Mask by Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew. Video still. 1990’s.
How can new forms of expression interact with the issues that still plague Aboriginal peoples in North America? How can this dialogue be opened up and discussed within an artistic context? In 2002 grunt gallery took up these types of questions with a groundbreaking conference. With the archives you can explore the topics raised by participating artists, topics that are still far from irrelevant and require us to be critical of our own histories.
“This site is an Indian Act in and of itself-a chance to continue the heart journey that was the original Indian Acts: Aboriginal Performance Art conference (grunt gallery 2002), and carry that heart to others who could not attend the conference, but whose own hearts may be ignited by this archive and who can witness this conference through the material within this site.”
For any comments or questions regarding the project or any of the websites being launched, please send us a question, follow us on twitter @gruntgallery or use the gruntArchive tag. You can also take a look at grunt’s history via facebook timeline.
Activating the Archives- Sculpture
The Sculpture website is now up! You can either follow this link or click on the above image. “This Sculpture site that Program Director Glenn Alteen and I have put together shows a vast variety of sculpture: looking through this website, one will notice many approaches and styles, from minimalism to feminism to social commentary on the spaces we live in. Each exhibit archived in this website was created with a unique purpose, but they all have something in common: each is a means of dealing with social and emotional realities that remain unique to the time in which each exhibit was created.” (Polina Bachlakova, Curatorial Intern)
Artwork by James Carl.
Archives Officially Launched-Performance
As promised, click on the above picture to access grunt gallery’s Performance archive. The website “features a curatorial focus on a variety of performance based works that have been developed at grunt since its inception in 1984.” As well as acting as the digital record of the gallery’s own history with the performance art world, the website concentrates on historically marginalized groups and artists, situating these performances within a larger social, political and artistic discourse. We greatly appreciate your support!
The Wait is Almost Over.
As Grunt Gallery’s Activating the Archive project concludes, we will be unveiling the websites that will allow you to take a look at the gallery’s fascinating history. Stay tuned!
Nadia Myre, Indian Act, 2002
“Each page is pierced by a needle and like a scar bears the stitch, a reminder of its path across the page…”*
In the fall of 2002, an annotated version of the Indian Act, each of its 56 pages woven with beads, mounted on black felt, and encased in individual shadow boxes, lined the walls of grunt gallery.
Entitled Indian Act, the exhibition represented the culmination of a series of communal “Beading Bee” sessions held primarily in Montréal, in which red and white glass trade beads were sewn across the pages of the document by over 250 participants as a means of “obscuring the Law and rendering it finally illegible.”*
The project was conceived by Montréal-based artist Nadia Myre as “an act of rebellion”* against the legislation that continues to condition and control the lives of First Nations individuals, comprising an opportunity to not only rewrite a document for which translations in aboriginal languages were never provided by the Canadian government,^ but to learn about and participate in the production of beadwork as well.
*From Myre’s Artist Statement
^From Frank Shebageget’s essay for the catalogue to Riding Lines, a 2001 exhibition of Myre’s work at Centre d’art Indien