Re-enact: Sarah Ciurysek, Michael Farnan, Meryl McMaster, Emma Nishimura, Krista Belle Stewart, Elinor Whidden

Krista Belle Stewart, Her Story, 2014, video. Commissioned by the Public Art Program and produced as part of the City of Vancouver’s Year of Reconciliation. Image courtesy of the artist
July 6, 2017 - October 29, 2017

Re-enact
Sarah Ciurysek, Michael Farnan, Meryl McMaster, Emma Nishimura, Krista Belle Stewart, Elinor Whidden
July 6 to October 29, 2017
Janice Laking Gallery
Curator: Renée van der Avoird
Reception: Thursday, July 6, 7 to 9 pm
Film Screening: Krista Belle Stewart: Seraphine, Seraphine, Friday, September 29, 2017, 7:00 pm, Uptown Theatre, 55 Dunlop Street West, Barrie. Admission Free

Re-enact explores how six Canadian artists interpret, commemorate and renegotiate moments of the past. Collectively, their works open up spaces for empowerment through imagination, sharpening our awareness of historical bias. Challenging the authority of historical narratives, their projects pose questions about representation—and reconciliation—in the future.

Krista Belle Stewart (Vancouver) and Emma Nishimura (Toronto) highlight the profound divergences between history as it is recorded and reality as it is lived. By recontextualizing found narratives they reveal the complexities of interpretation, mediation and storytelling, opening up complicated truths about their family pasts and Canadian histories. Embracing the performative potential of re-enactment, Sarah Ciurysek (Winnipeg) and Meryl McMaster (Ottawa) present stages for re-imagining histories through bodily movement and photography, examining how identities are constructed through lineage and history. Elements of performance carry through in the practice of Michael Farnan (Victoria Harbour, ON), whose video work wrestles with the social and historical narratives of institutionalized Canadian racism from a regional, settler perspective. Elinor Whidden’s (Toronto) sculptural installation conjures bone yards of mass bison slaughters as well as piles of scrapped cars in auto wrecking yards, calling our attention to harrowing past events as well as the ominous political and ecological situations we find ourselves in today.