Photo by Brandon Gray, 2018
Tanya Lukin Linklater's performances, videos, installations, and writings work through orality and embodiment – investigating histories of Indigenous peoples’ lives, lands, and structures of sustenance. She investigates insistence in both concept and application and often produces performances with dancers, composers, musicians and poets, in relation to the architecture of museums, objects in exhibition, scores, and cultural belongings.
Her presentation of current and new works, including a performance installation, for the BMW Tate Live Exhibition 2020, Our Bodies, Our Archives, in London was cancelled due to the worldwide pandemic caused by the novel corona virus.
Her work has been shown at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019, EFA Project Space + Performa, Art Gallery of Ontario, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Remai Modern, Art Gallery of Alberta, Winnipeg Art Gallery and elsewhere. Tanya Lukin Linklater is represented by Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver.
In 2016 she presented He was a poet and he taught us how to react and become this poetry (Parts 1 and 2) at La Biennale de Montréal - Le Grand Balcon. This work included a performance installation (including video of Maria Tallchief) with five dancers through an open rehearsal process at the Museé d'art contemporain de Montréal.
In 2017, as a member of Wood Land School, she participated in Kahatenhstánion tsi na’tetiatere ne Iotohrkó:wa tánon Iotohrha / Drawing Lines from January to December in Montréal. Wood Land School participated in Under the Mango Tree - Sites of Learning, a gathering for documenta14 in Athens and Kassel. That year she also was artist in residence at Art Gallery of Ontario where she made a performance, Sun Force, in response to Rita Letendre's retrospective, Fire & Light.
In 2018 she presented a commissioned performance for Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
In 2019 she participated in ...and other such stories, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, with Tiffany Shaw-Collinge producing a commissioned work. This was followed by a new performance, A song, a felt structure: We are putting ourselves back together again. She also participated in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's Soft Power organized by curator of contemporary art Eungie Joo. Her videos, The treaty is in the body, 2017 and An amplification through many minds, 2019 were installed near five Alutiiq sewing bags on loan from the Hearst Museum of Anthropology.
In 2020, she was commissioned by Beta-Local, the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University and Philadelphia Contemporary to produce a new work for camera, This moment an endurance to the end forever.
Tanya has worked alongside dancers, Ceinwen Gobert, Ivanie Aubin-Malo, Hanako Hoshimi-Caines, Emily Law, and Danah Rosales, among others. In recent years she has also worked alongside composer and amplified violinist, Laura Ortman, writer, Leanne Simpson, artist, Duane Linklater, and artist/curator/architect, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge.
Tanya's poetry and essays have been published in C Magazine, BlackFlash Magazine, Yellow Medicine Review, and Inuit Art Quarterly, and in publications by Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, Access Gallery, Western Front, and McLaren Art Centre.
Her first collection of poetry, Slow Scrape, was published in the Documents series by The Centre for Expanded Poetics and Anteism, Montréal in 2020. Slow Scrape is, in the words of Layli Long Soldier, “an expansive and undulating meditation on time, relations, origin and colonization." Lukin Linklater draws upon documentary poetics, concrete-based installations, event scores, and other texts composed in relation to performances written between 2011 and 2018. The book cites memory, Cree and Alutiiq languages, and embodiment as modes of relational being and knowledge. The book unfolds a poetics of relation and action to counter the settler colonial violences of erasure, extraction, and dispossession. Slow Scrape can be read alongside Lukin Linklater’s practice as a visual artist and choreographer.
Tanya studied at University of Alberta (M.Ed.) and Stanford University (A.B. Honours) where she received the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and the Louis Sudler Prize for Creative and Performing Arts. She was awarded the Chalmers Professional Development Grant in 2010 and the K.M. Hunter Artist Award in Literature in 2013. In 2018 Tanya was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Wanda Koop Research Fund, a $15,000 award recognizing a mid-career visual artist to fund research activities related to their practice, administered by Canadian Art. In 2019 she received the Art Writing Award from the Ontario Association of Art Galleries. She is a doctoral candidate in Cultural Studies at Queen's University. Her Alutiiq homelands are in southwestern Alaska where much of her family continues to live. She is a member of the Native Villages of Afognak and Port Lions.