For the duration of 2017, SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art will be renamed and operate as the Wood Land School. This is the continuation of a conversation, and it is the forging of new relationships. From an initial position of Indigenous self-determination and collectivity, we situate ourselves as impacted upon by forces both nurturing and destructive; we work to be aware of our own participation in dispossession; and we consider our capacity to articulate new ways of being in relation. Structured as a single exhibition unfolding over the course of a year, Wood Land School: Drawing a Line from January to December recognizes the power of line to mark history and invoke memory, proposing a line without beginning or end as a space to collaboratively imagine Indigenous futurity.

 

Contemporary civic institutions and social structures are built upon systems that have silenced, ignored and destructively classified Indigenous people, ideas and objects. In response to this history, Wood Land School calls upon institutions to give intellectual and physical labour, philosophical and physical space, time, and funds to support Indigenous ideas, objects, discursivity and performance. In Wood Land School’s six-year history, it has come into relation with many kinds of institutions through a framework of treaty, wherein we have accepted and shared in the responsibilities of realizing these many projects. Foregrounding Indigenous history and presence on this land now known as Canada, in a place now known as Montreal, Wood Land School: Drawing a Line from January to December attempts to create a space of critical reflection and re-imagination, where the tenets of treaty—mutual accountability, reciprocity, relation across difference and stewardship of resources—can be enacted.

 

Wood Land School is an experimental space where Indigenous thought and theory are centred, embodied, mobilized, and take shape as practice through exhibition and pedagogy. Wood Land School does not seek to summarize Indigenous identity, but rather to honour specific, embodied expressions of inheritance and becoming.

 

The scope of the contexts we operate within and in relation to include the historical, which is akin to theory, and the contemporary, which is akin to practice. Wood Land School aims to be a space for listening, where we can tend to the urgency of current conditions as they unfold—both systemic and material—with an eye to how (and how else) these circumstances can shape our everyday lives. It operates with an awareness that settler colonialism is ever present, enacted in and on Turtle Island in various forms. Wood Land School is the theorization and practice of centering Indigeneity. Our primary relationships are Indigenous to Indigenous, which includes land and non-humans. We also extend our conversations with and to other communities and publics, working in and through a treaty relationship, to re-frame conversations in a way that centres Indigenous agency. The impact of this project will be determined by many viewers over time.

 

We wonder, how do the relationships between theory, practice and pedagogy manifest across the complexity and diversity of Indigenous identities, and in relation to settler colonial positionings? What does it mean for a settler-colonial institution to unknow its power? What does it mean to memorialize and dream in relation? How to collectively tend to the becoming of the future?

 

—Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin Linklater and cheyanne turions with Walter Scott

 

Biography

 

Wood Land School is an ongoing project with no fixed location or form. First instigated by Duane Linklater, Wood Land School: Drawing a Line from January to December is organized by Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin Linklater and cheyanne turions, with Walter Scott.

 

In its malleability, Wood Land School seeks critical engagements within the realms of representation, film, contemporary art, land and politics in Turtle Island and beyond. It emerges out of Linklater's investigation into Indigenous artists based in northern Ontario in the 1970s, whose work engaged both ancient and contemporary Indigenous art forms. Each iteration of Wood Land School carries forth a commitment to address the lack of structural inclusion of Indigenous people, both historically and in the now, in a multiplicity of institutional spaces. It is a conceptual and physical space for Indigenous people, with Indigenous people deciding its directions, structures and functions. An important additional component of Wood Land School is the inclusion of non-Indigenous people who are invited to engage with the complex realities of Indigenous artworks, experiences, ideas and spaces.

 

Wood Land School began in 2011 with the making of a small exhibition of works selected by Linklater in a small office/studio space located above the Necessities convenience store (selling “Native Crafts, Fireworks, Cigarettes”) on Nipissing First Nation in Northern Ontario. This location was transformed into the Wood Land School, an open and contemplative space for the present. This activation and investigation of space is an ongoing and never-ending task that must be portable, because walls should not obstruct the circulation or behaviour of ideas. Since then, Wood Land School has taken many forms including residencies, seminars, film screenings and discursive happenings shaped by many participating artists, writers and thinkers along the way.

 

Previous iterations of Wood Land School include the following:

 

Wood Land School: Exhibition, Nipissing First Nation, Ontario, 2011

with Raymond Boisjoly, David Horovitz, Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin Linklater and Walter Scott

 

Wood Land School: What color is the present? The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, 2013

Facilitated by Brian Jungen, Duane Linklater and Wendy Red Star

 

Wood Land School: The Exiles, Artscape Gibralter Point, Toronto Island, Ontario, 2013

Facilitated by Duane Linklater

 

Wood Land School: On 12 Years a Slave, Art Metropole, Toronto, Ontario, 2013

Facilitated by cheyanne turions

 

Wood Land School: In the land of the Head Hunters, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, 2014

with Raymond Boisjoly, Marcia Crosby and Duane Linklater

 

Wood Land School: Critical Anthology (symposium), Or Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia, 2016

with Raymond Boisjoly, David Garneau, Richard Hill, Candice Hopkins, Amy Kazymerchyk, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Liz Park, Postcommodity, Walter Scott and cheyanne turions

 

Wood Land School: Thunderbird Woman, Plug In ICA, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 2016

with Jamie Isaac and Duane Linklater

 

Wood Land School: Critical Anthology (publication), Or Gallery and SFU Galleries, Vancouver, British Columbia, forthcoming

with Raymond Boisjoly, David Garneau, Candice Hopkins, Amy Kazymerchyk, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Liz Park, Postcommodity, Walter Scott, cheyanne turions and Jordan Wilson


You can read Kari Cwynar's feature article, Tanya Lukin Linklater's Choregraphy of Space, in Inuit Art Quarterly here:

 

http://iaq.inuitartfoundation.org/29-2-choreography-lukin-linklater/

 

 


Nancy Webb wrote a short essay, "Slay, Okay," for Luma Quarterly, Issue 6, Volume 2 (Fall 2016) about my work, Slay All Day, a web commission for the Remai Modern that launched August 1 of this year. She references Beyoncé's Formation, bell hooks and Inuit athletics. You can find the essay here:

 

http://lumaquarterly.com/issues/volume-two/006-fall/slay-okay/

 


Honoured that my work, In Memoriam (2012), is referenced by Billy-Ray Belcourt in "Provincializing Oxford: Notes from the Beast's Belly - October 12." Please see his phenomenal writings generally ... and specifically this entry here:

 

https://nakinisowin.wordpress.com/author/billyray94/

 


The catalogue for A Parallel Excavation, 2016 was published by Art Gallery of Alberta and is available on Amazon. With an essay by Tiffany Shaw-Collinge and Erin Sutherland and writings by Duane Linklater and Tanya Lukin Linklater. 

 






Tasha Hubbard's interview with me has been published in BlackFlash 33.3, 2016.

 

Check it out. 



 

 

https://remaimodern.org/about#section-remai-modern-announces-new-web-commission-by-tanya-lukin-linklater

 

REMAI MODERN ANNOUNCES NEW WEB COMMISSION BY TANYA LUKIN LINKLATER

JULY 26, 2016

 

Saskatoon, Canada—Remai Modern is very pleased to announce its third web commission, by Tanya Lukin Linklater . The August 1–31 project is curated by Gregory Burke, Remai Modern Executive Director & CEO, and Sandra Guimarães, Director of Programs & Chief Curator.

 

In association with its pre-launch program, Remai Modern is inviting artists to realize original projects exclusively for online viewing. On the first day of every month, work by a new artist will appear on Remai Modern’s homepage. Past commissions by British artist Ryan Gander and Saskatoon artist Tammi Campbell are now accessible in the online archive.

 

Through these commissions, the museum considers its website as an extension of its physical space and onsite program. Mobile and experimental, this online gallery allows for direct, personal encounters with art while connecting with artists and audiences across the globe.

 

"We’re delighted to feature an original work by Tanya Lukin Linklater as Remai Modern’s newest web commission,” said Gregory Burke, Remai Modern Executive Director & CEO. “She is at the forefront of current developments in contemporary art. Her work explores new combinations of artistic forms in order to explore the relationships of the personal to the political and the local to the global." Burke added. “This project continues our commitment to contemporary Indigenous programming.”

 

"Tanya Lukin Linklater’s works are informed by a strong, experimental and poetic sensitivity” said Sandra Guimarães, Remai Modern Director of Programs & Chief Curator. “She is one of Canada’s most unique and critically engaged contemporary artists.” Guimarães added. “We brought her to Saskatoon earlier this year to develop a new version of her performance, the the and are excited to continue building on this with this new work, Slay All Day”. 

 

Slay All Day is a four-minute video developed in collaboration with Toronto-based dancer, Ceinwen Gobert, through a process of focused improvisation. Tanya’s work is compelled by relationships between bodies, histories, poetry, pedagogy, Indigenous conceptual spaces and institutions. Her choreography often draws inspiration from film and other sources­­−Slay All Day features sections informed by Robert Flaherty’s film Nanook of the North and specific movement forms of Inuit athletics.

 

Tanya Lukin Linklater has presented her performance collaborations, videos, photographs and installations nationally and internationally including recent projects at Performa at the EFA Project Space, New York City; Museum of Contemporary Art Santiago, Chilé; SBC Gallery, Montreal; Western Front, Vancouver; Images Festival at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; Remai Modern, Saskatoon; and Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton. She studied at University of Alberta (M.Ed.) and Stanford University (A.B. Honours). She is currently a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. Tanya Lukin Linklater originates from the Native Villages of Afognak and Port Lions in Alaska. She lives and works in North Bay, Ontario.

 

* Pronunciation note: the artist’s first name is pronounced TONYA.

 

About Remai Modern:

 

Remai Modern, to open in 2017, is a visionary new museum. The building, by renowned Canadian architects KPMB, is at Saskatoon’s River Landing. Remai Modern, home to the world’s foremost collection of Picasso linocuts, will offer transformative art experiences and innovative programming.

 

Remai Modern gratefully acknowledges funding from the City of Saskatoon, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Canada Council for the Arts and SaskCulture.

 


 

I had a solo exhibition, Neither Nor, at Modern Fuel in Kingston, Ontario April 30, 2016 - June 11, 2016. 

 

The exhibition was accompanied by an essay by Ellyn Walker.

 

Please see:

 

http://www.modernfuel.org/art/programming/event/740