INDIANacts: Aboriginal Performance Art

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Additional Images

2002 11 29 2002 12 02 Indian Acts conference poster photo Merle Addison design James Glen
2002 11 30 Indian Acts group photo b

Conference group photograph
Art Direction Paul Wong
Photographer Donna Hagerman
From back row, left to right:
Greg Hill, Paul Wong, Merle Addison, Steve Loft, Marcia Crosby, Warren Arcan,
Lynn Bell, Reona Brass, Dana Claxton, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun,
Bently Spang, Guy Sioui Durand, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Rebecca Belmore,
Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew, Aiyyana Maracle, Edward Poitras, Shelley Niro,
Anthony McNab Favel, Bea Medicine, Zachery Longboy, Thirza Cuthand,
Sophie Merasty, Cease Wyss, Lori Blondeau, James Luna, Lynn Hill,
Kerriann Cardinal, Russ Tall Chief, Florene Belmore, Kim Soo Goodtrack,
Lori Weidenhammer, Kevin MacKenzie, Jen Wei, Daina Warren, Erin Rice,
James Nichols, Susi Milne, Naufus Ramirez Figueroa, Michelle Perch

Conference Schedule

Thursday, November 28 2002

7 pm

A meet and greet for all conference participants will be held at grunt gallery 116-350 East 2nd Ave, Vancouver

9 pm

My Mother's Smile

Performance by Cheli Nighttraveller - will be presented as the closing event for Nadia Myre's exhibition Indian Act.

Friday, November 29 2002

1 pm

Introductions: Dana Claxton, Glenn Alteen, Lori Blondeau

Keynote Address: James Luna

2 - 5 pm

Panel 1: Mapping The Movement

This panel will discuss various themes relating to the history of aboriginal performance art, as well as contextualize the continuum of culture through the practice. Concerns of ritual, ceremony and sacredness will be discussed as the panelists investigate the developing critical discourse regarding performance art and how it is linked to history. Part of the discussion will also address how contemporary art practices are informed by and connected to the past.

Moderator: Aiyyana Maracle
Speakers: Dr. Beatrice Medicine, Guy Sioui Durand, James Luna

Saturday, November 30 2002

10am - 1 pm

Panel 2: Unregenerated: Action, Ritual, Offerings

This panel will discuss how artists are arranging sacred practices through contemporary performance art. Within many aboriginal cultures making an offering is an act/ion of respect, an acknowledgement of life and all that we are grateful for. What is sacred and how far one will go are concerns in contemporary art making. Who defines the boundaries of interpretation and approval?

Moderator: Dana Claxton.
Speakers: Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew, Lori Blondeau, Anthony McNab Favel

2 - 5 pm

Panel 3: Performance of Trauma and Testimony

Aboriginal artists have attempted to make meaning from moments in history and contemporary life that have impacted our sanctuary and autonomy. This discussion will consider the conceptual models in which the participating artists are engaged and how their work exposes, challenges, and unmasks both trauma and testimony. These artists deploy modes of aggression by way of self-reflexivity, injurious actions and metaphor. They occupy space, create moments and construct new meaning for the space by inviting the viewer to think critically about complex situations that are either trivialized or made invisible.

Moderator: Marcia Crosby
Speakers: Rebecca Belmore, Reona Brass, Yuxweluptun

Sunday December 1 2002

10am - 1 pm

Panel 4: Differing Practices - Experimental Theatre and Performance Art

What is the fine line between experimental theatre and performance art? Is there a distinct form of experimental theatre/ performance art that is specifically Aboriginal? Practitioners of both genres discuss how their practices have been informed by traditional storytelling, Western theatre, and performance art. Modes of definitional categories will be dissected, and lines will be blurred and crossed.

Moderator: Margo Kane
Speakers: Floyd Favel, Marie Clements, Dolores Dallas

2 - 5 pm

Panel 5: Tussling and Public Spectacle

Art and politics meet, collide, engage and clash. This panel will visit sites and practices of spectacle and resistance, and comment on how public interventions and reconfiguration of non-Aboriginal models bring critical discussion and awareness to Aboriginal concerns. Through artistic practices that connect the geo- and socio-political realities of contemporary culture and decolonalization, this discussion will show strategies that tussle with concepts of hierarchies and non-Aboriginal government.

Moderator: Shelley Niro
Speakers: Edward Poitras, Lynne Bell, Greg Hill