#call­re­sponse Black­wood Gallery

Inuit Art Quarterly - - HIGHLIGHTS - – Tarah Hogue

This mul­ti­fac­eted project in­cludes a tour­ing ex­hi­bi­tion with lo­cally re­spon­sive pro­gram­ming, a web­site, so­cial-me­dia plat­form and cat­a­logue. Il­lu­mi­nat­ing work that is both ur­gent and en­dur­ing, #call­re­sponse cen­tres Indige­nous women within dis­cus­sion and ac­tion around Indige­nous cul­tural re­vi­tal­iza­tion, land-based knowl­edge and cross-cul­tural sol­i­dar­ity build­ing. Pre­sented in the con­text of the Black­wood Gallery’s year-long Take Care pro­gram, this it­er­a­tion of the ex­hi­bi­tion in­cludes an edit-a-thon of the Inuit Artist Data­base, co-pre­sented by the Inuit Art Foun­da­tion, a panel dis­cus­sion on the stew­ard­ship of land, wa­ter and Inuit art and a com­mis­sioned bill­board by Laakku­luk Wil­liamson Bathory. Co-or­ga­nizer Tarah Hogue elab­o­rates: Laakku­luk’s work will be fea­tured on the Bernie Miller Light­box, lo­cated out­side of the gallery on an ex­te­rior wall at the Univer­sity of Toronto Mis­sis­sauga cam­pus. The piece cap­tures the artist’s face in pro­file, cov­ered in black grease paint. It’s po­si­tioned so that Laakku­luk will be fac­ing the stu­dents as they en­ter the build­ing and at night the im­age will be re­flected in the ad­ja­cent glass win­dows. Ul­ti­mately, we wanted to think about the pres­ence of Inuit art as well as the pres­ence of Inuit bod­ies on cam­pus. The im­age is a still taken from her video work Timiga nunalu, sikulu (My body, the land and the ice) (2016), which was one of the five ini­tial com­mis­sioned works for #call­re­sponse and shows her pre­par­ing the face paint for uaa­jeerneq (the Green­landic mask dance). The film was also screened in the re­sponse per­for­mance that she did with Tanya Ta­gaq in 2016 as part of the first it­er­a­tion of #call­re­sponse in Van­cou­ver, BC. Both the video and doc­u­men­ta­tion of the re­sponse per­for­mance are in­cluded in the ex­hi­bi­tion at Black­wood. The video can be read in part as chal­leng­ing the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the fe­male body and, in the con­text of Take Care, pushes us to think about that in re­la­tion­ship to the land and stew­ard­ship of it. The im­age of Laakku­luk in uaa­jeerneq is fierce and con­fronting, but so much of that prac­tice is also tied to teach­ing the younger gen­er­a­tion about how to face the ex­tremes of life in the North. It has a deep in­ter­gen­er­a­tional qual­ity to it. Laakku­luk is a sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion uaa­jeerneq per­former—her mother also did it and that’s who taught her. There is a lot of beau­ti­ful nu­ance to this im­age.

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