Amanda Strong, detail of Maaschii (to move), Mixed media (puppets and sculpture installation), 2018, photo: Photo courtesy Art Gallery of Alberta, Charles Cousins.
Boarder X presents contemporary work by artists from Indigenous nations across Canada who surf, skate and snowboard. The exhibition reveals how these practices are vehicles to challenge conformity and status quo, as well as demonstrate knowledge and performed relationships with the land. Whether reading the urban terrain, making a cement jungle a playground, riding the natural contours of white immovable mountains, or shredding the ever-changing waves, it’s not about controlling land and water, but being humbled by their power.
Through painting, mixed media, carving, weaving, photography, performance and video, the artists reflect cultural, political, environmental and social perspectives, as well as critiques about the territories we occupy. The paintings present narratives and observations of traditions, movement, balance, and entanglements of space, place and belonging. Mobilizing traditional histories, the artwork conceptually bridges the past and present with reinventions in carving, weaving and performance. Video and photography capture the energy of boarding with unbridled motivation and physicality. The exhibition presents cultural thrivance and active presence – creating a space for engagement through art, culture and boarding. It is an affirmation and transmission of cultural resilience and acknowledgement of ongoing respect and reverence for the land.
Curated by Jaimie Isaac, Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art Circulated by the Winnipeg Art Gallery