhibition was made possible in part by a grant from the Ontario Arts Council’s Ontario Touring program.
Funded by: RBC Foundation

Additional support was received from the City of Ottawa, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.