Wood Land School Goes to Documenta: A Talk on Indigenous Institutional Critique, Part 2

A Feature in Canadian Art with John Hampton and Wood Land School, August 31, 2017


Please see the link below for our conversation on slowness, care, refusal, orality and Indigenous knowledge production and radical education.






Our Side: Elisa Harkins, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Marianne Nicolson, and Tanis S'eiltin

September 12, 2017 - February 24, 2018

Curated by Wendy Red Star

Missoula Art Museum


In her curatorial statement, Red Star writes,

“To be Bíiluuke—‘Our Side’—implies that one has the same ancestry, language, spiritual beliefs, territory, and social structure. From this term, which my ancestors used to define themselves as a separate unique people, this exhibition, Our Side, invites four contemporary artists: Elisa Harkins, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Marianne Nicolson, and Tanis S’eiltin to creatively investigate identity, language, and territory, from their individual perspectives. Sharing a common understanding of the significance of origin stories as a temporal and historical space where community is shaped, each artist works from a broad range of media including performance, sculpture, painting, sound, social engagement, and video, and to maintain common ties around indigenous narratives, engagement with community, feminism, activism, and the importance of specificity.”






Calculating Upon the Unforeseen curated by Clara Halpern for Nuit Blanche Toronto 2017

September 30, 2017 

7:00 pm - 7:00 am the following day

The treaty is in the body, 2017

The artist writes “I am most often engaged with Indigenous ideas and I am interested in the ways in which ideas are mobile. Even in the face of structures that attempt to contain, they can be activated and become uncontainable.”

The body is a way to know—a way to transmit knowledge. In her practice, Lukin Linklater works with dancers to transmit ideas, which, though invisible, our bodies respond to.

This project arose out of the artist’s research into treaty, catalyzed by Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike in Ottawa, a 44-day political action in 2012 and 2013. The artist recalls signs held at rallies during Idle No More: "We are all treaty people" and "Moosehide tanners against fascism". This video takes up Indigenous understandings of treaty relationships which are at the foundation of Canada. It calls for non-Indigenous audiences to consider their implication within treaty. The site of this project, the Toronto Labyrinth, offers a space for contemplating this embodied past, present and future.

Film Credits:
Performers - Ivanie Aubin-Malo, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Sassa Linklater, Keisha Stone
Camera/Sound - Neven Lochhead




In Dialogue

September 6 – October 7, 2017

Organized by John G. Hampton

Co-presented by the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba and Carleton University Art Gallery

University of Toronto Art Centre


In Dialogue is an exhibition structured as a conversation. It invites viewers into intimate discussions that work through new ways of understanding and being Indigenous in contemporary contexts. Moving from spaces of contemplation and reception to moments of excitement and animation, the artists blur borders drawn with invented notions of authenticity and guide us through negotiations between the specificity of personhood and its abstraction into larger groups of belonging. This gathering of work embraces the wildly individualistic tumble of connections and contradictions that constitute contemporary Indigenous identities, opening a dialogue between artists, audiences, and the interconnected mesh-works woven between all our relations.


Works by:

Raven Davis, Raymond Boisjoly, David Garneau, Carola Grahn, Native Art Department International (Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan), Nicole Kelly Westman, Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin-Linklater, Amy Malbeuf, Nadia Myre, Peter Morin, Krista Belle Stewart

Opening the Dialogue

Saturday, September 16, 2017, 4:30-6pm
Panel discussion featuring Raven Davis, John G. Hampton, Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin Linklater and Peter Morin
University College, Room 140






August 9 - 18, 2017

Signy Eaton Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario


“Dancers perform specialized labour and over many years they obtain a deep understanding of the body. I am compelled by the body as a way to know – as a way to transmit knowledge.”

— Tanya Lukin Linklater


As artist in residence at Art Gallery of Ontario, I was invited to respond to Rita Letendre's Fire & Light. After a series of rehearsals in the gallery, a performance with dancers, Ceinwen Gobert and Danah Rosales, happened on August 18 at 7 pm within Rita Letendre's Fire & Light. 


I also was in conversation with Wanda Nanibush, who co-curated the exhibition on Sunday, August 13 regarding my process. 





The publication for this exhibition, curated by Magdalyn Asimakas, Jared Quinton and Alexandra Symons Sutcliffe, is downloadable and available at the Whitney ISP website. I have a series of event scores that are included in the publication. 




Under the Mango Tree – Sites of Learning gathering

Kunsthochschule Kassel, Germany
18 Jul 2017 - 19 Jul 2017



Formal education systems are increasingly reaching their limits due to a growing multiplicity of perspectives. However informal and artist-led educational initiatives are taking root. In cooperation documenta 14's aneducation and ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) organise the gathering of Under the Mango Tree—Sites of Learning, which addresses and presents educational shifts. Different artistic initiatives and schools from multiple geographies, which are critically positioned outside and within the Western canon, have been invited from around the world.  


With a special emphasis on both historical and contemporary accounts as well as examples from non-hierarchical models of learning, these initiatives address forms of indigenous practices of communal production and preservation of knowledge, postcolonial knowledge production, as well as the role of the artist in building a democratic society. 


15 contributors will work towards new vantage points for a contemporary and broadened understanding of learning and knowledge production. The outcomes will be presented in different formats, ranging from lectures to performances and workshops. The participants of the gathering will be able to actively participate. With reference to the model of a communal garden as a place of teaching and learning, the gathering takes place at various sites in Kassel during documenta 14.


Wood Land School will participate in Under the Mango Tree. 


Under the Mango Tree is a cooperation between aneducation of documenta 14 and ifa (Institut für Auslandbeziehungen).


Supported through a partnership with ArtsEverywhere, an online platform by Musagates, which places the arts in relation to all aspects of the world around us.


with Tanya Lukin Linklater, Darlene Naponse and Deanna Nebeneonquit

June 1 to July 8, 2017

la galerie du nouvel-Ontario

Sudbury, Ontario


Bezhik beshaabiigan zhaabsemigak mzinbiige-gamigoong. Gaa-zhiwebak miinwaa ge-ni-zhiwebak enji-ni-zhaamigak maanda. Giigdoowin zhichigaade. Mii go enji-ganoontaading nswi Nishnaabe meznibiigejig. Northern Ontario yaawak. Maamwi naagdowendaanaawaa aki, nishnaabemwinan, gchi-naakinigewin, aankoobjignak, gaa-zhiwebak miinwaa waa-ni-zhiwebak. Maamwi ninda zhichigaadenoon gaa-zhichigaazong zhinda mzinbiige-gamigoong.


Beshaabiiganan (Lines)

A line travels through the gallery extending to the past and to possible futures structuring ongoing conversations between three Indigenous artists in Northern Ontario. Their shared concerns – land, Indigenous languages, treaty, relationships, histories and futures – inform the installation.