ociciwan, Becca Taylor

Curator talk by Becca Taylor of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective

July 31, 2017 – 10am

Ociciwan is an inanimate Plains Cree noun relating to currents and rivers, translated to mean, “The current comes from there”. For Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective, the incorporation of this noun into their name explicitly references the North Saskatchewan River – an important passageway that transported people, ideas and materials to Edmonton from the west. The multiplicity of meaning connoted by the term conveys an energetic engagement with Indigenous contemporary culture as that which is simultaneously grounded in the past while projecting into the future.

Edmonton-based Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective has quickly gained recognition in Canada, launching their curatorial debut with Scene Report, with Wendy by Walter Scott in September of 2015. A collective with five core members and two program coordinators, they have commissioned public artworks, curated exhibitions in museums and galleries, facilitated a youth program, and hosted a writing workshop. Most recently Ociciwan collaborated with Postcommodity and Alex Waterman to create in memoriam, an ambitious project that “investigat(es) the connections between musical forms and constructs of historicization…whom and how we memorialize individuals and inscribe their legacies.”

On Monday, July 31, 2017 at 10am, artist and curator Becca Taylor will give a curatorial talk on behalf of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective, programmed in conjunction with Wendy Book Club – session two of our 2017 Summer Institute research program, lead by Walter Scott and Niki Little. As a core member of the collective, Taylor will speak specifically about their mandate to support Indigenous contemporary art which includes advocating for innovative and experimental creative practices, youth outreach and research. Taylor will survey the collective’s work to date, reflecting on the curatorial process including the role of collaboration and partnership building; and the experience of working in a vast array of spaces ranging from art galleries to libraries to City Hall; in an architecture firm, and on a billboard.

Becca Taylor is a multi-disciplinary artist, youth worker and independent curator of Cree, Scottish and Irish descent. Her practice involves investigations of Indigenous community building and Indigenous feminisms through various media including video, text and installation. In 2015, Taylor was the Aboriginal Curator-in-residence at Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art gallery, awarded through the Canada Council for the Arts. As part of her residency she curated Traces in the summer of 2017. Taylor just recently completed the Indigenous Curatorial Research Practicum at the Banff Centre, where she curated A light left on in 2016.

This talk is programmed in conjunction with Session II of our Summer Institute research program, Wendy Book Club, co-facilitated by Walter Scott and Niki Little. Everyone welcome!

Upcoming public programming for Wendy Book Club includes:
Wednesday, August 2 | 7pm
Artist talk with Tau Lewis

Thursday, August 3 | TBD
Open Studio

All public programming is free and open to the public. Everyone welcome! 

The Summer Institute is an international post-graduate research program for professional artists working in all disciplines and media. In 2017 Plug In ICA hosts two sessions of the Institute, both emphasizing writing as an expanded field incorporating elements of critical confession, reflection and artistry. For the second session, July 17 to August 4, participants work with writer, artist and editor, Walter Scott and artist and curator, Niki Little with special guests Tau Lewis, Becca Taylor, and Maya Ben David.

Each session invites participants who wish to work independently or collaboratively based on their own interests and projects and includes opportunities to work in a peer-to-peer environment through group activities planned during the session. A number of guest artists, curators and theorists will visit the Summer Institute for lectures and studio visits.

The participants in the Wendy Book Club, Summer Institute Session II include:

Joi T. Arcand • Alex Ateah • Madeline Bogoch • Viola Chen 陈宜晴 • Kristiane Church • Kelly Campbell • Dayna Danger • Jillian Groening • Whess Harman • Emma Mayer • Mariana Muñoz Gomez • Pooja Sen • Sarah Stewart • Tanis Worme

For More information on the Wendy Book Club Summer Institute, Session II, see: Summer Institute II: The Wendy Book Club

Plug In ICA extends our gratitude to our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers. With special thanks to our Director’s Circle.

We gratefully acknowledge 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, as well as Payworks and Wawanesa Insurance for the direct support of our youth programs.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enable us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at by contacting Angela Forget:

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