Accueil » Un fleuve coupe la roche / A river cuts through rock

Un fleuve coupe la roche / A river cuts through rock

English Version

Un fleuve coupe la roche / A river cuts through rock
Located on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, the Maison Nivard-De Saint-Dizier, a museum and archaeological site, rests on an ancient Aboriginal camp site whose occupation dates back 5,500 years. Rich of this thousand-year-old Aboriginal presence, the museum wished to continue this history by presenting an exhibition of contemporary Aboriginal art on the Verdun territory.

This exhibition is produced in collaboration with Quai 5160 – Maison de la culture de Verdun and under the aegis of curator Mike Patten.

Dana Claxton

Dana Claxton’s exquisite veiled portraits are a tribute to indigenous women and kinship. The women in each photo are adorned with gifts exchanged, given, or their own creations. In the portraits, the women are covered with beads that represent cultural objects. Therefore, only their silhouettes are visible.  The personal objects depicted are functional and are meant to counter the colonial practice of displaying artifacts and indigenous people as relics of the past. Dana Claxton’s carefully created photographs instead represent indigenous women as cultural carriers of belonging and connection.  
Dana Claxton is a critically acclaimed international exhibiting artist. She works in film, video, photography, single and multi-channel video installation and performance art. Her work has been shown internationally at the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), Walker Art Centre (Minneapolis, MN), Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis (IN) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney, AU). Dana Claxton is a member of the Wood Mountain Lakota First Nations located in southwestern Saskatchewan and resides in Vancouver, Canada.  

Lisa Myers

In the spring of 2013, I was in Ottawa for the opening of Sakahan, a world exhibition of indigenous art. I went on long walks, talking about art making with artist Suzanne Morrissette. We walked to Victoria Island, where Chief Theresa Spence had lived at her protest site earlier that year, right across from the Parliament Buildings. Victoria Island is one of a series of islands in the Ottawa River, also known in Anishinaabemowin as Asinabka. My water videos started on this island that day. The video of the surface of the Ottawa River shows perspectives where the water seems to engulf the Parliament Buildings. That summer I continued to take images of places around the Great Lakes. The images evoke the imagination of traveling underwater and emerging through its surface to observe industry, governance, power, daily life and survival, storms and waves hitting the shore.  
Lisa Myers is an Anishnaabe from the Beausoleil First Nation, living in Port Severn, Ontario. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Criticism and Conservation from OCAD University. She is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto.

Nico Williams

Nico Williams The work naabibii’ige | Tracings incorporates an image of the Great Lakes (the source of the St. Lawrence River) that has been deconstructed and reassembled as a beaded work, with Lake Superior positioned in the center. The artist notes that these five Great Lakes are a place of trade passage. Here, in the surface details of the Great Lakes imagery, Williams referenced the handwork patterns performed by indigenous communities around the lakes, such as beading and basketry. Made without the use of knots or other forms of fixed fasteners, Williams uses thread, beads, and attention to create a surface to maintain the strength of a community.
Nico Williams (b. 1989) is an Anishinaabe from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation currently working in Tiohtià:ke | Mooni-yang | Montreal. He has a multidisciplinary practice, often collaborative, that focuses on sculptural beadwork. Combining bright colors, intricate patterns and symbols, the works create narratives about indigenous knowledge systems and experiences to raise awareness of current realities in urban and rural communities. Nico recently exhibited his work at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal as part of a group show. He also facilitated and presented a community project at the PHI Foundation.