Starting April 28, 2022
Land Back
Curator: Michael Patten
6th Contemporary Native Art Biennial (BACA)

The theme of the 6th Contemporary Native Art Biennial (BACA) is Land Back, referring to the Indigenous-leaded actions to recover stewardship of traditional lands and ecosystems, protecting them for coming generations.

The 6th edition of the Contemporary Native Art Biennial will take place primarily in May-June 2022 in four cities across Quebec. The Biennale will have eight venues: La Guilde, the Art Mûr Gallery, the Stewart Hall Art Gallery, the McCord Museum, the Maison de la Culture de Verdun – Quai 5160, the Sherbrooke Museum of Fine Arts, the Maison des Jésuites de Sillery and Expression – Centre d’exposition de Saint-Hyacinthe.

Land Back is curated by Michael Patten, the Director of BACA, with the support of guest researcher Alexandra Nordstrom. The exhibitions feature more than fifty Indigenous artists that have never shown in the BACA Biennial.

Other partners will hold satellite exhibitions in the spirit of the theme chosen for BACA, including the Laroche/Joncas Gallery, the She:kon Gallery and the daphne Art Centre, which will have their own independent proposal.

Land Back

From time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have preserved biodiversity despite the continued growth of the human population. Since contact with settlers, Indigenous communities have been stripped of their ancestral lands; the Land Back movement aims to restore governance and stewardship of the territory for a sustainable future.

This Indigenous-led call to action has gained ground in recent years following the accumulation of events both past and present: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the National Inquiry about missing and murdered Indigenous Women, the Canadian pipeline and railroad protests of 2020, the 30th anniversary of the Oka crisis, the still ongoing boil water advisories and the housing shortage in communities, the discovery of the anonymous graves of the Canadian residential schools and the unbolting of the statues of John A. Macdonald across the country. The Land Back movement is a clear call for decolonization.

How can we best protect the biodiversity, the lands, and the waters? The first step would be to return the land to its traditional, legitimate protectors. The return to Indigenous knowledge goes beyond symbolic gestures of recognition or inclusion to significantly change practices and structures.

With the Land Back movement, the power, domination, and control of the territory is rethought in equity with the Indigenous peoples; traditional knowledge is perceived, presented, and practiced in an equal way to Western ways.

How do artists invest in the many aspects of this movement and what forms do they try to give it? Indigenous knowledge is rooted in sustainability, conservation, and reciprocity with the land. How is this knowledge shared, celebrated, and expressed in current artistic practices?

PROGRAM

Official opening May 1st at Place du Canada at 2:00 p.m.
The launch of the Biennial will take place in the public space with an opening ceremony with Mohawk elder Otsitsaken:ra Charles Patton and Faith Keeper Niioieren Eileen Patton. Followed by performances by Buffalo Hat Singers, Barbara Diabo, and Moe Clark.

Exhibitions in four cities from April 28 to December 23, 2022

The Sherbrooke Museum of Fine Arts will be the first venue to open its exhibition on the theme of the Great North, this immense territory with its fragile balance. This theme will be illustrated by the works of modern and contemporary Inuit artists including Barry Pottle, Camille Seaman, Jkai Lucassi, Katherine Takpannie, Lizzie Sheeg, Maureen Gruben, NIAP, Nuveeya Ipellie and Ooloopie Killiktee.

The Maison des Jésuites de Sillery, a historic site in the Quebec City region, will host works by Carey Newman, Jacob Meders, Roxanne Charles, Pat Kane and Lisa Jackson on the theme of residential schools.

Saint-Hubert Street in Montreal (Rosemont) will be the focus of three of the Biennale’s exhibitions. The Art Mûr gallery will present productions that fall within a more political spectrum around the Land Back movement, including works by Camille Seaman, Chandra Melting Tallow, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Duane Isaac, Gregg Deal, Jeremy Dennis, Julia Rose Sutherland, Logan MacDonald, Lori Blondeau, Meagan Musseau and Raven Chacon. Tracey-Mae Chambers will create a site-specific installation in the gallery windows. Next door, BACA’s She:kon Gallery and the daphne Art Center will host two of the three satellite exhibitions, one of Alexis Gros-Louis curated by Terry Randy Awashish and one of Metis artist Suzanne Morrissette.

The Stewart Hall Art Gallery in Pointe-Claire will present works that deal with the elements and nature, primarily Mother Earth. It will feature the practices of Carrie Allison, Christi Belcourt, Erin Gingrich, Faye HeavyShield, Jeffrey Gibson, Charlene Vickers, Olivia Whetung, Sky Hopinka and Ursula Johnson. There will be a performance by Julia Rose Sutherland on May 8th for the opening of the exhibition.

La Guilde, in downtown Montreal, will be the western showcase, with works by native BC artists including Margaret August, Allen James, Beau Dick, Chief Henry Speck, Cole Speck, Don Yeomans and Gigaemi Kukwits.

Also in the downtown area, the McCord Museum will be showing a video by artist Sky Hopinka in their auditorium from June 1 to 5, while Galerie Laroche/Joncas will be presenting the third independent satellite exhibition of the Biennial, a solo show of Renée Condo’s recent works.

Finally, Quai 5160 – Maison de la culture de Verdun will deal with Indigenous futurism through the works of Susan Blight, Beric Manywounds, Casey Koyczan, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun in collaboration with Paisley Smith, Michael Namingha and Quinn Hopkins.

Curator of BACA 2022 – Michael Patten

Visual artist Mike Patten has curated several group exhibitions, including Conflicted Heroes, presented in Berlin and Montreal in 2019-2020. He holds a BFA with a minor in Art History from the University of Regina; he has participated in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally in museums, artist-run centers, commercial and university galleries. In 2017, he was one of the recipients of the Hnatyshyn Foundation’s REVEAL- Indigenous Art Award. He is currently the Director of the BACA of Montréal, a non-profit organization whose mandate is to recognize and support contemporary Aboriginal art and artists. Michael is a member of the Zagime Anishinabek First Nation in Saskatchewan.

Invited researcher – Alexandra Nordstrom

Alexandra Nordstrom is a PhD student in the Interuniversity Doctoral Program in Art History at Concordia University (Tiohtià:ke / Montreal). She will be writing an essay on the theme and the works of the Biennale for the BACA 2022 catalog publication. Alexandra Nordstrom is the recipient of the Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Fellowship from SSHRC. She holds an MA in Art History from Concordia University (2020) and a BA in Art History from the University of British Columbia (2018). Originally from the Prairies, Alexandra is a member of the Poundmaker Cree Nation in Saskatchewan.

BACA 2022 DATES AND VENUES

Sunday, May 1, 2022, from 2:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m
Land Back Opening ceremony
Place du Canada
1010, rue de la Gauchetière Ouest
Tiohtià:ke / Montreal (QC)

Sherbrooke Museum of Fine Arts
From April 28 to June 26, 2022
Opening: Thursday April 28, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
241 Rue Dufferin, Sherbrooke, QC J1H 4M3

Maison des Jésuites de Sillery
From May 4 to December 11, 2022
2320 Chemin du Foulon, Quebec, QC G1T 1X4

Quai 5160 – Maison de la culture de Verdun
From May 7 to July 3, 2022
5160 Bd LaSalle, Verdun, QC H4H 1N8

Art Mûr 
From May 7 to June 18, 2022
Opening: Saturday May 7, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.
5826 St-Hubert, Montreal, QC H2S 2L7

Stewart Hall Art Gallery
From May 7 to June 26, 2022
Opening: Sunday May 8, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.
176 Bord-du-Lac, Pointe-Claire, QC H9S 5T5

La Guilde
From May 19 to July 10, 2022
Opening: Thursday May 19, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
1356 West Sherbrooke st, Montreal, QC H3G 1J1

McCord Museum
June 1 – 5, 2022 : Film screening – Sky Hopinka, In Dreams and Autumn (2021)
690 West Sherbrooke st, Montreal, QC H3A 1E9

Expression – Centre d’exposition de Saint-Hyacinthe
From October 1 to December 23, 2022
495 Avenue Saint-Simon, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC J2S 5C3

SATELLITE EXHIBITIONS

She:kon – BACA Space for Emerging Art
Alexis Gros-Louis, Önenha’; Wen’wa’ / [Superimpositions]
Curator: Terry Randy Awashish
From May 7 to June 18, 2022
5826, St-Hubert, Montreal, QC H2S 2L7

daphne art center
Suzanne Morissette, translations
From May 7 to June 18, 2022
5842, St-Hubert, Montreal, QC H2S 2L7

Laroche/Joncas
Renée Condo, Sisip-Sipu
From April 27 to June 4, 2022
372 Ste-Catherine W, suite 410, Montreal, QC H3B 1A2

CATALOG

The catalog of the 6th edition of the BACA, a 100-page hardcover publication, will be available at the opening of the Biennial. In addition to offering an overview of the works of the Biennial with the representation of all the artists, the publication includes an essay by guest researcher Alexandra Rose Nordstrom on the Land Back theme.

Acknowledgements

The Contemporary Native Art Biennial (BACA) would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of Quebec (Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Fonds d’investissement pour le rayonnement de la Métropole), the Conseil des arts de Montréal and all our exhibition partners.

Media Partners: Vie des Arts, Ciel Variable, Festival TransAmérique (FTA), Inuit Art Quarterly,
First American Art Magazine, Border Crossings

We recognize that BACA is taking place on unceded Indigenous lands, and that the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is the caretaker of the lands and waters on which we gather today. Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal) is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations. Today, it is home to a varied population of Indigenous and other peoples. BACA acknowledges the continued relations with the past, present, and future in their current relationships with Indigenous and other peoples within the Montreal community.