The Burnaby Art Gallery (BAG) presents Tania Willard: dissimulation, a multidisciplinary exhibition featuring works by BC-based Indigenous artist/curator Tania Willard (Secwépemc Nation), alongside her collaborators Gabrielle Hill, Peter Morin, her family, home community and Secwépemc lands and territories.
These three artists, and their relationships to land, make up the New BC Indian Art and Welfare Society Collective, often creating work at Willard’s BUSH Gallery, a residency space in Secwépemculecw, the territory of the Secwépemc Nation. BUSH Gallery acts as a conceptual space for land-based art and action led by Indigenous artists.
“The BUSH Gallery rez-idency was designed and programmed in order to activate concepts and ideas of contemporary Indigenous art, to further explore the parameters of BUSH Gallery and to build on past artist rez-idencies,” says Willard. “A goal of the BUSH Gallery is to articulate Indigenous creative land practices, which are born out of a lived connection to the land. In the province of British Columbia, this lived connection to the land means a century and a half of land rights and legal struggles begun by our ancestors that continue to this day.”
The title of the exhibition, dissimulation, “implies a concealment of thought, disguise of one’s character or perhaps a hidden objective,” says Jennifer Cane, Assistant Curator at the Burnaby Art Gallery. “Dissimulation, for the purposes of this exhibition, is also akin to trickery and mimesis, the transformation of one material to another, the relationship between the traditional and contemporary, and between Indigenous and other cultures.”
Reclamation of land, language and culture form the thematic of this show, with images that challenge a history of colonialism and (mis)representation. The exhibition features artwork in a variety of mediums including photograms, woodcuts, digital prints, silkscreens, video and textile work.
“[Willard] interrupts the colonial desire to consume images of otherness and claims these images for herself and for her community. Confronting history means confronting a history of representation,” writes Hogue.
The public is invited to an artist talk with Willard on Thursday, September14 from 6-7pm at the Burnaby Art Gallery. The exhibition opening will follow the artist talk from 7-9pm. The public has the opportunity to meet the artist and to find out more about Willard’s highly collaborative practice, including further insight into BUSH Gallery.
For more information visit the Burnaby Art Gallery website.
September 15 - November 5, 2017
Burnaby Art Gallery
6344 Deer Lake Ave
Burnaby, BC V5G 2J3, Canada
Suggested donation is $5
Slider Photos: Anthro(a)pologizing (detail), by Tania Willard (2017), light sensitive emulsion on leather, 121.9 x 91.4 cm
Irreconcilable (series) by Tania Willard (2013), chalk and acrylic on printed cotton, 61.0 x 61.0 cm
Photos courtesy of the artist and Burnaby Art Gallery