Opening Talks: Re: Countering Memory Through Creative Inquires
November 24, 2022
7:00 PM - LATE
Museum of Natural History, Summer Street, Halifax, NS, Canada
In Person & Online, Sign Interpreted
Re: Countering Memory Through Creative Inquires is a panel drawing upon artistic and curatorial research creation that responds to the labour and responsibility to recount histories that can only be remembered in the public realm through activation and intervention that recognizes and/or calls out the framework of colonial heritage’s short time span through its legacy of erasure, absence and encounter. The panel includes projects presented by Ryan Rice, Aylan Couchie and Logan MacDonald that address and attend to uncovering and recovering contemporary placekeeping as a critical form to advance Indigenous visual sovereignty and philosophies of #landback to counter the infestation of foreign memorializations on Indigenous lands. This proposed artist/curator/research panel will include short presentations that will shape our conversation and experiences of working together collectively (artist, curator, ad hoc collective) as well as our individual actions that recount and contribute to a contemporary discourse within the layers of narratives to place and presence.
Aylan Couchie is a Nishnaabekwe interdisciplinary artist and writer hailing from Nipissing First Nation. She is a NSCAD University alumna and received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design at OCAD University in where she focused her thesis on reconciliation and its relationship to monument and public art. Her written, gallery and public works explore the intersections of colonial/First Nations histories of place, culture and Indigenous erasure as well as issues of (mis)representation and cultural appropriation. She’s been the recipient of several awards including an “Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture” award through the International Sculpture Centre and a Premier’s Award through Ontario Colleges. She serves as the Chair of Native Women in the Arts and currently lives and works from her home community of Nipissing First Nation in Northern Ontario and is a PhD Candidate in the Cultural Studies program at Queen’s University.
Logan MacDonald is an artist, curator, educator and activist who offers queer, disability and Indigenous perspectives. Born in Summerside, PEI, his maternal Mi’kmaq ancestry extends from Elmastukwek, Ktaqamkuk (Bay of Islands, Newfoundland). He graduated with a BFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Concordia University (Montréal) and an MFA in Studio Arts from York University (Toronto). His artwork has been exhibited across North America, notably at Ace Art Inc. (Winnipeg), Articule (Montréal), John Connelly Presents (New York), LACE (Los Angeles) and the Rooms (St. John's). In addition, he has curated for Contact Photography Festival (Toronto) and daphne (Montréal). Currently, is an Assistant Professor of Studio Arts and Canada Research Chair of Indigenous Art at University of Waterloo (Waterloo, ON).
Ryan Rice, Kanien’kehá:ka of Kahnawake, is a curator, critic and creative consultant based in Toronto. His institutional and independent curatorial career spans 30 years in community, museums, artist run centres, public spaces and galleries. He received a Master of Arts in Curatorial Studies from Bard College; graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and received an Associate of Fine Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Rice focuses his extensive curatorial research and writing on contemporary and Onkwehón:we art. He has been published in numerous periodicals, journals and exhibition catalogues including Rendezvous with the Indigenous Art Collection: how to raise a flag in Curating Lively Objects, (Routledge Press 2021), Bait: Couzyn Van Heuvelen (Artspace 2019) and Taiakoia’tenhatie / Freefall: The Photography of Shelley Niro for Shelley Niro: Scotiabank Award (Steidl/Scotiabank 2018).
In 2022, Rice curated three solo exhibitions; Jordan Bennett: Souvenir at Onsite Gallery, Pageant: Natalie King at Centre  and Versification: January Rogers at daphne Art Centre. He is currently developing the 2023 Bonavista Biennale as its co-curator and he was recently appointed to OCAD University’s Onsite Gallery as the Executive Director and Curator, Indigenous Art.
Photo provided by: Logan MacDonald