Video: Curating as Kitchen Table Talk | Curator talk with Cathy Mattes

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art is honoured to co-present a talk by Cathy Mattes with the Wood Land School. As an internationally distinguished curator Mattes is known for her curatorial strategies that emphasize audience participation and direct engagement. As an educator at the University of Brandon, Mattes makes connections between politics and art with the understanding that artists can enact social change. Drawing attention to marginalized art histories, Mattes contributes essential labor towards shifting dominant narratives in the presentation of contemporary art and curatorial practices.

Mattes will speak about her curatorial practice as part of Wood Land School: Thunderbird Woman, this year’s iteration of Plug In ICA’s Summer Institute. WLS takes up the powerful imagery of Daphne Odjig’s Thunderbird Woman (1973) as a conceptual point of departure that articulates Indigenous agency, the roles of guardianship and protection, and the notion of transformation. Artist Duane Linklater and curator Jaimie Isaac lead a group of participants through a series of texts, films, field trips and studio time for three weeks in the city of Winnipeg.

The Wood Land School: Thunderbird Woman opens its doors to the public on July 21stwith a curator talk by Cathy Mattes from 10am-12pm. That evening, Plug In will host “Patio Lanterns,” our summer party and joint opening reception for The State and Wood Land School. On July 28, artist and curator Michelle LaVallee will speak from 10am-12pm, and on Friday August 5th, join us for open studios and a wrap party, details to be confirmed.

Cathy Mattes is a proud Michif writer and curator based in rural Southwestern Manitoba. Her practice focuses on the intersection of Indigenous issues and art, with an emphasis on community, which she sees as a complicated concept, to be explored, questioned and located. Interested in creating better conditions for Indigenous cultural workers, Mattes has served on the board for the Urban Shaman Gallery, and collaborated with Indigenous cultural workers in Australia and Venice. Her curatorial projects includeFrontrunners, Urban Shaman Gallery and Plug In ICA; Blanche: KC Adams & Jonathan Jones, Chalkhorse Gallery, Sydney Australia; Rockstars & Wannabes, Urban Shaman Gallery, and Transcendence – KC Adams, Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba. She has lectured nationally and internationally, and in 2010 she was selected as a delegate on the Canada Council for the Arts’ Aboriginal Curators Delegation to New Zealand and Australia. In addition to her freelance work, Mattes was the curator at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba between 2003 and 2005, and has been a consultant for various government agencies and arts organizations. She is an Assistant Professor teaching art history at Brandon University in the Visual and Aboriginal Arts Department, and is pursuing her PhD at the University of Manitoba in Native Studies.

Wood Land School participant-subsidies generously supported by an annonymous donor. Plug In ICA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of our 2016 and 2017 program, and we extend gratitude to The Winnipeg Foundation and all our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers.