Learning from the Land: A Conversation on Protocols and Indigenous Public Art


Learning from the Land: A Conversation on Protocols and Indigenous Public Art

October 29, 2020
3-5:00pm ET

Speakers: Candice Hopkins, Dylan Robinson, Bonnie Devine, Catherine Tammaro
Moderated by David Garneau

Against the backdrop of Toronto’s upcoming Year of Public Art 2021, and ongoing land-based art and policy projects in Toronto’s Lower Don River, this panel discussion convenes Indigenous artists and curators from Toronto and across Canada to discuss the need for Indigenous-led protocols for creating public art on the territory of others.

In this webinar, Candice Hopkins, Dylan Robinson, Bonnie Devine, Catherine Tammaro and David Garneau share their insights and experiences on ways of approaching land-based practices and around the establishment of protocols for Indigenous public art.

Some of the questions to be posed include: How do our practices come together in sovereignty on each other’s land? How do we – or can we – follow the protocols of those whose land we’re working on? Where do Indigenous and settler conceptions of protocol differ? How might Indigenous-led protocol inform new ways of working in public space in 2020 and beyond? How do we think outside of existing notions of protocol as the right thing to do? The idea of a protocol will be considered here not as a settled document, but in terms of how it is informed by place and contemporary conversations on Indigenous art practices and land relationships.

This conversation is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and co-presented by Evergreen’s public art program, together with the organization’s 2020 Unexpected Solutions conference. Taking place over six weeks from October 20-November 26, 2020, Unexpected Solutions invites participants and city-builders to address the most pressing issues that cities and communities face, including housing affordability, climate change, social equity, mental wellness, income inequality and access to nature. The event will include live demonstrations, interactive seminars, fireside chats, workshops, performances and more.

Please register on the Unexpected Solutions Eventbrite page here for this talk. Once you have registered, you’ll have access to selecting this talk, which is listed under the Placemaking and Placekeeping track and add to your schedule. For more information, please connect with Rosemary Costelloe rcostelloe@evergreen.ca.

Speakers’ Biographies:

Candice Hopkins:
Candice Hopkins is a curator and writer originally from Whitehorse, Yukon. She is Senior Curator of the 2019 and 2021 editions of the Toronto Biennial of Art and was a co-curator of the Canadian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, featuring the videos of the Igloolik-based media collective, Isuma. Hopkins was also co-curator of the SITE Santa Fe biennial, Casa Tomada and was a curator for documenta 14 in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany and a co-curator of the major exhibitions Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art, Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, and the 2014 SITE Santa Fe biennial, Unsettled Landscapes. Her writing is published widely and her recent essays and presentations include “The Gilded Gaze: Wealth and Economies on the Colonial Frontier” for the Documenta 14 Reader; Outlawed Social Life” for South as a State of Mind; and “Sounding the Margins: A Choir of Minor Voices” at Small Projects, Tromsø, Norway. She has lectured internationally including at Yale University, Witte de With, Tate Modern, Dak’Art Biennale, Artists Space, Tate Britain and the University of British Columbia. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art and the 2016 the Prix pour un essai critique sur l’art contemporain by the Foundation Prince Pierre de Monaco. She is a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation.

Dylan Robinson:
Dylan Robinson is a xwélméxw artist and writer of Stó:lō/Skwah descent, and the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts at Queen’s University. His current work focuses on artistic practices of reconnection between Indigenous songs and members of communities who were prohibited by law to sing them as part of the Indian Act from 1882‒1951. Robinson’s publications include the co-edited volumes Music and Modernity Among Indigenous Peoples of North America (2018) and Arts of Engagement: Taking Aesthetic Action in and Beyond the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2016). His monograph, Hungry Listening, was published 2020 with Minnesota University Press.

Bonnie Devine:
Bonnie Devine is an installation artist, video maker, curator, and writer. A member of the Anishinaabek of Genaabaajing, (Serpent River First Nation) on the north shore of Lake Huron, Devine’s work emerges from the storytelling and image-making traditions that are central to Anishinaabe culture. Using cross disciplinary approaches and iterations of written, visual, and performative practice Devine explores issues of land, environment, treaty, history, and narrative. Though formally educated in sculpture and installation art at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD U) and York University, Devine’s most enduring learning came from her grandparents, who were trappers on the Canadian Shield in northern Ontario.

Devine’s installation, video, and curatorial projects have been shown in solo and group exhibitions and film festivals across Canada and in the USA, South America, Russia, Europe, and China, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Berlin Film Festival, the National Museum of the American Indian, and Today Art Museum in Beijing China. Devine is an Associate Professor Emerita and the Founding Chair of the Indigenous Visual Culture program at OCAD University. She lives and works in Toronto.

Catherine Tammaro:
Catherine Tammaro ~ (People of the Little Turtle (Clan) – Wyandot of Anderdon Nation), has a 50-year history of multi-disciplinary art making and exhibiting in various spaces. Her written works have been published in online and printed blogs/journals. Tammaro has been involved in a wide array of interdisciplinary collaborations, ongoing special projects and themed exhibitions, as originator, curator, performer and exhibitor. She is currently involved with several city-wide projects as a visiting Elder, member or mentor and facilitates art making/teaching workshops from her unique perspective, as well as maintaining her own art practice regarding the spiritual and ever – changing realities as they pertain to our connection to the sacred multiverse. She is a seated FaithKeeper and is extensively involved in cultural revival and placekeeping.

David Garneau:
David Garneau (Métis) is Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Regina. His practice includes painting, curation, and critical writing. He recently curated Kahwatsiretátie: Teionkwariwaienna Tekariwaiennawahkòntie Honorer nos affinités / Honouring Kinship: The Biennale d’art contemporain autochtone (BACA) / Contemporary Native Art Biennial with assistance from Faye Mullen and rudi aker; co-curated, with Kathleen Ash Milby, Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound, National Museum of the American Indian, New York; With Secrecy and Despatch, with Tess Allas, an international exhibition about massacres of Indigenous people, and memorialization, for the Campbelltown Art Centre, Sydney, Australia; and Moving Forward, Never Forgetting, with Michelle LaVallee, an exhibition concerning the legacies of Indian Residential Schools, other forms of aggressive assimilation, and (re)conciliation, at the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina.

Garneau has recently given keynote talks in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and throughout Canada on issues such as: misappropriation; public art; museum display; and contemporary Indigenous art. His art appears in the collections of The Canadian History Museum; the Canadian Parliament buildings; Indian and Inuit Art Collection; the NONAM museum, Zurich; the Musée de la civilisation, Montreal; Glenbow Museum; Mackenzie Art Gallery; Mendel Art Gallery; Dunlop Art Gallery; City of Calgary; the SaskArts Board; Alberta Foundation for the Arts; Paul Martin foundation; and numerous private collections. He recently designed the Riel Commemorative Silver Dollar for the Canadian Mint.

For more information, please contact Rosemary Costelloe, rcostelloe@evergreen.ca.