Written by Dara Larocque on 28.01.14

Originating from the Vancouver Art Gallery, Beat Nation seeks to juxtapose Aboriginal identity within the modern urban contemporary culture. With the help of performance pieces, installations, interactive works, sculpture, painting and video, the exhibition demonstrates the effects that hip hop culture’s musicality has on the way that the artists identify with their Aboriginal roots. By blending their unique cultural heritages with modern technologies, fashion, performance and music, Beat Nation effectively contemplates the realities of Aboriginal identity and the culture of today. Among 24 artists, all from various Aboriginal backgrounds, works from Kent Monkman, Skeena Reece and Bear Witness were some that stood out among the rest. For example, Monkman’s performance of Miss Chief Eagletestickle is the artist’s interpretation of the Aboriginal Berdache, a two-spirited person, both male and female. Through the filmed performance the viewer is invited to see how Monkman critiques both representations of his Aboriginal culture as well as homosexuality, drag and identity. Reece’s work combined performance and fashion drawing on traditional Aboriginal patterns in modern style corset dresses, high-heeled boots and capes. Complete with traditional headdress, Reece’s work reconciles modern Western practice with Aboriginal selfhood. Beat Nation will be touring Canada throughout the year and ran from October 17, 2013 to January 5, 2014 in Montreal at the Contemporary Arts Museum (Metro Place-des-Arts).

185 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montréal, QC H2X 3X5
(514) 847-6226

Post a Comment