Basil AlZeri, Sonny Assu, Pansee Atta, Cindy Blažević, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Kristie MacDonald, Meryl McMaster and Abdi Osman
curated by Ellyn Walker
May 5 – July 3, 2016
The land now known as Canada (Kanata) is home to people of many lands. Yet, its national imaginary is hardly reflective of this, as images of Canada – both within its borders and outside of them – continue to portray a country forged by British and French settlers. In contrast to this, the artists in CANADIAN BELONGING(s) demonstrate nuanced and complex examples of national nationalism and belonging, speaking back to dominant representations of national identity, in particular, settler-colonialism and white supremacy. Through their use of the photograph and its function as ‘official’ documentation, as a site ripe for intervention, and as a rich archive for appropriation, the artists in CANADIAN BELONGING(s) make visible multiple understandings of identity through the presentation of culturally-specific objects of identification. Here, the postcard, passport, scrapbook, landscape, portrait, treaty and wampum are all re-signified, subverting their settler-colonial function(s) and, instead, evidencing distinct examples of what it means to belong on this land.