Sovereignty: The Indigenous Present

Wednesday February 1, 2017, 7-9pm
Einstein Auditorium, 34 Stuyvesant Street, New York

Audra Simpson, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Columbia
Jackson Polysartist

A panel discussion on directions in Indigenous contemporary art. This will focus on Duane Linklater’s current solo exhibition From Our Hands at 80WSE and Drawing a Line From January to December, structured as a single exhibition unfolding over the course of a year at SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art in Montreal which will be renamed the Wood Land School for the duration of 2017Contemporary civic institutions and social structures are built upon systems that have silenced, ignored and destructively classified Indigenous people, ideas and objects. In response to this history, Wood Land School calls upon institutions to give intellectual and physical labor, philosophical and physical space, time, and funds to support Indigenous ideas, objects, discursivity and performance. The Wood Land School was established in 2011, originating in Duane Linklater’s North Bay studio. It is an experimental space where Indigenous thought and theory are centred, embodied, mobilized, and take shape as practice through exhibition and pedagogy. Wood Land School does not seek to summarize Indigenous identity, but rather to honor specific, embodied expressions of inheritance and becoming. Its current members are Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin Linklater and cheyanne turions with Walter Scott.
'We wonder, how do the relationships between theory, practice and pedagogy manifest across the complexity and diversity of Indigenous identities, and in relation to settler colonial positionings? What does it mean for a settler-colonial institution to unknow its power? What does it mean to memorialize and dream in relation? How to collectively tend to the becoming of the future?’ 

—Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin Linklater and cheyanne turions with Walter Scott
This events is presented as part of 80WSE's ongoing exhibition by Duane Linklater titled From Our Hands, with Ethel Linklater (Trapper) and Tobias Linklater, on view through February 18, 2017. Working across installation, performance, film, and photography, Duane Linklater excavates histories to unearth folds and knots addressing cultural loss, recovery and sovereignty. This exhibition features a series of new works including a large-scale architectural intervention that runs through all five galleries. 80WSE Gallery in Washington Square is part of the Steinhardt School of Arts and Art Professionals. As always, 80WSE is free and open to the public. 
Selected Biography:
Duane Linklater is Omaskêko Cree from Moose Cree First Nation in Northern Ontario. Born in 1976, he holds bachelor's degrees in fine art and Native studies from the University of Alberta (2005) and a master's degree in film and video from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts at Bard College (2012).Solo exhibitions include; From Our Hands, Mercer Union, a centre for contemporary art, Toronto (2016); Salt 11: Duane Linklater, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City (2015); ICA@50: It means it’s raining, ICA, Philadelphia (2014); Decom­mi­ssion, Maclaren Art Cen­tre, Bar­rie, Ontario; Learn­ing, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto; Some­thing about encounter, Thun­der Bay Art Gallery, Ontario; Grain(s), in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Tanya Lukin Lin­klater, Images Fes­ti­val co-pre­sen­ta­tion with Museum of Con­tem­po­rary Cana­dian Art, Toronto; and Sec­ondary Expla­na­tion, The New Gallery, Cal­gary (all 2013).
Tanya Lukin Linklater's performance collaborations, videos, photographs and installations have been exhibited nationally and internationally. She is compelled by relationships between bodies, histories, poetry, pedagogy, Indigenous conceptual spaces (languages), and institutions.
Audra Simpson is the Associate Professor of Anthropology at Columbia. Her primary research is energized by the problem of recognition, by its passage beyond the aegis of the state into the grounded field of political self-designation, self-description and subjectivity. She also examines the borders of time, history and bodies across and within what is now the United States and Canada. Simpson is a close associate to Linklater and Mohawk Interruptus: political life across the border of settler states is a seminal text for this recent body of work. 
Jackson Polys is a visual artist who lives and works between Alaska and New York.  His work reflects examinations into the limits and viability of desires for indigenous growth. He began carving with his father, Tlingit artist Nathan Jackson, in high school, has worked as an artist based in Alaska as Stron Softi, with solo exhibitions at the Alaska State Museum and the Anchorage Museum, and holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University’s School of the Arts (2015).  He is Adviser to Indigenous New York, the collaborative program initiative co-founded by Mohawk artist Alan Michelson and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. 
This event is generously supported in part by the NYU Center for the Humanities.