May 16 – September 8 2024
Opening: May 23, 2024 from 6 p.m.
Creation Stories: Land/ medicines: Eruoma Awashish, Taylor Baptiste, Haley Bassett, Lisa Maude Aubin Berube, Jay Havens, Cheyenne Rain LeGrande, Jesse Tungilik
Curators: Lori Beavis, Emma Hassencahl-Perley, Jake Kimble, Teresa Vander Meer-Chassé
The Biennale d’art contemporain autochtone (BACA), 7th edition
Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke, 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 featuring 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 subtheme that best fit Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke was Land / Medicine.

Land and Medicine are words that are interchangeable within Indigenous stories. Being the first peoples of what is now known as ‘Canada’ our histories of being the caretakers of this land exist from time immemorial. From coast to coast and everywhere in between, the land has supported, nourished, and healed our peoples by providing all the necessary tools to coexist harmoniously. It was only until colonial interruption that the natural balance was disrupted. With the implementation of resource extraction, colonization, and the enforcement of imperialist ideologies, Indigenous peoples have/had to learn a new language of existing.

The artworks featured in this exhibition speak to the relationship between the Indigenous body and the land that heals and protects them/us. Converging the unconventional with traditional materials, these works highlight the various ways Indigenous peoples continue to navigate the times we find ourselves in; whether addressing Indigenous hunting rights, wildfire protection, or even space travel. The figurative works have been brought together in the centre of the gallery to illustrate and discuss how our relationship with the land and medicine is not a monolithic experience. We invite the audience to meet these works and complete the circle with critical thinking and earnest engagement on how we can continue to be thoughtful custodians to this land that is our medicine.

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.