In June 2017, Partners in Art (PIA), Toronto, launched LandMarks2017/ Repères2017, a series of events, performances, installations, videos and pedagogical activities initiated by artists, curators and educators, situated in national parks and historic sites across the country. The project coincided with the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, and invited applicants to respond to the “legacies of colonialism, the complex relationship between nationhood and cultural identity, as well as our relationship to nature in the face of present-day environmental and climatic crises.”
Seven curators, including Tania Willard, were selected to produce artworks by twelve artists, including Jeneen Frei Njootli and Jin-me Yoon, in seventeen national parks and historic sites. Parallel to the curated projects, a post-secondary visual arts curriculum was hosted by sixteen universities, including Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts.
For this event, local LandMarks2017/ Repères2017 participants will present their personal projects and working methodologies, then collectively discuss the intentions, processes and outcomes of the larger project. They will contextualize their works within their broader visual art practices and investments in Indigenous title, migration rights, land relations, social practices, and critical pedagogy.
Using concepts of Indigenous epistemology, land rights, and creative acts, curator and artist Tania Willard will discuss her approach to Site/ation as the curatorial lens for her work with LandMarks2017/ Repéres2017.
Reflecting on the practice and aesthetics of reciprocity within her Gwitchin community of Old Crow, artist Jeneen Frei Njootli will screen her video Being Skidoo (2017) and discuss how she worked with traditional and contemporary embroidery, beadwork and textile techniques to fashion regalia for the community’s skidoos.
Artist and SFU SCA Professor Jin-me Yoon will present her video Long View (2017). Shot at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, she will discuss how this location offers a speculative view across the Pacific from which to reflect on past and future relations between Canada and Asia on Indigenous lands.
SFU SCA’s special topics course Laboratory Landscapes addressed Stanley Park’s Indigenous and colonial histories and present, its ecological context, as well as its social function as an urban park. Associate Professor Sabine Bitter and students Sophie VandenBiggelaar, Roxanne Charles, and Krystle Coughlin will discuss the site-specific installations and performative events they produced and presented in the park.
Co-presented by SFU Galleries, SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts, and LandMarks2017/Repères2017.