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  • May 25, 2018
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Tania Willard, Only Available Light (detail), from the series Only Available Light, 2016. Archival film (Harlan I. Smith, The Shuswap Indians of British Columbia, 1928), projector, selenite crystals and photons. Film 8:44. Original composition by Leela Gilday.

Christi Belcourt, IV Castellanos, Marcia Crosby, Maria Hupfield, Ursula Johnson, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Isaac Murdoch, Esther Neff, Tanya Tagaq, Tania Willard and Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory
Organized by Tarah Hogue, Maria Hupfield, and Tania Willard

June 1 to July 13, 2018 at AKA and Wanuskewin Galleries
June 2, 2pm reception at Wanuskewin Galleries
June 7, 7pm at AKA Indigenous Food Sovereignty: meal and discussion with Priscilla Settee
June 15, 8pm reception at AKA in conjunction with Listen, Witness, Transmit and Scott Benesiinaabandan / Animiikikaa 10-97

To support the work of Indigenous women from across Turtle Island through art that drives dialogue and mobilizes action on the topic of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. To stand together across sovereign territories as accomplices in awakened solidarity with all our relations both human and non.

To ground art in accountability, value lived experience and build upon systems of support. To enact strategies of resurgence, resilience and refusal against the ongoing multiple articulations of power and structural colonial violence of nation states.

AKA and Wanuskewin Galleries present #callresponse, an artistic and curatorial collaboration led by Indigenous women. A touring exhibition with responsive programming, #callresponse promotes discussion and action around Indigenous cultural revitalization, land-based knowledge, and cross-cultural solidarity. Shining a light on work that is both urgent and long-term, #callresponse acts as a connective support system that begins with commissioned artworks created by five Indigenous North American women artists and their invited respondents.

A touring exhibition, #callresponse opened at Vancouver’s grunt gallery in 2016, and the project continues to evolve and engage each to which it travels with specific programming.

#callresponse strategically centers Indigenous women across multiple platforms, moving between specificity of Indigenous nations, site, online space, and the gallery. The project focuses on forms of performance, process, and translation that incite dialogue and catalyze action across borders between individuals, communities, territories and institutions. An online platform using the hashtag #callresponse on social media connects the geographically diverse sites and provides opportunities for networked exchanges. #callresponse aims to promote visibility, populate as many spaces, and media, to broadcast the message and to catalyze bodies.

#callresponse is grounded in discussions about the importance of Indigenous Feminisms in grounding our lives and work in reciprocal relations, while critiquing and refusing the intersections of colonialism and patriarchy. The project reorients the vital presence of Indigenous women—their work and their embodied experiences—as central, as defining, and as pre-existing current appeals for a reconcilable future.


Tarah Hogue is a curator and writer of Métis and Dutch Canadian ancestry. She is the inaugural Senior Curatorial Fellow, Indigenous Art at the Vancouver Art Gallery and was the 2016 Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellow at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Hogue was curator in residence with grunt gallery between 2014-2017, and has curated exhibitions at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Or Gallery, and SFU Gallery in Vancouver BC.

Maria Hupfield is martin clan, Anishinaabe, and a member of Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, based in Brooklyn, NY. Her solo traveling exhibition, The One Who Keeps on Giving, premiered at The Power Plant in 2017 and was featured in Art in America. She is the first Indigenous Artist Resident at ISCP 2018, has performed and exhibited at Site Santa Fe Biennale 2016, and is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptures Award. She is a member of Social Health Performance Club and co-owns Native Art Department International with artist Jason Lujan.

Tania Willard is from the Secwe̓pemc Nation, Interior British Columbia. She works within the shifting ideas of contemporary and traditional as it relates to Indigenous cultural arts and production. Her curatorial projects include Beat Nation: Art Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture at the Vancouver Art Gallery with Kathleen Ritter, Unceded Territories: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun at the Museum of Anthropology with Karen Duffek, Nanitch: Historical BC photography, and Landmarks2017/Repéres2017. Her art practice centres around BUSH gallery, a site of land-based experimental and conceptual Indigenous art futurity.

Christi Belcourt is Michif originally from Manitou Sakahigan (Lac Ste. Anne, AB). With deep respect for the traditions and knowledge of her people, her work explores the beauty of the natural world and is grounded within her relationship with land, water, animals and Anishinaabek Peoples of the North Shore of Lake Superior in Ontario. She initiated Walking With Our Sisters, a project that honours the lives of missing and murdered native women. Together with Isaac Murdoch and Erin Konsmo, Belcourt founded the Onaman Collective.

Isaac Murdoch Bombgiizhik is fish clan and Anishinaabe from Serpent River First Nation, Ontario. Isaac is a well respected storyteller, visual artist and traditional knowledge holder widely recognized for his research and expertise in traditional pictographs, symbolism, harvesting, cultural camps, oral history and storytelling, birchbark canoe making and knowledge on birchbark scrolls. He has committed his life to the preservation of Anishinaabe cultural practices and has spent years learning from Elders of the North Shore, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

IV Castellanos is a sculptor and performance artist based in Brooklyn, NY. They are the founder of the IV Soldiers Gallery in 2014 and co-founder of Feminist Art Group. IV has created work with the No Wave Performance Task Force, Social Health Performance Club and is in ongoing performance collaboration with Amanda Hunt.

Esther Neff is the founder and co-director of Panoply Performance Laboratory, a collective making operas-of-operations and a laboratory site for performance projects. She is a collaborative and solo performance artist, independent theorist and member of Feminist Art Group, Social Health Performance Club and Organizers Against Imperialist Culture. In February 2017 her work and research included a dedicated month long series of operations entitled Embarrassed of the Whole.

Ursula Johnson is the winner of the 2017 Sobey Art Award. She is an interdisciplinary artist and an enrolled member of the Eskasoni First Nation Mi’kmaq Community on Cape Breton Island, currently based out of Dartmouth NS. Active in Mi’kmaw language revitalization and descendent from a long line of esteemed basketmakers, her nationally touring solo show Mi’kwite’tmn (Do You Remember) considers the consumption of traditional knowledge within colonial institutions. Johnson was awarded The Hnatyshyn Foundation’s Reveal Indigenous Art Award 2017.

Cheryl L’Hirondelle is an award winning and community-engaged interdisciplinary artist, singer/songwriter and curator. She is Cree/Métis and German/Polish from Papaschase First Nation / amiskwaciy wâskahikan (Edmonton, AB) and works at the intersections of Cree nêhiyawin worldview and contemporary time-space.

Dr. Marcia Crosby’s lived experiences with her Tsimshian and Haida, British Columbia, maternal and paternal grandparents, parents and communities inform her work as a writer of Indigenous histories. Crosby has examined the diverse ways that First Nations groups have incorporated external politico-economic forces into their existing patterns of cultural life. She is the author of the influential essay, “Construction of the Imaginary Indian.”

Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory is a performer of uaajeerneq, a contemporary Greenlandic mask dance, and recognized storyteller, poet, and actor. She is Inuk of Greenlandic origin, living in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Laakkuluk is a founding member and Programme Manager at Qaggiavuut – a non-profit society advocating for and supporting Nunavut performing artists.

Tanya Tagaq’s album Animism earned the 2014 Polaris Music Prize for the best full-length Canadian album. She is a multi-Juno award winning vocalist informed by Inuit throat singing and combining avant-garde improvisation, metal, and electronica influences. She delivers fearsome, elemental performances that are visceral and physical. Her album Retribution was released in October 2016.


#callresponse is a production of grunt gallery and is funded by the {Re}conciliation Initiative, a partnership between the Canada Council for the Arts, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, and The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. The exhibition tour is supported by The British Columbia Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.



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