May 18 – July 7, 2024
Creation Stories: Spirit Heart Mind Body: Haley Bassett, Catherine Boivin, Samaqani Cocahq, Oakley Wysote Gray, Cora Kavyaktok, Helen Pelletier, Sally Tisiga
Curators: Lori Beavis, Emma Hassencahl-Perley, Jake Kimble, Teresa Vander Meer-Chassé
The Biennale d’art contemporain autochtone (BACA), 7th edition
Quai 5160 – Maison de la culture de Verdun
Montreal, QC

The curators for the 7th edition of La Biennale d’art contemporain autochtone (BACA) came together across Nations and territories to create a series of exhibitions with works by more than 60 artists. Our overarching theme of Creation Stories guided us and subthemes were identified for each participating venue. We felt the sub-theme that best fit Maison de la culture Verdun was Spirit, Heart, Mind, Body.

Indigenous bodies are sacred. Intergenerational trauma as well as intergenerational knowledge and blood memory are passed down through our genes, shaping our spirits, hearts, minds, and bodies. Indigenous bodies have experienced generations of abuse, pain, and genocide. For centuries, Indigenous bodies have been objectified, Indigenous minds have been ignored, Indigenous hearts have been taken advantage of, and an ongoing attempt to break Indigenous spirits continues to fail. It was important for us, as Indigenous Peoples, to feature artworks that triumphed our spirits, hearts, minds, and bodies for their strength, resilience, and passion.

The artworks featured in this exhibition were chosen because of their positive energies and strong presence. Each artist has a practice that takes into consideration Indigenous bodies and they create uplifting work that asserts sovereignty over our own bodies and beings. Through a variety of media including photography, film, sculpture, beading and sewing, the artists share with us gentle and powerful ways of being and the realities of walking through this world as Indigenous Peoples and spirits.

The Biennale d’art contemporain autochtone (BACA) would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts, the Quebec government (Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Fonds d’investissement pour le rayonnement de la Métropole, Secrétariat des affaires Autochtones), the Conseil des arts de Montréal, Tourisme Montréal, its presentation partners and its media partners.

Launched in 2012, the Contemporary Native Art Biennial (BACA) is a Montreal-based non-profit organization (registered in 2016) that promotes the work of Indigenous artists. The biennial is held every two years, in multiple venues, with each iteration focusing on a specific theme. The event is aimed at an ever-growing audience—Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike—and features both emerging and established artists. Our mission is to promote Indigenous art and to sensitize and educate the public on the cultural issues of the First Nations.