Artist: Lori Blondeau
Exhibition Dates: September 9 to October 15, 2016
Performance Art Event during Winnipeg Nuit Blanche, October 1, 2016 – Location To Be Determined
Special thank you to the Saskatchewan Arts Board
“My work explores the influence of popular media and culture (contemporary and historical) on Aboriginal self-identity, self-image, and self-definition… I deconstruct the images of the Indian Princess and the Squaw and reconstruct an image of absurdity, inserting these hybrids into the mainstream. The performance personas I have created refer to the damage of colonialism and to the ironic pleasures of displacement and resistance.”
This exhibition is a complex survey of past iconic works by the remarkable artist, Lori Blondeau. Throughout her extensive arts practice she has produced tough, powerful women personas, like that of Cosmosquaw (1996) to her stunning endurance performance project performed during Venice Biennial titled, Grace (2007), to which these past works continue to have an impact and influence Canadian art history today. The artist has recently taken a new direction in her process and created a photo-based series from her research around Plains Indigenous rock formations. These extraordinary rock formations can be found throughout the prairies in Canada and the United States. Some of these sites were created to record ceremony, vision quests, battles and histories, plus many of these spaces are held in high regard because of the spiritual medicines those great rocks embody. Sadly, some of these sites have been destroyed due to outside interests but the Indigenous communities that respect them have not forgotten them. One such destruction is well known in Saskatchewan, the site known as Mistaseni, which was a four hundred tonne sacred rock that lay in the flood path of what is now known as Lake Diefenbaker. In 1966 it was blown up and the debris from this rock still exists under the dam waters today. Blondeau grew up hearing stories of Mistaseni and its importance with her people (Cree/Saulteaux/Metis). The photos in this series also represent the resilience of Indigenous cultures and each image documents the strong connection between the individual and the land.
Lori Blondeau is a Cree/Saulteaux/Metis artist from Saskatchewan, Blondeau holds an MFA from the University of Saskatchewan, and has sat on the Advisory Panel for Visual Arts for the Canada Council for the Arts and is a co-founder and the current director of TRIBE, an Aboriginal arts organization. Her practice includes both visual and performance contemporary art.
Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery
203 – 290 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 0T2
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